First of all, congratulations to your grandparents who were born here or came to India – the world’s largest democracy (because the world had to be a tough battlefield for South Asians smh).
But what is Democracy? The word comes from the Greek word ‘Demos,’ which means people, and ‘Kratos,’ which means power. So it translates to power to the people.
Apart from the boring translation, the motto of a democratic nation is:
With great powers comes great responsibility
Who can vote in India?
Any citizen can access this great power, a.k.a right to vote in India, irrespective of class, creed or gender. You just have to be mentally sound and have a voter ID card. We keep on bickering about the changes we want, and we may show concern and empathy but forget about the great power vested in us.
But the real pickle is, how often do we exercise this power?
Do we exercise our right to vote responsibly?
Indians treat elections and the death of a distant family member in the same manner.- using both of them as an excuse to take a leave.
Voters in India don’t know whom to vote
With half-baked information flooded on social media, people are confused about a candidate’s calibre now more than ever. Since people aren’t very much aware of politics, the pressure of not clicking on NOTA can only be resolved by choosing a candidate that the herd chooses.
What does the herd do? It votes on the following perimeters-
Voters in India love gifts, so politicians use this good old method to garner votes. According to a report, since the announcement of the scheduling of the parliamentary election in 2019, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of goods and cash were seized across India (p.s.- it’s still growing). $44 million worth of alcohol was seized during the 2019 elections, and $122 million worth of cash was also seized.
The caste of the candidate has become such a huge deal for the commoners that the political parties carefully select candidates to bait a bigger vote bank. To get the support of certain sections of people, political parties create a sense of belongingness among them. It’s like a moth to the flame.
Religion has been plaguing Indian politics since the beginning (even before partition). Politicians always take advantage of this fragile setup by dividing and conquering the vote banks. The age-old धर्म – अस्त्र, sadly, still works- even though the very intellectual gen Z sees it coming every single time.
– MEDIA IMPERIALISM
While the impact of social media on people’s minds and the ethics they hold for civic action is still debatable, we can’t help but witness how the masses can be systematically manipulated using the right words by the right channels at the right time. The functioning of democracy is on the verge of a perceptional collapse, nonetheless.
Indians MUST care about the electoral system
What makes elections in India democratic? A generic answer would be the electoral system. n honest answer would be a bank of confused voters. We have been celebrating the world’s largest festival of democracy since 1951, but we don’t know how to celebrate it. Voting rights in India should be treated like cooking- taught as a skill- not as an obligation.
Want to keep the spirit of democracy alive?
Here’s what you MUST do…
Be fussy with whom you vote
We should vote based on the following parameters:
– Development did for 6 months leading up to the election.
– After reading the party’s manifesto.
– Economic reforms that the party has promised.
– What has the candidate achieved or done for the people?
– The way in which the candidate receives people’s personal queries.
The solution a party and its representative have for the raised issues.
Read More: Fueling People To Change The World
It’s your voter ID card- not your driving license
Receiving a driving licence without knowing how to drive- just because the person turned 18 is absurd- so is the right to vote in India. A driving licence might permit you to drive a car, but it is your civic responsibility to learn how to drive for the sake of yourselves and other drivers on the road.
The voter ID card gives voters in India access to drive a $3.469 trillion economy and bestows you with one The biggest civic action. But the Indian voters’ condition is they either don’t know how to drive this $3.469 trillion economy or don’t want to drive it.
Let’s fix democracy. Let’s vote responsibly.