An excerpt from an email I wrote to my friend Anu about the forthcoming polls:
I will be completely honest: gender was not a consideration for me when I picked my candidate, although I did feel glad to see two well-heeled candidates from corporate India joining the fray. If I do vote for either of them, though, it will be on the basis of what they can do for my constituency, not because they’re women.
I am disappointed that nobody has expressly addressed any gender concerns*, but again, in my South Bombay constituency with relatively high levels of education and income, the focus is on infrastructure and safety from terrorism, so I’m not entirely surprised.
The one party I would absolutely not vote for is the BJP because I believe their Hindutva ideology is regressive to the point of slotting women in historically repressive domestic roles and they’ve taken the country back to the dark ages, with their heinous crimes and divisive rhetoric.
Maybe it’s the community I belong to (Parsi) or the ideology I grew up with (secularism and tolerance for minorities), but I’m usually a Congress loyalist. Not because they’re fabulous, but because they were, until recently, the least evil of the lot. Now with more independent candidates joining the fray, I can’t believe our good fortune that we have, for probably the first time, a choice between 3 halfway-decent non-criminal candidates. Now if only one of them would get elected, I’d die happy.
*It may very well be that South Bombay files the maximum number of rape cases, given overall higher levels of education and awareness. Numbers may be telling only half a story in this case.
Updated to add: In case you were wondering about the liberal sprinkling of ‘I’s above, I was expressly asked to give my perspective on several election-related issues. But now that I’ve noticed, I’m cringing anyway.