Monday, April 27, 2009

Goa parties vs Goa elections

Goa parties in this case are not the political ones that are fighting the Goa elections. Rather they are the ones who have been crying foul that elections are responsible for their party going awry. Wedding party that is.

It is no secret that over the years, the various directives of the election commission seem to have infused a discord among common men and many of the directives seem to be out of touch with reality and the prevailing customs and traditions or ground realities of a particular region or state.

The latest controversy over banning of liquor at wedding parties in Goa has been met with a very bitter taste from the affected party people who have termed this high-handed autocratic attitude of the election commission as being out of sync with common sensibilities. Such an attitude only contributes to the frustration and irritation of the common man in Goa who is more inclined to boycott voting thereby undermining the whole electoral process.

Weddings in GoaIt has to be noted that wedding parties in Goa are planned months in advance, if not years. During such planning, most often,  neither the elections are decided nor the government announcements to that effect is made. No notifications are done while Goans are busily preparing for that great day in the life of a family. With elections suddenly beating the drum, are Goan weddings expected to shut down their plans at the last minute at the cost of all the planning and with much money down the barrel?

The custom of serving liquor at weddings is a traditional Goan custom as also being an Indian custom at many Indian weddings all over the country. However it is more prominent in Goa since colonial times. Such wedding receptions in Goa are private affairs with no public access to such parties. how does such conduct affect the elections in Goa? That too despite seeking specific permission on a case to case basis? Isn't the denial of permission to such wedding receptions a case of extreme high handedness by the concerned authorities?

It seems that the election commission is keeping Goa on par with states with a rampant history of poll violence such as lawless Bihar or belligerent UP, in absolute disregard for Goa's history and cultural traditions besides being the country's hottest destination of world tourism.

Inducing the closure of over thousands of bars and wholesale liquor shops etc in the name of elections for weeks together does not improve the conduct of elections in any way. All that it causes is artificial shortage to the common man which is abused by black marketers as per their whims besides the inconvenience to Goans , hardships, monetary loss and loss of business for Goa thereby straining the government exchequer due to an inexplicable clampdown.

It is therefore time for the election commission to do some self-introspection and identify the areas where its stubbornness is causing more harm than good. Whether its efforts in a particular direction bear the fruit for which they were instituted or whether the enforcement of certain directives only contribute towards the bitterness of the common man without riddling the actual problem.

All rules and regulations need to be updated regularly keeping in mind the practical situations at hand while ensuring no dilution in the effect caused towards seeking the desired results.

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