Millennium Post

Scrap election forecasting

Scrap election forecasting
The advantage of modern forecasting system is that we know the outcome even before the actual event takes place. Take weather forecast as an example. Meteorology departments predict weather with reasonable accuracy now a days. The same applies for election result forecasting. We are now reasonably certain of what will be the shape of India’s Lok Sabha on 16 May 2014. For us, the gullible lot, thriving on the staple diet doled out by media, the results were crystal clear till we came to know how such forecasts are manipulated. We wondered why this simple idea did not occur to us earlier. It is as simple as those who need to sell umbrellas rigging a weather forecast and predicting rain and thundershower on a bright summer day. We will rush to buy umbrellas and carry one.  It rains or not the cash boxes of the umbrella manufacturers will overflow. All they have to do is share the additional profit with those who forecast the weather. The same applies for election forecasting – at least given the rule of market, it should.
 Wiser after the sting operation on opinion poll-wallas we do not trust any of those. Yes including the most recent one from a news channel, which was expected to offer less than 200 seats to Narendra Modi thus making happy the so-called 160 club in Delhi. A low figure for BJP keeps out the ‘Hitler Modi’ from Number Seven Race Course. Since we do not trust any poll prediction we are not much swayed by this ‘largest’ opinion poll at all.
 But brought up on the staple diet of soothsaying can we afford not to have some guiding prediction in our daily discourse on politics? We need to know who stands to benefit from Jupiter’s transit or in whose horoscope rests favourable Mars. In the political horoscope, opinion poll-wallas are the soothsayers. Now that we have a reasonable doubt in their ‘honesty’ we decided to look for more credible predictions. Since the challenger Narendra Modi talks only economic figures, that too from Gujarat occasionally comparing the same with those of China we remain as much in the dark as can be. In any case we have been told that Modi’s figures are wrong – a result of his thumping of an improbable 56-inch chest. We had to look for credible soothsaying.
 It came over the end of the week, thanks to trustworthy Arvind Kejriwal and a transparent Rahul Gandhi. We now have a base estimate of election 2014. Congress tally is likely to be in the vicinity of 200 with the newcomer Aam Aadmi Party scoring a maiden century. If the recent experience in the NCT Delhi is of any guidance we may predict a Congress-AAP coalition government in 2014. There will be no haggling over the post of Prime Minister. Since Rahul Gandhi prefers to take a back seat, occasionally surfacing to tear some papers, Arvind Kejriwal is certain to occupy the no 7, Race Course.
 We are much relieved. This saves us, the Aam Aadmi, from a potential Hitler who, we are told, will grab our land and hand it over to Mukesh Ambani. How much land does Mukesh Ambani need? If media reports are to be believed he has already occupied the sky in Mumbai and the sea in the East-coast of India. We will like to see instead some larger space allotted to say Arvind Kejriwal. The small three-bedroom apartment and two servant quarters at Tilak Lane is indeed small if we, the Aam Aadmi, are to be received there for a janata durbar. The Race Course Road will suit all of us. This will be better than handing over the PM’s residence to Mukesh Ambani who owns the largest residential property in the world.
 Accommodation aside, the Congress-AAP coalition is a win-win for all. Congress has given us all sorts of rights – right to information, right to food, right to gas just to name a few. The only right, which the party allowed but did not find much favour for is the right to embezzle. But this is a minor aberration that came through oversight. When the government was busy opening up all sorts of rights, this right to swindle the exchequer crept in as part of the bunch. But we now have AAP to plug such oversights.
 Take the other benefits of such a coalition. Arvind Kejriwal sometimes turns sensitive to unwarranted news reports, quite predictable for a man responsible to sweep corruption from every nook and cranny of this huge nation. Certain TV anchors went overboard in finding fault with the corruption crusader. Even we, the Aam Aadmi, felt hurt at such biased views of these channels and in protest promptly pressed the remote to more sensible ones. That was our routine Aaj Tak (till today), when Arvind Kejriwal came out with his warning. After Congress-AAP coalition takes over the reins of the country, such media will be put behind bars. Since Kejriwal is new to politics he has no idea how the same can be done without such threats. A government has many departments – CBI, ED, Income Tax, to name just a few. They can all work in support of the liberty and prosperity of Aam Aadmi tethering the biased media. In a Congress-AAP coalition this expertise may come from the older party. In sum we have decided now to junk all opinion polls. We, the Aam Aadmi, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a rightful, secular, corruption free, corrupt media free, debate free, riotous Republic and to secure all its Aam Aadmi liberty of thought, expression (through twitter), faith (only for Aam Aadmi), equality of status and of opportunity to sting, and dharna, in election 2014 do hereby give ourselves the right to vote Congress and/or AAP.
 We ardently hope that the TRP hunters will accept their defeat and stop feeding us the common man’s diet of opinion polls before an election.
Sugato Hazra

Sugato Hazra

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