"A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user."
– Theodore Roosevelt
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In democracy, vote is the rifle. Vote is the power. Vote is the panacea to ills of the society. Vote is the instrument to bring about the desired changes in one’s surroundings, society and country.
The Indian democracy has two challenges.
- Making everyone vote.
- Voting for the principled and righteous.
We need to delve upon both subjects differently at times and in a semblance sometimes.
If we carefully study the polling patterns and percentiles, it is apparent that the voting percentage is very high (over 75%) in local body elections, medium in the assembly polls (60-65%) and low in Lok Sabha polls (50-55% average).
Unlike earlier years where voters had to walk an extra mile to the booths, today most booths are close-by. Besides, the number of booths has also increased manifold making it ‘no queue or no wait’ booths. There’s also EVM in place of paper booths which makes the process easier. Voters’ slips are also door-delivered by supporters of various parties
Despite these many positives, why voters are not so enthused to vote?
One reason could be the voters’ apathy and allergy towards politicians, who have pulled down the societal standards and values to the point of no-return. Another could be inaction from the voters’ side, with ‘chalega attitude’ and ‘what-difference-my-one-vote-is-going-to-make’ approach.
Let’s not forget. A ballot is like a bullet. We also say in Kannada, ‘ hani hani koodidre halla’ which means ‘every drop makes an ocean’. So, every ballot makes a constituency, every constituency makes a district and a state and a country.
Now, it’s time not to point a finger at someone and the system. It’s time to perform our duty and fulfill our commitment towards the country and the constitution. Let’s shed our lethargy, inaction and passing the buck approach. Let’s exercise our franchise. And most importantly, let’s vote for the principled and service-minded.
Having said that, you need to vote the principled and the righteous, then the question that follows is, how do we identify them? And should one give importance to the candidate or the party.
Answer to both these is here: First, list out all the candidates. Take some time out and study each one of them and assess their pluses and minuses. You should understand that the most important imperative you need to look out in the candidates is the service-mindedness and genuine social concern. Add it to the vision for the constituency and the fighting ability to make that vision for the constituency a reality.
When it comes to the choice between the right party and the right candidate, it is important to give more weight to the right candidate. It is so because, any right party should give ticket only to the right candidate. However good the party’s vision is, its flagbearer at the local level is the candidate. Hence, if a wrong candidate is given the ticket by a good party or the party you adore, ruthlessly you need to reject that party’s candidate.
Another piece of advice. First, the voter should be honest and should not have vested interests or prejudices like caste, language, religion or neighbourhood etc. And also should not get lured with any sort of ‘offerings’ by the candidates.
The formula to select the best candidate in the order of priority is:
- Best candidate+best party.
- Best candidate irrespective of the party.
In case you find no candidate good, you will have to be more cautious. Assess all of them carefully. And select the lesser evil. Select the one ‘if he doesn’t do good, no problem, at least he should not do anything bad’
Let’s get out of our closets and cast out vote in this election. Thus, let’s bring about the change we wish to see in the system. This is how we can individually and collectively make HAMARA BHARAT MAHAAN.⊕