By and large, Mumbaikars, except those who live in the slums, have lost the right to express displeasure on TV shows, Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else, over issues of governance. Their many candle-light vigils and protest marches can henceforth be conveniently labelled hollow. If at all they have gripes about the government, about civic administration, they are better advised to keep the same to themselves. By staying away from polling booths, they just abdicated their right to criticise any government agency or institution. And the middles class - the ones with the most number of complaints and even more angst - are the ones who refused to walk to the poll booths and exercise their franchise. The poor, on the other hand, are more dutiful as citizens in a democracy notwithstanding the fact that they are the most disenfranchised in the society. Walk through any slum in Mumbai on a voting day you cannot miss the buzz in the area, the vibrancy and the palpable excitement around voting. Mumbai has consistently lagged behind the rest of the country in voting averages. It almost as if, when the polls are on, the city enjoys the roll of a spectator. In 2009, Mumbai saw just 41 percent voter turn-out. This time, till 3pm,Mumbai registered just 35 percent voter turn-out. Take a printout of Mumbai's map from Google Maps. Compare the city's six parliamentary seats. Therewouldn't be a single constituency without its share of slum population. Further you go from South Mumbai towards the north, larger the slum segment becomes.
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