AND now, the results! Drum roll…
A mudslide, er, landslide victory!
It was a fierce competition to see who draws more votes -- Election 2014 or Close Up 1. Thank heavens some were gracious enough to go and vote -- the polling officers were dying of boredom. The Chief Election Commissioner said, “Thick fog contributed to a thin voter turnout.” He's correct about the fog -- figuratively. Perhaps hundreds of thousands of voters did show up, but could not be seen due to the thick fog.
But a large number of citizens remained de-voted. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean supporting those who didn't participate in the election, but that they simply want to see the 1988 Seoul and not the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
There were also claims of some voters casting votes more than once. Nothing surprising. After all, the election comes once every five years and everyone simply wants to enjoy this rare experience over and over again.
Participation, no-shows, rigging -- these are all parts of the standard statistics. We also have a few unique additions -- deaths, injuries and attacks on Hindus, the favoured scapegoats. It's like the Three Stooges -- Moe fights with Larry and Curly gets slapped for no reason. Not sure why. I thought spiritual belief is wholesale and religion is merely retail.
Nevertheless, an election is an acid test, just like the O' Levels exams. Before the real thing, schools hold mock tests. Before the real election (when/if that ever happens), the January 5th one was a mock election, literally. Oh I wish we had similar control over the invigilators…
Election 2014 is the twin of the movie Battleship -- a big budget flop, with the only difference that the election at least gave us a good laugh, an honest attempt to lift the spirits of a depressed nation.
Reactions pour in. The US slams the election while India endorses it (boy, the Devyani Khobragade saga is really spilling over…). The brand new powers-that-be may go Hollywood or Bollywood, but Bangladesh simply hopes it's Jollygood.
Meanwhile, the jails are continuing to get full, not with just the arsonists. Just how much capacity our jails have, we don't know. But given the increasing demand, perhaps the private sector can be invited to invest in expanding the prison infrastructure. A cheaper alternative may be to just turn the whole country into a jail with complementary guards already in place, courtesy of the BSF.
And hartals and oborodhs? Of course they must continue, since they have been proven beyond doubt to be absolutely ineffective. It's all based on Albert Einstein's theory: “Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
While continuing on with the vicious cycle, we have to swallow the fact that Election 2014 has been officially completed. Operation successful. It's just that the patient is dead. The election results shall hold, except in the case of Farce Majeure…
With voters participating in the election, the Constitution has won. With them boycotting the election, the neutral caretaker government system has won. All we need now is compromise, even if foolitics must continue, and all will have won.
The writer is an engineer & CEO turned comedian (by choice), a motivational speaker and the host of NTV's The Naveed Mahbub Show. E-mail: [email protected]