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My Election Takeaway

Festival of democracy in India is essentially a hallow which blinds individual opinion under the shadow of collective voice

Satrajit Sen
Wed, May 28 2014

Illustration: Rajat Dey

About Satrajit

Satrajit is an award-winning producer, who recently bagged India’s national award for the best regional film in Bengali. Earlier, he worked with Star TV, heading their distribution department for over 12 years, His production company, Tripod Entertainment produced some great films, over the past two years.


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My many Kolkata

 
Having won India’s national award as producer for the best Regional Bengali film - “Bakita Byaktigato” (The rest is personal), just a few days before the elections, my mood was very upbeat. After all, among 125 crore people, I, along with the likes of Anand Gandhi, Subhash Kapoor, Rajkumar Rao were on the national stage to receive such a coveted award from the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee.

No mean feat and this is when I am only 36.

Cut to the scene on the voting day in Kolkata.

I am outside a polling station and about to exercise my democratic right of casting the vote.

‘Behold’!

I was stopped, and my name checked. It was missing from the electoral rolls.

Yes, of course, I had received the voter-slips the previous evening but to no avail.

Rudely jarred, I ranted on the social media, but ‘no’, it didn’t quench my thirst for redemption. The anger remained.

I came back home, looked up on the internet, lodged complaints using the phone numbers provided, and sent e-mails to the redressal cell.

I then got a message on my mobile phone asking for my passport details. Of course, I did send, but I knew that nothing would come out of it.

Well, nothing did!

Many people called me up from various quarters, including members of the media and friends. After all I was no ordinary person. A recipient of the national award winner, Everybody patiently heard my story and some published the whole incident.

Did it make any difference?

Nothing!

Absolutely nothing moved and I was left with nothing but consoled myself.

Did my humiliation really matter?

I mean, here was me being on stage with the President of India just days before being stopped from entering the polling station!

Actually, it didn’t matter at all.

Of course, the soreness will remain for a while, but as we all know, time is the best healer.

Till I venture outside five years from now, with the mission of casting my vote, I will relish my memories of that magical evening - me on the dais and the honourable President whispering, “many many congratulations”, and the feeling of being on cloud nine.

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