A Democracy of Unsubstantial Votes

The General Election in India, in every sense of the term, is a game. It is a game of money and power along with politics. With uncertainties prevailing everywhere and with terrorists taking all measures to disrupt the peace and security of the country, this year the election was seen as a movement for drastic changes.

Every political party as well as the media was of the idea that, with the Mumbai attacks fresh in the mind, people in large number will participate in this years election. There was a mass outcry after the terror attacks on Mumbai. People in large numbers stepped outside of their secure lives at home and held the government responsible for the attacks. The news channels were fighting with each other over getting the maximum TRP’s by providing every possible detail, which were best avoided under such a situation. Celebrities were all over the places, putting forth their views and candlelight vigil became a random sight. So, the general election was thought to be the place where all these angry and disillusioned people will make use of their democratic right to give India a better future. The actual outcome showed a different picture. In Mumbai the voting percentage, surprisingly decreased by 3%. In the 2004 elections, the participation of the citizens of Mumbai was 47%. This year it was a mere 44%. On the whole, it was quite a dismal show throughout India after the first three rounds of voting.

Now my question lies, what happened to all the people who retorted the words “Enough is Enough”. Voting is your democratic right and is best when majority of the people exercise it. Whether you like politics or not, it is the base of any country. You can create a hullabaloo when a crisis situation occurs, but when you can do your share to stop such situations, you simply ignore it. Excuses galore for absenteeism in elections and one such is the weather and the heat wave. Here I want to put forth that my mother, who is at the wrong side of 60 with several health issues, was concerned how will she go out and vote in this extreme weather. I, being more concerned about her health, told her not to strain herself. In case of this extreme weather, it is better to avoid going out, at least at her age. But then what she told me can be an eye opener for a lot of people. For her it is more of a moral issue, when you have the right of voting why abstain from it? It’s only a matter of couple of hours of difficulties which afterwards gives you the pleasure of doing your bit for the country. How I wished the people across the length and breadth of the country shared similar feelings!

It is perfectly fine to come together and form protest marches, candlelight vigils. I am not against them. Everything said and done, it is also the citizens’ duty to act, as actions always speak louder than words. Voting is a system which you can make use of by exercising your democratic right to vote. So why not use the system to change the system?

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~ by haimanti on May 11, 2009.

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