Children too catch poll fever, play 'vote-vote game'
Kolkata: The children have trespassed into the domain of the adults but their parents do not mind, at least in this case.
As the lion's share of reports in media, particularly television, and discussions among people in public transport and at home revolves around the on-going Lok Sabha elections, children take note and improvise it in their own way. They have invented a new game — the "vote-vote game" — that they play in their pool car while going to or returning from school.
"Our parents say vote is very important. But we cannot vote till we grow up. So we are playing vote-vote game," said Samadrita, a 10-year-old girl who studies in class 5. She plays this new game with her friends in the pool car — Trisrota, Nabanita, Ayush, Vidissa, Soumili and others — who are students of two-three schools in the north eastern part of Kolkata. Asked to whom people vote, they said in unison: "Parties".
They do know names of parties. "Trinamool... BJP... Congress..," said Nabanita, a class 4 student. They came to know from their parents that someone becomes the prime minister after election. So, how is this vote-vote game?
"We divide ourselves into two parties and elect a prime minister. All of us has to listen to the prime minister," 7-year-old Soumili was serious.
Trisrota said they elect the prime minister by raising their hands and counting them. And in case of a tie, the "driver uncle" of the pool car is entitled to a casting vote. "Even I have to listen to the prime minister. I play the song the prime minister wants to listen to. The prime minister also gets the first share of tiffin," Prabir Haldar, 30, who drives a pool car, said with a smile.
Parents of these children said their wards get excited to inform them about the result of the game. "My son was very excited after returning from school the other day. He was elected the prime minister," said Shrabani Dutta, mother of Ayush, a class 3 student.
"He asked a lot of questions about elections and political parties. He even asked to which party I am going to vote," she said.
Psychologist Shreya Ghosh said children are by nature curious and they learn from their surroundings. "But parents must take care that the game remains as such. Children try to emulate what they see. They should not indulge in the ugly sides of elections like fights," she said.