Friday, January 7, 2011
Vote & Voting
In the entire world, it will be hard to find a democratic, secular country like India considering its huge population and wide spectrum of community peoples (mainly in terms of religion and caste). Its an absolute honour to be a part of this largest democratic country in the world. But the real question is how far the democratic principles and its horizons are explored and fully utilized by the indian people even in its root level, the so-called 'voting'.
Vote, an invaluable right of each and every citizen, forms the foundation of this whole concept of democracy which allow the participation of people directly in the governance of the country. The whole world admire the democratic philosophies in view of its merits that it owe to the people. But its really very hard to digest the level of importance given to this incredible 'right' and so the voting system in our country. The average voting percentage of India is near 60%, which utterly reflect the ignorance of indian people even though they are part of largest democratic country. Why is that so? What are the reasons behind this? How people are handled in this important issue? What can be done with it? I wish to share my opinion on this whole scenario.
It is widely believed that the prime reason for the poor voting percentage in a country is mainly because of the low literacy rate of people. Nearly 40% (may be higher too) of our people are not getting proper education and their knowledge become very narrowed to their surroundings and they turn alien to the happenings around them. The proper awareness on the significance of voting is not given to these peoples by either government or fellow knowledgable persons. To the surprise, the voting percentage of the educated people is also not complete in the other side. We can forgive the ignorant people accounting for their lack of knowledge and vision. But what to say about these so called educated and knowledgeable non-voters? These people, for their advantage and reasoning, put the blame on others saying all are fraud and no one, no party is good to vote. But the real fact behind this is that they are too thoughtless about their fundamental duty and sometimes they simply skip their right at the cost of their laziness. These peoples also allow the culprits to vote on behalf of them and thus contribute to dirty politics indirectly. It is mainly because of these unresponsible citizens, we miss the oppurtunity to realize the dream of much needed change by giving the chances for some real good party and good politicians. If we could bring these non-voters to vote, it will surely lead to a striking healthy change in political system.
In India, we can see how voting is influenced by many number of factors. I wish to share few examples that continue to happen in our country. The first major factor that influences the voting at present is MONEY. Particularly in few states like Tamilnadu, few parties like DMK have started a whole new brand of money politics. It is disgusting to know the ignorance of people to get the money and vote. It is the only time when people turn politician by bribing money for doing their own duty of voting. You know what these people speak of their loyalty to the person who gave them the money to vote. They fail to realize that the same candidate will bribe the money from them to get back it once they come to rule. They fail to realize the money that they get for one day turn them victim for the next five years or so. They fail to realize that by doing that they are losing their moral eligibility to question the governance in any way. They fail to realize that this is nothing less than the killing of self respect by giving away their own incredible right. Severe measures has to be taken on this regard at the earliest possible in maximum ways to stop this outrageous activity that is being spread by the politicians to literally buy the people using their greediness and ignorance. What is even more important is that people should start introspect themselves and come out of this dangerous plot they got involved into.
Among the other few factors, we can clearly see how a family head influences his entire family members to support for the party that he belongs or he favors. What I mean here is... compulsion of husband to his wife, compulsion of father to his son or daughter to vote for his party and leaders. In some families, even though the young generation think on their own and move ahead by making their own choice of which party to support.. all the time they are not encouraged to do that completely with full freedom... they are insisted and compelled by their father or mother to take up their party and its leaders. Youth are pushed backwards and thus kept away from thinking out of the box. This should change and parents should let their next generation to select their own political principle and party and leader. On the other hand, our country ladies never fails to show their loyalty to their husbands by voting to the person that he instructs her to support. Even if she favored any other party before marriage(that time, mostly father's party!!!!!!), she keep herself out of her own wish and opinion. This attitude should change among women so that they can independently think and vote for their right choice.
With the upcoming assembly elections at many of the places, What can be done with all these constraints that prevent people from voting and to be very specific, healthy voting? I share some of my views.
First and foremost, the percentage of voting has to be increased. The awareness of importance of voting should be spread among the all sectors of people... non-voters are in all areas... right from the villages to the urban city areas. People who are concerned about this vital problem can turn themselves as volunteers and can talk to their family, friends, relatives and surroundings regarding the importance of voting. Volunteers can eradicate the ignorance of the people by reaching the people with the ill-facts of getting money for vote. I also feel that the importance of voting and vote should be included in our education system from the schooling level itself.
The legal actions against the politicians for giving money for votes is not enough at all. In my view, the election commission and our judiciary system should come up with legal actions against the citizens who sell their vote for money.. because this can also be considered as bribe. The election commission can form a committee with high profile judges and other eligible persons to probe this matter seriously and come up with solutions on it.
As of now, election commission can also form many groups which go around each and every villages and all places to spread the importance of voting and also to convey the consequences of selling votes for money through drama, songs, plays, discussions, awareness meeting etc. All volunteer groups and organizations can also involve in this kind of activities within their level of scope.
Media in all forms.. daily newspapers, magazines, television channels, cinemas can contribute in this matter considering the public interest. Popular personalities can come forward to promote the importance of healthy voting.
As individuals, as pointed earlier, we can talk to our family, friends, relatives and surroundings. In addition, we can use the emails, online forums, social networks like facebook, orkut to reach out to the larger people to spread the awareness of voting.
Let us think and vote! Let us achieve 100% healthy voting!!!