Noi romdadi kyam touge line goes viral Vote put up for sale
Interesting it is but disgusting at the same time too. As the hours ticked by on voting day, that is on February 28, the talk doing the round in almost every Assembly Constituency was not so much on the voters’ turnout or the likelihood of which candidate may romp home but on how much of those crispy notes did the round for the voters. Noi romdadi kyam touge (What was the going rate in your AC ?) was the most popular line that did the round till late into the evening of voting day and this is where one is instantly reminded of the fact that it is not the fate of the candidates which have been sealed but the fate of the people for at least the next five years. In fact so dominating is the line of Kyam touge that some voters could be heard lamenting that they should have been listed in so and so Constituency where the going rate was heard to be much, much more than the average. Karoida shatkani khangdana is another popular line that is used frequently when one asks about the prospect of some candidates whose winnability is suspect. The first phase of the election is now over, and this would have set some sort of a precedent for the second phase to follow. Ideology, qualifications, sincerity and the individual prospects of the candidates concerned be damned. How much one is able to buy will go a long way in deciding who gets to represent the people in the Assembly and nothing can get more ugly than this. Obvious that it is the voters who have been put up for sale, and once the results are out and the time comes for Government formation than it could mean so many things which may not exactly be pleasing to see and hear. The ugly episode that is being played out now will continue and this is sadly reflected in the quality of those elected. An example of voters who cannot see beyond the immediate and come to the realisation that it is not the fate of the candidates which are sealed in the Electronic Voting Machine, but the fate of the people for the next five years. So what does the five yearly exercise of going for a new election mean to the people ? It should be obvious that to many it is not about the yearning to see a new change and push the State towards progress, but more about, how much one should demand at the time of casting their vote.
The price to pay for a vote that has been sold off can be great. A point which just does not seem to have registered in the consciousness of the people. On the other hand it may also be in place to question why people do not hesitate to sell their vote. Poverty or lack of money is obviously one reason. This is where it becomes obvious that keeping the people poor is in the interest of the few moneyed people, who come under the term of politicians. Even amidst the large scale trading of votes and the talks doing the round of ‘how much for each voter’ there are some who could not be bought and who do not take money. Such people are in the minority but a look at their economic profile should tell its own story. This is where it becomes important to acknowledge that keeping the people poor is to the benefits of some. As long as people are deprived, have to live a hand to mouth existence, then money will continue to play a major role in every election and the vote for sale practise will prosper. This is what Manipur is going through right now. And the cycle continues. The same trend will continue in the second phase of the election when 22 Assembly Constituencies will go to vote on March 5. This is the tragedy that Manipur has been witnessing every five years and come 2027 one can expect a re-run of the same script that was displayed on February 28. The vote for sale practise will continue and this is where one sees a design in keeping the people poor. The corrective steps should start from amongst the people and the first step towards this would be to ensure that only competent and honest candidates are elected sans the practise of keeping their voting rights up for sale.