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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Electioneering

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Election campaigns for institute's student governing counsel at our college are lots of fun. We are peaceful democratic institution so there isn’t any sloganeering or rallying but there is one public address opportunity — used by seniors to make fun of and ask awkward questions to candidate — and many door to door dorm to dorm campaigning. There is some regionalism, I suspect, but not much. Need to blindly support, or at least prefer, member of one’s ethnicity is evil of Indian nationhood that lurks here too, though in intensity insignificant to that in real elections. There is some sexism too, and while it’s low it’s perhaps sufficient enough to affect election results. It’s difficult to know this for sure because such information is not easy to obtain and it’s difficult to ascertain whether men think that women can’t handle a particular job or women think that men will think so and hence don’t contend. This, if any, is primarily for post of member of student council and not at all for other positions lower in governing hierarchy.

Election campaigns at dorms are what brings most fun. A candidate is made to dance, sing, mimic or joke, apart from delivering his manifesto or speech. Constituents use this opportunity to enjoy the torment of their peers since listening to manifesto is often an boring activity. And that happens at lot more in women’s dorms, who, perhaps, on finding that man on their fingertips for few days, practice for their post-wedding adventures! What students can come up is only limited by their imagination, and includes from special funny rules that pitching candidate must follow, to bargaining for all votes of dorm under certain circumstances including leaving them in peace and not bother with pitching.

And even when rest of India has gone electronic, we still follow paper ballots. Grrr.
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