Anybody Can Dance (For Votes, At Least)

Pankaz K. Sharma

Many years later, as he stood in front of his vast land holdings in North Guwahati, Colonel Potbellyano Rotundia remembered the distant afternoon, when he went to beg for votes.

Assam was a new place then, with the new government that promised to bring in change, transparency, and development in power for only about two and a half years. The year was 2019, ten years before the timeline of Terminator Genisys begins. Corruption was a thing of the past by then in Assam; no government official demanded or accepted bribes inside the office premises; all such dealings, naysayers claimed, took place near designated pan shops or in open fields by now.

Coincidently, 2019 was also the year in which the Lok Sabha elections happened. Some wise guy from the then ruling Minority Oppose Party (MOP), claimed that this was to be the last elections ever to take place in India. Most people were not sure if he hinted at a prolonged dictatorship, or something totally different.

Rotundia, being the patriot that he was, decided that (naysayers said, it was his puppet masters in New Delhi who decided it on his behalf, though there is not an iota of evidence to support this) he must entertain the public by singing and dancing and thereby bring in votes in favour of the MOP candidates.

But a true patriot won’t stop at just dancing. Potbellyano, an erudite scholar and a psephologist of renown, went one step ahead and proclaimed that the MOP was sure to win 12 out of the 14 seats in Assam. Not to be outdone, the spokesman of the opposition, Minority Appease Party (MAP), too predicted that they were sure to win at least 7 seats.

"This confused the village idiot (known as VIP, for “village idiot person”). How 12 and 7 make 14 - he could not understand. He asked this of his smart friend AB (for "absolute brain") who explained that MAP people always bullshit, and MOP would surely win at least 12 seats.

VIP said, “Could it be that the EVM are all rigged, and no matter whom you vote for, these will all be shown as in favour of the MOP? Perhaps that is the reason Rotundia Sir is being so confident of MOP winning at least 12 seats.”

AB retorted, “You have no clue, because you have never been involved in the process. Everything is so full-proof and, checked and cross-checked so many times, that there is absolutely no scope for occurrence of any such thing. The systems are checked finally just before the voting starts by representatives of various candidates.”

VIP then asked, “What if it is a virus? I once clicked on a cute, well…., girl on my desktop monitor at home on a Friday, and my entire hard disk was wiped out. I was later told that it was the Friday the 13th virus. What if something similar was crept in, which would start working only during the voting hours but not before or after?”

AB replied, “But the total number of votes polled and how many votes were polled in whose favour – all of these could be checked. Each voter can see whom s/he voted for, and if the vote was recorded as having gone to the right candidate. So your doubts are unfounded. But then, what better can we expect from someone like you? You should try to improve your understanding of things.”

VIP sheepishly commented, “Be that as it may, could not Rotundia Sir learn a few steps to improve his dance moves, and stop jumping like a bear in the name of dancing?”

AB tried to control his temper; he inhaled strongly but slowly, and curtly replied, “What if he dances badly? Who the hell are you to comment? His party will win at least 12 seats! What have you won in life?”

VIP hesitantly said, “But don’t you think I’ve a point? Don’t you think better dance will bring more votes for him? When I watch India’s Got Talent, the best dancers always get the most votes.”

AB lost his cool, and shouted, “Get lost, you idiot. Go away! I have 100 things to do, and really have no time to discuss someone’s dance moves with you.”

Pankaz K. Sharma, mostly a village idiot himself, resides in Assam.".

Apr 23, 2019

Pankaz K. Sharma [email protected]

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