Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Techies didn't vote in Bangalore

Bangalore's techies were vocal on TV during the Karnataka elections. The Congress directed much of its campaign towards them. But they couldn't be troubled to go to the voting booth, it appears.

Swapan Dasgupta had some scathing comments in Sunday's TOI:

In London, the voter turnout on May 1 was 45% — very high by the standards of British local elections; it was 44% or so in Bangalore — pathetic by Indian standards. The turnout of registered IT professionals was estimated at just 20% — a far cry from the 78% turnout in Bangalore Rural.

The poor turnout of those who see themselves as the face of a new India is intriguing. First, the English media gave disproportionate coverage to the views of the IT sector during the campaign. To a non-Bangalorean it appeared that there is nothing apart from IT in the city. The Congress Party's advertisement campaign seems to have been directed totally at this special interest group.

Secondly, the ambassadors of the Brave New World were vocal in articulating their dissatisfaction with the state of Bangalore. They gave umpteen sound-bites sneering at politicians, almost implying that it would have been better if politics was run by corporates. Finally, while "old industry" engaged with politicians to promote and safeguard their own interests, the IT sector spurned them — that is, all except S M Krishna with whom it has a very special relationship. The techie honchos conveyed the impression that they were in Karnataka on sufferance; they could just as well have been in Shanghai.


Ajith said...

The point is not just that..I'm a 'bangalore techie' ( though would relinquish that status in a few months ).. I've always voted when I was in my hometown..But the problem with this place is that its rather impossible to get listed in B'lore electoral rolls if you dont have (1) own house (2) ration card (3) electricity bills in your name (4) Passport/DL with a b'lore address -- Or in other words, if you dont have any concrete address proof ( which a large chunk of IT crowd does not have ) its not possible to vote...Situation in UK / US is that if you have that SSN number , u can vote.

T T Ram Mohan said...

Good point, Ajith, but lack of interest in voting is common enough among the urban elite- it's not that people fail to show up because of the difficulty in gettnig registered.