Saturday, May 7, 2011

Singapore Elections- Lessons to be learned

I witnessed the general elections in Singapore yesterday. I followed very closely the campaigning by contenders and how the election process took place and paralleled with how it used to happen in India. I was amazed to see the way elections are handled in a developed economy. Couples of important things that separate it out are:
  • The party in power is PAP (People's Action Party) and it is in power since last 56years under the mentorship of Singapore’s architect Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. Imagine a country with a stable govt with reformist and progressive policies, curbing inflation and providing better quality of life to Singaporeans since all along.
  • Till last year there were many constituencies where there were no elections held because there were no oppositions, people were just too happy with the present govt to ask for an opponent party. Only this year there has been an increase in no of opponents.
  • Out of all the constituencies, only 1 constituency won the seat in parliament which is Aljunaid.the ruling party is scared because the no of voters against the PAP were 6%.
  • People here stand for hours to vote and people across all sections of society do vote right from the newspapers vendors to the business tycoons in their BMWs.they don’t think voting as a part of some compulsion but they treat it as a responsibility. Veterans who have had heart surgery, people who can’t walk even they have come for vote and they say that it is an important thing to vote.
  • The government is giving each adult individual $800 because they have collected enough money from citizens from GST and they want to return them the favor.
  • Everything in elections is automated. Each voter identity is recorded ,complex graphical analysis are made, voting takes place in one day and by the end of night the results are also out.
  • The politicians are not school dropouts but eminent lawyers, judges, academicians. They are the people with the most prized degrees under their belt.
  • There are overseas ballot rooms in other countries so that Singaporeans living in other country can also exercise their voting rights. For e.g. in US, Washington area there was a ballot room in their embassy, people drove for 15hours all the way to Washington to vote.
  • Every part of fund collected from the supporters for election rallies are accounted and remaining money is returned to them even to the accuracy of $1.

I am seeing the way Singaporeans think, the way they patronize the govt and i cannot stop myself from drawing relevance that how we would be in India if some of the good things our Indian govt adopted.

Life - An Alternate Perspective

Every morning when i get up and go to work i usually come across these short duration random thoughts and get these scarce philosophical bytes. How much have I changed so soon? There was a life which i was leading was filled with so much of randomness, filled with so much of eagerness, carelessness, reverberating with chaos and there is a time when my life is so predictable, routine, cagey, so focused that sometimes i still feel that i am a person who is trying to juggle between two lives.
At one time, I am living a life where you have to wear a mask and play a conscious role and there is a life where you were what you were but you try to bring that life into this present life, even though you can't but you try to live a part of this all the time because you cannot agree to the fact that that part of live is a bygone era.

At times ,i ask myself ,who am I ,what is my absolute purpose in my life, what does this life mean to me and for me what is happiness ,what is sadness ,what is success and what is failure. To me today it looks like i was in a cocoon where my perspective was limited to my nest and all of a sudden my abode is the open sky. Hence the terms have changed, the definitions have to be redefined, the mission has to be laid out and most important I have to hold on to a vision.
I think i have got the right word.VISION.It is very important.Today,when I go to work every morning day in day out ,when i ask this question to myself why am i doing all this, what is my purpose ,what is my ultimate drive, I feel that i am diving inside an empty vessel. A right question needs to be asked to find the answer. What do i want others to remember me as when i die?

What is the meaning of life?
Every morning at the MRT station while boarding the train, I see a blue dressed turban wearing 60years old MRT employee standing at the left most corner exactly at same spot giving exactly same smile with the same effort of hiding his inability to overpower his ego.
Every morning i see this humble and frail old Indonesian lady overtaking my way exactly when i am going to step on the escalator and using her tissue paper to wipe out dust from the trail bars of conveyor belt.

These are just some random observations which have no meaning in my life but when i see them i don’t know why but somewhere somehow leave an impression on my mind and leaves me for asking again and again "Is this what is life worth for'?

But I step inside my office and see a pseudo life  with the humdrum of business, see people running here and there to escape boss' wrath and  then I tell myself, Saurabh the game has begun, time to wear your mask!!!