Posted by: Vikram | November 19, 2008

The Ladakhi’s give us a lesson in Indian-ness

Here is an article from The Hindu newspaper, about Ladakhis voting in -20 degree weather. Perhaps thats what being Indian is all about, the author says

the political system Indian elites never appear to tire of reviling has brought real gains to this remote community.

Here is a picture of a 103 year old voter after she voted in the 2002 Gujarat elections (picture from BBC News)

guj_voter

I am 103 years old. I’ve come to cast my vote at the Varachha Road polling station with my daughter-in-law. I’m so old, I can’t come on my own.

So who is more Indian ? Remote communities, long oppressed castes, ‘illiterate’ rural folk who fight for their rights ? Or the middle-classes that obsess over 11 (grossly overpaid) men ?

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Responses

  1. Vikram, certainly we can learn a lesson from the people of Ladakh who came out in adverse weather to excercise their democratic rights.

    Maybe the middle class Indians have so thick blinkers over their eyes that they cannot see how much hardship fellow Indians are facing.

    Places like Ladakh or the North-east states have been ignored for so long- by the Indian government as well as by (mainly) middle-class Indians in other states.

    They would do well to learn a lesson in ‘Indian-ness’ from the Ladakhis who came out to vote.

  2. @ Vikram : He he he. Is it -20ºC already there. Oh yeah its November. When its winter time in Ladakh the ladakhi population of Jammu (The second largest Ladakhi city–that the ladakhi insider joke) doubles. Well also I suppose the Ladakhi population of Chandigarh. I wonder whose idea was to hold polls in this blasted weather. In any case one of my ladakhi friends is launching a travel website soon and in the future I hope to shamelessly promote that on my blog. Good for them to vote though I was there once way back in 1998 when they also had state elections. I must say most of them seemed disinterested. May be things have changed now. I distinctly remember Mr. Abdullah was there for campaign then.

  3. Remote communities, long oppressed castes, ‘illiterate’ rural folk who fight for their rights.

  4. When one looses trust in oneself and says ” kuch farak padne vala nahi hai” they have accepted their ill fate and continue to live in a web that they are comfortable and more comfortable whining about it.

    kudos to these people. when i voted in india i gave a blank vote. And I was so proud to vote. Just imagine the huge student population who cannot vote because they are not in their home towns on election day..

  5. Great Blog Vikram.

    There’s a joke running around that come 2009 elections the so called “illiterate” rural india will vote for Mahatma Gandhi ( was on NDTV), but I guess the urban Indians will ask which party Barack Obama belongs to ??

  6. The ‘rural and illiterate’ believe that the person whom they elect will change their lives, while the ‘urban and educated’ know that it doesn’t make much difference.

    Who would take all the pains to wait for hours together in the Q and vote for ‘none’?

    kuch farak padne vala nahi hai!

    Mahesh, I could also phrase it as, The ‘rural and illiterate’ know that the person whom they elect will change their lives, while the ‘urban and educated’ believe that it doesn’t make much difference. The truth is probably somewhere in between.


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