A Village Where No One Campaigns But Everyone Votes For the Same Candidate
GHOL (BARAMATI, PUNE DISTRICT): It’s the way this village votes that staggers observers. Every election year, the sarpanch turns up at Ghol with reasons why the village should pick a particular symbol. The residents then march en masse to vote, and they all choose the same symbol. It’s a unanimous decision by nearly 100 people, all based on the word of one person.
The earliest memories of this strange pattern come from Babu Mahadev Polekar, who has been voting since the 1970s. Neighbours say he is well over 100 years old. “We never ask for names of candidates because we can’t read or write. We just press the button,” says Polekar. The present sarpanch is a woman, Phulabai Polekar, who has held the post since 2017. She was, however, not available for comment when TOI tried to contact her.
最早经历这种奇怪投票模式的是Babu Mahadev Polekar，他从20世纪70年代就开始这么投票了。邻居们说他已经100多岁了。“我们从不问候选人的名字，因为我们既不识字也不会写字。我们只要按下按钮。”Polekar说到。现任村长是一名女性，Phulabai Polekar，自2017年以来一直担任该职位。然而，《印度时报》并未联系到她进行置评。
And as far back as this man can recall, Ghol has never missed an election. This village — where almost every resident is a senior citizen who has never been visited by a candidate— has consistently recorded near-100% turnouts. Even the young who have left Ghol, return every five years for the ballot. “On April 23, I will get to see my children again,” says one woman, referring to Voting Day in two of the four Lok Sabha constituencies in Pune district.
It would be, however, difficult for an outsider to comprehend this enthusiasm. Ghol, in the Baramati constituency, is a part of the Velhe tehsil and it suffers a range of problems.
First on the list is the water shortage. Nestled within the Sahyadaris, and close to the backwaters of the Panshet-Varasgaon dams, Ghol has abundant water, but not in its taps. “Development works start whenever polls are announced — only to stop abruptly. An example is the village’s well. It was dug, but nothing was done to make it hold water,” says Narayan Padwal, who is in Ghol on vacation. He is a student in Mumbai — one of the rare young faces TOI met here.
The village’s elderly population has been the worst hit by Ghol’s second noticeable feature: inaccessibility. A single state transport bus covers the 80 kilometres between the village and Pune city, home to billion-dollar IT companies. But resident Yashwant Tukaram Nimbalkar says the bus has been of little consequence. “It leaves for Pune at 6am. But we can’t rely on it for return journeys. It leaves from Swargate in Pune at 6pm and is supposed to reach Ghol by 9pm. Several times, the bus has reached the village well past midnight. All our requests to the Swargate depot — to ensure a schedule — seem to have fallen on deaf ears.”
古尔村的第二个显著特征是:交通不便，村子里的老年人受到的影响最大。只有一辆邦际巴士，穿行80公里，从该村庄通往普纳市。但是当地居民Yashwant Tukaram Nimbalkar说，这辆巴士没起什么作用。“早上6点开往普纳，但回程却不准时。下午6点从普纳的斯?#25351;?#29305;出发，预计在晚上9点才能到达古尔村。好几次，都在午夜过后很久才到达村?#21360;?#25105;们向Swargate终点站提出的要求只有一个——确保准点——但他们置若罔闻。”
Many say a mere 12km of additional road — from Ghol to Mangaon Taluka in neighbouring Raigad district — could help. “A road exists from Panshet to our village. If this stretch is extended into Raigad district by 12km, we will be able to reach the Panvel-Goa highway. We made an appeal for this link 13 years ago. But there has been no movement so far,” says 60-yearold Govind Hari Padwal. So, much of commute for Ghol is still on foot. “But we have been walking all our lives,” says Polekar. “Earlier, there were no roads at all. We would walk for about 20km to reach a boat provided by the zilla parishad, which would take us to Panshet.
许多人表示，仅增加12公里的公路——从古尔村到邻近的莱加德地区的曼冈塔鲁卡——就可能有所帮助。“从潘歇特到我们村有一条公路。如果这段路向莱加德区延伸12公里，我们以后就能走潘维尔-果阿公路。60岁的Govind Hari Padwal称：“13年前，我们请求延伸这条公路。但是到目前为止还没有任何行动。因此，许多古尔村人仍是步行出行。我们一辈子都是步行出行。早些时候，根本没有路。我们步行约20公里，到zilla parishad坐船，这艘船将把我们带到潘歇特。”
The only school in the region, which now acts as the polling booth, shut down five years ago. Residents said that with the younger population migrating in search of better opportunities, there were no young children left to educate.
