Friday, September 11, 2015




If you were old enough like me, you would have known this. During our childhood and adolescence, employees of Pachayaths and Municipalities used to  visit each house and enquire about the prevalence of communicable diseases in each household. Apparently, the aim was to eradicate some chronic ailments. The main target was children and toddlers. Like the "vote banks" now, they were "bacteria banks", "virus banks" etc., then.

It used to be like this.

"Does anyone in your house suffer from fever, cough, cold, malaria, typhoid, smallpox, polio or any other disease?"

"Nai! No!"

Some used to tell "Yes" and they used to say "Oh!" and go! Do not ask where the money allocated to the people who said "Yes" went. It is called "HAWALA BAAZ"

With the effort by WHO and our own governments, chronic ailments like Polio, Smallpox were eradicated.

Latest was Dengue, H1A1 etc., So, at least in Mumbai, the health workers are coming and enquiring about these symptoms.

The other day, a lady rang the bell and my wife opened the door. I was typing a blog (as I do  nothing more, other than cooking the day's breakfast, lunch and dinner since our cook has been absent for long now, as there are two Dengue cases in her household).

I was hearing while typing or I was typing while hearing, whichever you take it depending on whether you are rightist or leftist. If you are center of right you can ignore too.

The conversation proceeded like this. Habitually, employees making surveys talk fast as they have targets.

आप के घर मे किसी को सर्दी, खाँसी, बुखार, आँखों मे लाल रंग, सर दर्द, पेट दर्द, पीट दर्द हैं क्या! जल्दी बोल दीजिए! ( Is anyone suffering from cold, cough, fever, red eyes, stomach pain, back pain etc.,? Say fast!)

My wife is very poor in Hindi and does not take any risk with anything. She plays cool and rests everything on me. That day, my daughter-in-law was still getting ready to go to office.

She said " थैरो ! " (Wait)  and went to tell my daughter-in-law. Those living in posh apartments do not reveal cough, cold etc., to government departments. They fear they will take blood by an unsterilised injection whereby we certainly get infections. So, my daughter in law told her in Marathi

"नाइ! अह्मी सर्वो ठीक आहोत!" ("No! We are all well!!" My grandson was having cough, cold and fever, a bacterial infection)

She moved on! Like this she and others like her would have collected information from lakhs of households and submitted the same to the Government. (We blame government for everything but we do not give right information, as we disbelieve them).

Basing on this, government releases information and says infections are not wide-spread and everything is under control and, we, who gave wrong information, go to SM and bombard the government for not being sensitive to the suffering of people.

Once, Akbar asked his courtiers, "Can anyone tell the number of stars in the sky?"

All kept quiet, but Birbal said, "There are 9,98,752 stars."

Akbar asked, "What if there are less?"

"They might have migrated to the neighboring kingdom for holidaying" replied Birbal  without winking.

Akbar was enjoying. "What if there are more?" he taunted.

"Stars migrated to our kingdom for looking at the great ruler Akbar's Kingdom!" Birbal replied.


Some wise man said, "Statistics are like mini skirts, they hide more than they reveal"

During Indira Gandhi's time there were many schemes under which small loans were being distributed to the suffering Congress cadres. Once, when I was working in Warngal, the branch manager of a rural branch Neerkulla, told me that he financed 135 paan beeda shops in his village under five schemes. I asked whether there were 135 paan chewing people in the village. Basing on this data government used to roll out statistics in Parliament that so many crores of people were brought above poverty line and in 2014, according to Rahul, 67% of Indians were still under BPL. That is statistics.

Once, during Indira period, on MP asked how many farmers were financed by banks to buy milch animals that was coming under allied agricultural activities. The minister rolled out statistics. He raised a supplementary. "How many are still living?" Minister rolled out a figure. Then the MP said,

"If information given by you was right, by this time the whole Bay of Bengal would have been filled with milk instead of water and we need not have blamed Hindu Gods for not giving us the Milky Ocean. (He must have been from Communal and Capitalist BJP).

