The Democratic Darwaza : An Intern’s Experience

By Guddugurki Anju Rao

 

Promising one’s people of a better tomorrow is easy. Using power to implement agenda for them is so as well. But the act of convincing them to believe and lend support to someone exclusively is one of the hardest tasks of political campaigns. Especially with door to door campaigning, it demands impeccable communication, reading body language and allowing personal space which is most challenging to achieve on ground zero.

As an intern for political action, I had the opportunity to go knocking around Koramangala 6th block post 5pm armed with pamphlets on Nilekani’s work and promising personality as impending Member of Parliament. We verified the number of voters, their voter identification numbers and checked them on our electoral rolls, house number-wise, meant for campaign records. We helped them with poll booth information and briefed them on ex-Infoscion and UIDAI chairman as Congress’ candidate for this election. The response was mixed, and handling each was a learning experience.

We first encountered a female senior citizen from the minority community who fretted the sight of us, unwanting to listen, angry with the state of her and her family’s life. She refused to identify herself on the voters list as she was unhopeful of a better future and frowned all through before we gave her a pamphlet and left without many words exchanged. It was better that way, we felt.

We then met an IT employee and her educated parents who identified both herself and others at home, knew about Nilekani’s work and thought that out efforts for a conversation was commendable. Nevertheless, neutrality still ruled her tone which, I felt, was somehow better than complete indifference.

Then there was an interesting observation I made with what a housewife said to us about who she would vote for. She lost her voter ID card, had moved to Koramangala recently and was tired doing the rounds to get a new one. “ I told myself I will vote for the party that first visited me to help with my voter ID, and it will be Congress hence.”  Clearly, being first in every regard is very important in a fast-paced world.

There were others who were suspicious of our verification procedure, did not express their inclinations and even outrightly rejected the party that Nilekani stood from because they are loyal to its stark rival. Whatever the demeanour was, there’s a different formula of approaching each one- an exercise in communication, psychology, advertising and broadly, politics.

It’s good to get a slice of it, it reveals an entire world of possible reactions and absorption that must be handled with utmost concern and diplomacy, as politics is a matter of sensitive point of views for most in our country.

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