Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In Delhi during election results

Two days back I got the opportunity to visit the AAP office of a local ward. I was accompanying my Uncle who is a member. I did not have any affiliations in the Delhi elections.

It was a small room occupied by around 12-15 people which filled up slowly till it was full at the end. The members comprised of both men and women. The mood was obviously ecstatic. A better part of the initial time was taken to decide the details of celebration on 10th. The impending certainty of good news had stirred them up. The present emotional consumption of future success is a strong driver for people who are marred in day to day mundane activities. They own it especially if they have contributed, take their own sweet time in reaching it. 5 minutes of certainty was stretched to an hour or so. There was supposed to be an LED television for live news feed, speakers and victory march on the day of the results. All members accented to be present. 

The room was probably a classroom because there was a white board with a question of projectile motion written on it. While the AAP members mulled over how to celebrate, I tried to test my physics skills to solve the problem. It was not a tough problem for a fresh mind but for a rusted one it did pose a formidable challenge. My mind wandered from quadratic formula to acceleration equations to trigonometry to recall the way we used to do it. Finally in the midst of sweets and speeches the probable solution occurred to me.

Later an important person came into the room who my uncle told me later was a Sanyojak. He came with the woman who had fought Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareilly. The Sanyojak gave a short speech interspersed with management lessons. He made the members feel how important they were to the party and how their contributions were valuable. He laid down the primary mechanism of party workings which to me sounded merit based. One thing that caught my mind was his emphasis on learning by doing. Members of one ward should not spend too much time helping those in the other ward lest they take too much load and the others start free riding. Every ward should develop its own mechanism of campaign organically. It also sounded like they had implemented it but taking a politicians speech as a guarantee is like believing a writers blog. Both prefer to ride over the idea than plough to action.

Every election you hear that this is a make or break or something or someone. This is the brain child of a bunch of unemployed people, unemployed in the definition from the first principles or I would even say negatively employed. Today in a shop where few Uncleji’s were discussing the results sitting on chairs sipping tea, I overheard their doomsday prediction for Modi. Then while shopping with my mother in the Lajpath Nagar market, while she was arguing the prices of a handbag another young man was putting out reasons of why AAP will again loose the next Lok Sabha elections badly. He was dead sure as sure as of Congress losing the present elections. This is how people try to convert probabilities to certainty. Science may have moved away from it but the human mind does not wish to. 

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