(For youngsters with little knowledge about how this was working an interesting but revealing statistics here. A farmer or a Congress farmer, who is now a former, used to take loan for ten cows/buffaloes. After six months, he used to produce a death certificate of one cow/buffalo and take a letter from bank to  Insurance Authorities and claim insurance. He used to take fresh loan from the bank. The insurance money was going to the other bank. He was taking loan to buy a new animal but was not purchasing it. According to the bank there were 11 buffalo loans in his name, whereas he had ten buffaloes. This guy used to repeat this n number of times and n number of people used to do this n number of times. So, if there were 2,25,98,999 loans with banks that the minister said were financed for "Garibi Hatao" there were really 1,12,354,372 buffaloes living.So, the joke by the MP)


Once, the present Governor of TN and the ex-CM of un-divided AP asked reporters, "What is Chicken Gunya? Where is it? Show me!", when reporters pestered him what the government did to tide over the problem. It was widely prevalent in Hyderabad and  the Fever Hospital (बीमारदवाखाना) was full and patients were accommodated in balconies and under trees. Rosaiah got Chicken Gunya next day and was rushed to NIIMS if I recall correctly. Reporters did not show it to him, but it presented itself. Congress has a knack of saying any number of zeroes on things they do not get single rupee from or add 1 to 9 before nine zeroes if it gives that much money. It is again statistics.


So, when the other day C-Voter rolled out pre-poll anaysis,giving a majority to Pariwar. I was bombarded with tweets whether they should read my blogs even now. One visiting Editor in TOI and an Editor of her own on line news paper ( first time I saw her name on my TL. So, these guys are seriously reading my analysis.I was humbled.) asked me, "So! Dear Astrologer! What is your prediction. Will Nitish repeat aKejriwal? ". I humbly replied that Nitish can not do for certain, but Lalu may do and asked her if Kejriwal would be happy about that. I told her that I did not predict but I analysed the macro issues and blessed her with a happy day with the liars, corrupt, convict etc., (This was unnecessary!)

Next day a B-voter rolled out another analysis saying NDA would get majority. None appeared on my TL to question my wisdom. I do not believe both!

So, before sleeping, I tweeted,

"Add all pre-poll survey results,deduct previous real results,multiply by 12, divide by 100, arrive @square root. Wait for actual results."

So, how do these Pre-Poll surveys work and  C-Voter says MGB will win and D-voter differs. What happens on the ground in villages and towns. The surveyors gl to meet a pre-determined number of voters from voters' list. They note the names, addresses, number of voters in the family etc., They note the caste also. They put the survey on auction.Highest bidder gets it. Surveyors from A to Z voter surveys throng villages.

This happens in a village. They knock on a door. A woman answers.

आप का नाम? What is your name? 

मंजुला यादव! Manjula Yadav.

आप का घर वाले का नाम? What is your husband's name?

शर्मिंदा होके वो कहती है, " कोइ औरत मर्द की नाम बोलती क्या? "

She feels shy and asks, "How can a Pativrata utter the name of her husband in front of strangers?"

ऐसा बोलके वो चिल्ल्ली! वोई, रामलाल, तूमे मिलने कोई आई है"

Saying this, she called loudly, " Oye! Ramlal! Some one came to meet you."

"मई ज़ड़ वोटर सर्वे देख रहा हूँ! पार्सू आके पूछे थे ना! मई तो
कभी सच नहीं बोला! कई चाईए पूछ! "

I am enjoying the Z- Voter Survey on TV. They came the other day to know to ask questions. In my life, I never told truth"

"सुने ना! बोल! "

"You heard no? Now, ask."

"आपके घर में कौन रहते?"

Who stays in your house?"

"और कौन, मे और वो! "

"Who else? Me and my husband."

"और क़िस्सी को वोट नही है? "

There are no other voters?"

"नाई! "


"क्या आप बी जे पी को वोट देते क्या? "

Will you vote for BJP?

"नई! "अंदर से सुना आए!

"No!" From inside a shout was heard. He shouted with pain as a mosquito bit him.

They note two BC votes for Pariwar.

This happens in many households. They leave. Evening all villagers collect under the banyan tree and exchange the news.

There is glee in all faces. An on -looker notes that these people exchanged houses for the day and in a BC house an OC stays, in a Muslim house a Hindu family stays. Next day, when F-Voter comes  for survey whole picture changes.

In the meantime, the A to Z voter surveys feed the figures in the computers and bang comes thr survey result. 10% shift in BC votes, 25% shift in OC votes etc. Each survey gives a different picture.

That is why I said there was a paradigm shift in voter thinking. But, when C Voter came out with an impossible "53% prefer Nitish as CM and 53% prefer a change of CM", I thought that somewhere something was wrong. As there was a paradigm shift in voter preference, there must have been a paradigm shift in the way people respond to surveys.

I thought, thought and thought and I found the answer at the end of the EVM. So, I am sharing my feelings with you.



                                  OM SHANTHI SHANTHI SHANTIHI