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The banyan tree

Friday, April 18, 2014

Vote or Not ?

The insolent outcaste
YES I DARE TO SAY IT, amidst all that motivating and  influential  "you should exercise your right to vote" election  motto. Yes I know......  it is a taboo to say that 'I don't want to vote' in a country where election is more of a trend. People will look down on you, you will be an outcast  in world's largest democracy. Everyone knows that they should vote, coz it is their duty, it is how common people shows the' governing system', who is in control? Or at least  thats what they want us to think.

If you ask any single one of the voters 'why you really voted ?' except that, it is the duty to vote. How many would you think have real answer for that question? How many of the political parties have manifestos and even if parties publish their manifestos, how many of us read the manifestos ? And  how many among the read ask the question of, how the parties going to make the promises happen in real time?
 Admit it , we vote for the sake of voting. We vote so that we can update the status on Facebook  and twitter  that we voted. No one cares. BJP(Mr. Modi) says they will change India for better, he has a long list of dreams in his manifesto , education, energy, job among some of them. Yet no explaining of how to attain that, particularly in this current high inflation economical state of our country. Congress still clinging on their lies that they will govern India prosperous  using their blind neo-liberal policies (which exactly is being followed by BJP also)whose effect we were witnessing for the past years. And the rest of regional parties focus only on number of ministership   they can bag, rest of the people can go to hell. No ideologies, no principles, no vision, nothing........... future is blank . Still they insist everybody have to vote becoz only you have the power to turn the wheel of democracy. We fools vote, thinking that we have choices. Of course we have many parties, but are they any different in their policies?  ideologies ? They are all indifferent to the common man, his problems. Corporate strikes deal with every party  so that they get what they need irrespective of which government, and sponsor election expenses. They  always want a party with full clear majority in parliament since a hung will result in against their interests.

Did anybody hear politicians or parties prioritising serious issues like 'Maoist insurgency'? how to minimise its casualties? what can be done to prevent the spreading? Other than trying to crush the revolt iron-handedly, what good preventive measures, like provision for education,  jobs, roads, good policing etc should be taken?. Then another age old issue that demand our interest is  'Kashmir'. Its much more than our country's prestigious issue. There are some serious human rights violations occurring out there. We have to take a different perspective of looking at it from people of  Kashmir's  angle. What they want Indian govt to do for them instead of what we think they want us to do for them. I think listening would cut short more problems than we actually think. The condition is more or less same with the whole of AFSPA infected North-Eastern India. The GDP share allotted for our 'education' and 'defence' should undergo  an immediate overhauling. Pathetic conditions of our dalits(backward castes and tribes) and out of control chauvinistic khap panchayats. Poor living conditions of migrant daily wages labourers to the cities need to be fixed on an emergency basis. The list goes on and all political parties talk about is  colourful, manipulated GDP statistics. They babble about the investment they would attract thus increasing our economies GDP. But what about the buying power of people? How to increase that? For that you need to give jobs, not just labour jobs but proper jobs. For that to happen first you need to give education. Its all linked, like a long chain, one thing automatically leads to other.

Representation of People Act
According to Section 79(d) of the(Representation of People Act) RP Act “electoral right” means the right of a person to stand or not to stand as, or to withdraw or not to withdraw from being, a candidate, or to vote or refrain from voting at an election."

Voting Myths
People have a very wrong assumption that if you don't  vote, you don't have the right to have a say in matters relating country and government. That is utterly false, as an Indian citizen we all pay taxes for the purpose of nation building. We, the citizens of India, sustain the Indian government through our tax money. As far as voting is concerned, you could say it is an extension of your right to express yourself freely. In a democracy voting is not everything. Here everyone has the right to have a decent life without poverty. Legal equality and  personal freedom  curtailed by constitutional constraints are the bedrock of every democracy. In India we have representative democracy, where 'people of India' are politically represented by elective representatives. These representatives are supposed to work for peoples' interests. And if you feel that you are not being represented properly and truthfully, you have every right to protest in a democratic way. People should actively participate in political process . But today the trend is that people vote at the elections, thats the only participation and then goes background giving politicians license to run amok.

We the people have the sovereign power in a democracy. We don't need to take what politicians throw at us. We must not go for personalities and big names, as democracy is not  a one man show. It is not familial also. The only personality is collective personality and the only family is India.

As far as my decision is concerned I am a responsible citizen and I want each vote makes a difference. So I would only vote for someone who gives me a hope for the future. As a responsible citizen I pay my taxes and do my duties and as a responsible, intelligent voter I criticise(and have the right to) the elected government for their policies and ideologies, by abstaining from voting. And it did hurt me a lot when I happened to learn that a person like" Irom Sharmila" was not allowed to vote in our so called hyped democracy. If we are to buy a smart phone or a tablet, we would accept nothing short of the configuration we asked for. The same should be the attitude with voting. We must not accept anything short of  what we deserve. We must not compromise with our country's future.