Today is the election for Karnataka assembly. I remembered it when I saw the Goa - Belgaum, Goa - Hubli (and onward) buses crowded. I see them every day and they are usually empty. I will come to the crowded buses shortly.
It is a pity that all the parties in Karnataka have fielded people with proven track record of illegal mining. There is no hope for the state which even during British raj was famous for people oriented policies and activities. One of the less than half a dozen princely states amongst more than five hundred said to have been pro people. It was being ruled by Sri Krishnaraja wodeyar and was being administred by likes of Sir Vishweshwariah then. If anyone sees any hope for the state even today it is because of the inherent goodness of the people of the state and in spite of the best efforts of the politicians to ruin it.
Coming to the crowded buses, there are thousands of people who are natives of Karnataka villages working as manual labourers in Goa. Many of them still have their voting rights in Karnataka. These people are approached during election times by the party agents and are paid to and fro charges to their villages plus one or two thousand rupees per vote. The money is paid in Goa in advance. They can just keep the money and forget the election. But these sincere and honest labourers travel hundreds of kilometers in crowded buses, sometimes standing all the way to go and vote for the person who paid them. They know that they are not supposed to sell their votes but the lure of cash is very strong. And having accepted the money they do what they had promised.
I hope against hope that one day we will be rid of this evil but for the time being I wish that the people who paid the money were at least half as honest and sincere in their job as those who received it.