Saturday’s here again and so am I. With the Valentine’s day being the week’s flavour, I had expected this piece to be centred around it. But then something else came up and that took precedence over the matters of the heart.

(I can almost hear you thank me for not boring you with one more sappy V-Day post.)

The only thing that competed with the week of love were the Delhi elections. Ever since I landed back, that’s all I’ve been hearing about. And now you too will have to.

AAP was expected to win, as far as I could make out. It eventually did. The question was- how many seats? Well, soon enough, that was answered too. Given the number of seats, it should have been done and dusted away with. Like every other election, people should have been back to their work and the discussions focussed on the future, right?


I am not sure if it’s the symbolic value that the capital has or it was the drama during the run up to the D-day that people felt it required more attention than it deserved. They took to the social media (Duh… what else?), coming out in hordes, and cribbed about how Delhiites have fallen for freebies and overlooked the bigger issues. How they have only thought of their won comfort and ignored national issues.

I don’t have to get into the details, most of you would know. And those who don’t, consider yourself fortunate to have escaped that. The deluge of such messages prompted me to coin a term- voter shaming (as if we didn’t have enough of shaming going around, now we have another subtype too)

Why are we resorting to that? What’s the point? Why this urge? While growing up, I remember how my father would be glued to the TV around election time (as I would wait for the movie interludes that Doordarshan offered). Even as a child I knew how the entire tamasha ended. The winning party, trying hard to look modest, would accept people’s mandate ‘with open arms’. And the losing party, before burrowing itself, would graciously accept their defeat, stating that it was people’s mandate. There would be some talk of introspection and that would be the end of it.

The operative word, all along, was people’s mandate. Why are so many of us finding it tough to accept it this time around? And that too for a small ‘half state’ as they like to call it. No one claimed that Delhi was perfect or that the govt was. But don’t insult the voters to have voted for issues that they prioritized. If they haven’t voted for the ones the others agree with, don’t try to mock or make them feel guilty for that. They have made their choices clear and they are the ones who will live with the consequences. Why is the rest of the nation getting all worked up?

Whatever happened to our childhood civics lesson- ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’?

In the past few years, my expectations from my people have significantly gone down. No longer do I ask of them to introspect why Delhi did what it did. But is even hoping that they accept the mandate of a handful of population with equanimity and move on, asking for too much?

-Dr. Shivani Salil


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