PLEASE VOTE AND VOTE WISELY IN THE COMING ELECTIONS
Welcome to what is believed to be the biggest election ever: both in terms of size and historic value, of the largest democracy in the world. Even if you are the most anti-social and politically-indifferent person of the country, you must have still heard of/seen the “Abki baar Modi sarkar” slogans all over the place, the hype surrounding the AAP leader, Arvind Kejriwal and the Congress ka “haath” (that can be interpreted as “Talk to the hand” post elections) among the other USPs of the 2014 elections. The purpose of this write-up is not to campaign for any of these (or any other) political party. My biases are better left to me and my vote. Instead, I am writing this to make a humble plea to as many citizens as this verbose article can make it to, to use that one potent weapon that you’ve been endowed with by the writers of this Constitution: Universal adult suffrage or simply put, the right to vote, and more importantly, to use it wisely.
Were you miffed by the Commonwealth Games’ poor management that tainted the already poor organizational image of the country? Did you too shed a tear for the innocent girl in Delhi, who was, for no fault of her own, disgraced by some illiterate bunch of losers (December,2012) ? The sorry state of affairs can also be highlighted by figures of poverty, illiteracy etc. India was recently ranked 134th out of 189 countries in the latest ‘ease of doing business’ list. Bureaucracy, red tape everywhere. Sigh ! So who do you think should be held responsible for all this ? Before we get a unanimous answer innocently saying “government”, let’s remember the famous definition of democracy given by American President, Abraham Lincoln which describes democracy as the government of the people, by the people and for the people. So the “people” (repeated thrice in the line) are three times as responsible for the government’s shortcomings as the government itself. But do we realize that ? Not really. Had each one of us been careful enough in our choices and had we casted our votes based on merit and merit only (not based on caste or even worse, in return for something), we would have probably not been as helpless as we had been rendered by the previous government.
But there is a slight problem with the Indian mentality. We choose to enjoy that one day of holiday declared on the voting day instead of fulfilling our duty. If at all, we cast votes for parties without proper information about the candidates and their profiles. Many of us are not even aware of the candidates contesting in our regions. This indifference stems mainly from our loss of faith in this entire system and that is not entirely our fault. Years of seeing corruption-ridden political environment would probably do that to anybody. But we need to realize that we are the only ones who can turn things around for ourselves. And if we ourselves choose to ignore our own plight and carry on the “Chal raha hai, to chalne do” attitude, things will never change.
We have with us, today, all the information that a voter needs about the political parties to make an informed decision. Manifestos of various parties, their past record, their candidates (and the candidates’ profiles), statements and promises made, are all available online. Even rallies can be seen through webinars. Why not use this treasure, devote some time to research and cast that one vote that we are expected to, in five years ? Remember the plusses of a good government include : growing economy, effective judicial system, controlled inflation, effective policy making and implementation etc—things that will have a direct bearing on us. Sounds prudent to spare some time now ?
With the first phase of polling having already begun while I write this, the stage is all set and the show will begin soon. The politicos and their parties have done their job (campaigning, rallying), but have you?