Meanwhile, women say they still use firewood to cook food in the absence of LPG cylinders. Ratnabai Sopan Polekar, 65, told TOI, “I don’t know how to get an LPG connection and even those who did get one are now struggling with paperwork.”
In several parts of the country, villages are boycotting elections over lack of basic amenities. But not Ghol. Voting here is like faith or a deep, everlasting ritual.
Residents here said they were looking forward to casting their ballot. As always. “Voting is our constitutional right, so we will vote. We hope that this time the winning candidate will bring change to our village,” Govind Hari Padwal, 60, smiled.
这里的居民说，他们一如既往地期待投票。60岁的Govind Hari Padwal笑着说到：“投票是宪法赋予我们的权利，所以我们会投票。我们希望这?#20301;?#32988;的候选人能给我们的村庄带来改变。”
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.5763157.com/47457.html 译者：Jessica.Wu
santosh sreepada • 4 hours ago
Mr Ambedkar thought right to vote will change the fate of people.. but in reality it ruined this country..people vote the same party or person despite doing nothing that too near 100% turnout.. what a foolishness..
Anonymous • bangalore • 3 hours ago
They keep voting for 70 years with no outcome ...
MS Bigo • 4 hours ago
Seriously appreciate the Enthusiasm of these senior citizens and their Childrens even if uneducated.
But what is shocking here, that even after repeated failed promises of Sharad Pawar and Corrupt Family...they voted for NCP again and again and that is in a way Misusing the vote without understanding the power of Voting.
PinkyMS Bigo • Location • 3 hours ago
it is not enthusiasm but stupidity !!
Naresh KumarMS Bigo • 3 hours ago
You are still not getting.. this is NOT democracy.. its feudalism and that too corrupt the sarpanch is corrupt so he is making them to vote for his party who pays him.. First police has to arrest sarpanch for this unconstitutional behavior and ruining adult franchise / secret ballot
Parameshwaran Ganeshan abhi • Mumbai • 3 hours ago
being the 6th largest economy in the world.... our villages have remained the backbone of this economy.... We need to find a way out
Radhakrishna Thommandra • Bangalore • 2 hours ago
Wonder how the people are wasting their votes by voting for the most corrupt person and corrupt family of Sharad Pawar
Pankaj Uke • Mumbai • 2 hours ago
The benefit of keeping these folks illiterate and ignorant...the policy of Cong and its offshoots works well...
Pradeep • 2 hours ago
This is sad and it must not be allowed to happen this way. Then how can one call it as a free and fair election?
Salman Kazi • 2 hours ago
I was thinking about the sarpanch who advise the villagers to vote for a particular party / person.... How much he might be getting for doing this.......
Ajay Kapoor • 2 hours ago
good to hear 100 percent voting but whole village giving vote to same party even after devoid of amenities is questionable
Ravi K Garg • Bangalore • 3 hours ago
wondering if this village has electricity!
Naresh KumarRavi K Garg • 3 hours ago
Modi declared whole India is electrified..
fek credittakerBijoy Nair • India • 3 hours ago
Understood you guys never accept any remark or criticism on modi
Santimay Basu • New Delhi • 4 hours ago
Even after 70 years of independence, light has not reached this place.
Shekar • India • 1 hour ago
This is Sharad Pawar''s development agenda. His personal wealth has increased many folds, but the villagers are kept high and dry to keep himself flying high
Dhyan Chand G • Kyu Bataun ? • 2 hours ago
Although I appreciate their commitment they have been committing the same mistake since decades, then what''s the point of near 100 percent voting?
When someone does a mistake again and again, it''s no more a mistake but choice and they haven''t learned anything from they past mistakes. It''s nothing more than ''herd mentality''!!
vidyad madhusudan • 3 hours ago
What does the sarpanch choose? They have been voting for the same family for 35 years! The heading is so misleading.
Naresh Kumarvidyad madhusudan • 2 hours ago
This is unconstitutional and not democracy.. the sarpanch has to be arrested right now
William India • MANGALORE • 4 hours ago
SHARAD POWERS SUPREMACY DEFINETLY REMAINS IN THIS CONSTITUENCY...
Desh Premi • 5 mins ago
Educate Sarpanch why Modi should be voted to power. They will get Road, LPG, Toilets, Health insurance cards. Otherwise they will get only lollipops
Jay CHOUDHURY • 34 mins ago
This is not democracy , in earlier days a sarpanch / elderly used to decide for the whole village .
Tatsuki Amaguchi • 1 hour ago
Priority is Free WIFI
baru • 1 hour ago
Everyone give vote same person that not fair
Vijan Kumar • 2 hours ago
Give education to this village people
Ashish Malakar • 2 hours ago
That is the congress way of winning election