>Let me begin by making this very clear that I am ill-equipped to comment on the nuances of Indian politics. However, as an Indian citizen living in Lucknow, I feel more than equipped to comment on the candidature of Sanjay Dutt by Samajwadi Party for the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.
There are varying degrees of disapproval on most blogs, but Goofy Mumma’s campaign seems to have picked up momentum in the blogosphere and there is consensus on one thing – that we cannot allow people with criminal records to contest elections in our country.
No arguments there. I support the cause wholeheartedly. No arguments also about the inanity of Sanjay Dutt’s remarks about the status of women, married women in particular, in India.
Yes, I’m with you in condemning a party’s choice when it comes to fielding someone with a murky past like Dutt. But once he’s been declared as their candidate, can we expect Lucknowites to not vote for Sanjay Dutt without examining the credentials of the other candidates contesting the elections? Do you know whom else they can vote for?
I have a huge case against anybody who thinks he can comment on the intelligence of the people of a city or state because they choose to vote for someone. Remember, Lalu Prasad Yadav was voted into power time and again by the people of Bihar and Gujarat chooses Modi each time. Makes the people of the states morons, right?! I read these comments about Lucknowites over at IHM’s blog and they really put me off, to put it mildly.
One comment read:
“So let’s see what’s in favour of Sanjay Dutt as far as the people of Lucknow are concerned:
1. He’s a criminal. I’m sure Lucknow is proud of that fact.
2. He’s a moron. I’m sure they’re even happier about this.
Do you see where my cynicism comes from?”
No, I don’t see. So tell me now this was not being said to me and if I don’t get it, it’s okay. But hey, I’m a Lucknowite and I take offence!
Another comment went something like this:
“Poor Lucknow! But then again, if they do let him win, well they deserve nothing less !!!”
Have you, dear blogger, cared to understand what choice the city’s voters have when they refuse to give SP’s cycle a pass?
Please do not misunderstand me – I’m no defender of Dutt. But I am a defender of choices. And the choice in this case could very easily be between the devil and the deep sea. Pray, tell me, what would you choose – the devil or the deep sea?
And that brings me to my other question: who would you rather vote for – the party or the politician?
In school, I used to be friends with a veteran Congress leader’s granddaughter who slammed the BJP without second thoughts. But she always maintained that Atal Behari Vajpayee was a good leader. It’s not an uncommon sentiment. Sanjay Dutt himself has admitted that he would never have contested elections against Vajpayee but he has no qualms in standing up against the party that Vajpayee belongs to.
Dutt’s opponent in Lucknow from the BSP – Akhilesh Das – has found an ardent campaigner in his friend, my uncle. This uncle of mine doesn’t care what the BSP’s agenda for the Lok Sabha elections is, he only cares his childhood friend should win from Lucknow. If he votes for Das (which he will) he will vote for the politician and not the party.
Let’s assume (ASSUME only) now that I support Modi as a prime ministerial candidate for the BJP. Should I not vote for the BJP in my constituency in that case? Or let’s assume you support the Congress. Would you be keener to ensure the party comes into power or would you be more bothered about the credentials of the politician the party is fielding from your constituency?
If I decide right away to not vote for Dutt, and I decide also I do not want to vote for the BSP, have I not made up my mind to vote for either the BJP or the Congress, irrespective of who their candidates are? Could that be wise?
I told you, the choice is between the devil and the deep sea. Would you rather be drowned than give in to the devil?