Would our Hindu leaders now question the use of computers where one click by a traitor can add or take away two zeros at the end of a massive number?
To use computers at the highest level, they had to be introduced at the lowest level.
To MUSLIMS (who destroyed civilisations across the globe and occupy Lahore), and to the CATHOLICS (who finished off Latin America), everything is fair in war.
On the other hand we Hindus are always at peace. HENCE UNFIT TO HOLD OR DOMINATE TERRITORY.
The date of a long-awaited election approaches. Numerous opinion polls and exit polls are held over a period of several weeks. To a very consistent degree, the ruling party is on the verge of majority. Expectedly, there are fluctuations and deviations one way or another from this figure - expectedly because the opinion poll figures are based on relatively small samples, whereas the total population (of about one billion) has considerable variations of opinion from place to place. Indeed, the margin of error for each of these opinion polls may be very high, so no one of them can really be trusted. However, the polls taken together have a much smaller margin of error, and the agreement between them seems to have just the right kind of slight variation that would be anticipated on statistical grounds. The averaged results can perhaps now be trusted. Moreover, a small proportion of previously undecided people may well be finally biased to cast their votes to the ruling party.
Polling day arrives, and passes. The votes are counted, and the result is a complete surprise to almost everyone - especially to the opinion poll organisations who had devoted so much of their energies and expertise. The opponents of the ruling party come to power, although, with a very marginal majority. A large number of voters are stunned - even horrified. Others, even though completely surprised, are delighted. Yet the result is false. How has this been achieved, and who is responsible?
It might be that the all the members of the opponents of the ruling party are completely ignorant of what has happened. They need not be the ones directly responsible, though they are the beneficiaries. There are others behind the scenes who had feared for their very existence if the ruling party comes back to power. They are part of an organisation more trusted by the opponents of the ruling party than by the ruling party. Though the organisation is legal, much of their actual activity is not. Perhaps the members of the organisation have a genuine (but misguided) fear that the ruling party is communal and will destroy the country by communal riots. Amongst the members of the organisation are experts - experts of extraordinary skill - at the construction of computer viruses!
For such viruses to be effective in an election, it is necessary that there should be some stage in the vote-counting that is unchecked by humans, either by hand or by hand calculator. (A virus can infect only a generally programmable computer.) The contents of the individual electronic voting machines can't be wrong as they don't use software programs instead they use hardware chips with very reliable electronic circuits. But the results of these counts must be added. How much more efficient, accurate, and up to date it is to do this adding on a computer - than by hand or by hand calculator! Surely there is no scope for error. For exactly the same result is obtained no matter whose computer is used to perform the sum. The members of the ruling party get just the same results as do those of the opponents, or of any of the other interested parties, or of any neutral observer. Perhaps they all use different makes or models of computer systems, but this is of no real consequence. The experts in our organisation will know these different systems, and have designed a separate virus for each. Though the construction of each of these different viruses will differ slightly, so that each is specific to each separate system, their results will be identical, and an agreement from machine to machine convinces even the most suspicious of sceptics.
Though agreement between the machines is exact, the figures are uniformly wrong. They have been cleverly concocted according to some precise formula, depending to some extent on the actual votes cast, so as to give the opponents of the ruling party slightly less than the majority they need - so that ruling party will not be very much suspicious; and though credulity may be a little strained, the result seemingly must be accepted.
The situation that is described thus far in this tale is hypothetical, and there is no kind of fraud of the nature described above has taken place. The opinion polls and exit polls results are indeed false. Above all, they are merely guesses of a sort, are they not? Only the true vote will express the actual voice of the people, and this will be obtained from the actual voting figures on polling day.
Although the inspiration for the story actually arose from our recent Election-2004, I must strongly emphasise that the official system of vote-counting that is adopted in india does not allow for this kind of fraud. All counting stages are done by hand. Whilst it may seem that this is an outdated and inefficient method, it is important to retain it.
In fact, on the positive side, with a computer-controlled system, the voting information could be instantly analysed, so that the result could be known immediately after all the polls are closed. However, as the above tale shows, one would have to be extremely wary of such a system.
It is not necessarily just in elections that one should be wary; the sabotaging of a rival's company's accounts, for example, would be another possibility where a 'computer-virus' technique might be employed. There are many other ways in which one could envisage that carefully constructed insidious computer viruses could be put to devastating use. I hope that this tale brings home the continued necessity of the manifest human overriding of the apparent, and apparently reliable, authority of computers. It is not just that computers do not understand anything (Please refer to the earlier article titled "Are Artificial Intelligence Devices Really Intelligent?"), but they are extremely prone to manipulation by those few who do understand the detailed ways in which they are specifically programmed. This is the cheapness of the mindless (unconcious) computers!