Monday, May 10, 2010

Why the hell has nobody ever asked these questions...

There are simple things which need to be followed. Man on the street will hardly ever understand the constitution. Most lawyers hardly do. Though the one who do are mostly lawyers.

Here are a few questions which I hope somebody is going to ask an MP or an election commissioner or in the Parliament.

Q1) Why the hell does a new party have to choose from a list of symbols released by the Election Commission and thus have its own symbol out of the "free symbols" list maintained by the EC?

Q2) If two or more independent candidates want to share an election symbol without forming a party, and are willing to give that in writing why does the election commission have to still give them different symbols by drawing random lots?

I know you chaps are surprised by the first question. I thought a new party is free to choose symbols closely resembling whatever it believes in. But then look at this link here(and jump to page 78 of the page that opens) of the election commission official website. Your new party's choice of symbols is restricted to the EC's choices listed here. I didn't know that at all. And it is kind of dumb of us to accept that restriction.

The second question makes me think of divide and rule. If two or three chaps want to have a common symbol without forming a party (and therefore have a party president who controls the rest) then forcing them to choose separate symbols is like Lord Curzon or Aurangzeb forcing animosity on people who are willing to sort out their differences their own way.

If we don't have a problem, then whats your damn problem, EC man ?

Why can't me and my friends, if we ever choose to contest elections, have our own common symbol which nobody else wants?


Nischal said...


I liked your idea. At the same time I also assume that there would certainly be some rational rationale for providing only certain set of symbols. I think that the symbols provided by the EC are clean and arent offensive to any race, community or person.

Being liberal with them may create a havoc (Mika one day may choose "Rakhi" as his symbol, likewise Sharad pawar may chose horse riding shivaji to scare the hell out of Mr Thackrey). As there is no ruling on public sentiments, I think its okay to provide a symbol from a predefined set.

PT said...

... see, i dont quite agree with Nischal here...we can always have a governing body which decides over the choice of symbols; it's the limited scope of the said symbols, and in some cases the element of absurdity in them that there shudn't be a pre-defined set. It's like selling a Nike in the Okhla Mandi, thereby sending its value to dogs....

PS - an open question... may be we can all start by getting Voter IDs first....

Nischal said... due respect to your thoughts as I too believe that EC should be liberal enough to let candidates chose their symbols as in a small way, it can help you express your thoughts, I firmly believe that votes are generally won on merit in thoughts not the EC symbols. I am yet to come across a raccoon who is enticed by a pizza slice as a voting symbol rather than the thoughts of the leader.
And also, if you are talking about liberalization on chosing the voting symbols, then why put reservation on symbols. Even I can think tomorrow that as I have started doing the excercise to strengthen my fists, let ME have immortal hand symbol of the Congress next year and let RJD play with the lotus the following year as Mamta holds the Lantern to amuse voters.
Moreover why to have a council of GFN officials paid higly to fight over offensiveness/legitimacy of a EC symbol.
Your thoughts are most welcome.

Milan said...

I just want these GFN guys to follow the rules that they have themselves created.

Now, a rule's clause says that a reserved symbol is a symbol alloted to a particular party. So that makes nobody but that party use that symbol. So far so good. PT and Nischal would not have a scope of disagreement here.

Now another rule's clause says that a free symbol is a symbol that is not reserved.

So if Nischal,PT and I form a party with a Nike symbol to contest from Okhla Mandi, then EC should not have a problem with that. Because as per its own rule the symbol is not reserved and therefore free.

Now, PT and Nischal might disagree here that the symbol wouldn't appeal to Okhla mandi fellows or not. But then that would be our party's problem if the voters can't relate to the symbol! Why does EC have to interfere in my party's brand activity?

Also, symbol has paramount importance because it helps voters illiterate voters identify ideology/thoughts of the leader to that of the candidate. This has been acknowledged by the Supreme Court in case of Congress syndicate vs Indira Gandhi when they were fighting on who owns the Congress symbol.

Nischal said...

Sari said...

I think everyone has a point here!

Providing a governing body helps decide some symbols, and I guess the same may be added on mutual consensus.
A governing body will only add regulation keeping in mind "janhit", or rather kind of censorship.
In any case, anyone should be allowed to choose a symbol s/he feels or likes to be a representative of the activities represented.

Sari said...

on a similar note:

Milan said...

I just discovered today that if two big parties have a dispute over who owns a particular election symbol then the election commission hears both the sides and then decides, in its quasi-judicial role, who should own the disputed symbol.

However, if small parties have a similar dispute then the election commission does not hear the sides at all, but decides by throwing up lots in the air.

You think I am kidding, right?!!

Sari said...

hehehe :P

d EC does not hear sides at all!! phew!
two big parties vs small parties... everywhere d same game...:(