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Vote ~ Should We Not or Should We, Actually

Category : Uncategorized

This is my old blog re-produced with minor changes

Once again a hullabaloo that makes me go at end of my wits, here comes the election again; crooks are on sale, criminal’s are in race to become representatives of state and country. The great election drama, where apart from development and well being of society everything is discussed, giving jobs to educated RAPE victims (instead of curtailing the crime), to abusing particular community and appease other section through quota and reservations, to call upon bollywood celebrity, who even lacks common general knowledge and all sort of antiques to get votes are in trend. Why can’t these so called highly intelligent politicians don’t understand we are not interested in nautanki’s, but what we want is development, security and sustained freedom for our country. And, this is the reason many of my fellow voters are moving away from polling booth to Bollywood movie theatre or mini vacations. The essence of voting and importance of voting is just missing the bus by these politicians. In their illusion that politics is won by playing vote bank politics, development is thrown into the DUST of anonymity, which, in fact is of prime importance for country’s youth. And hence “NO VOTING” is new mantra of young generation.


“NO VOTING”, is this new mantra, a solution to hard and serious question “Why should we vote?” along with “To whom to vote and for what?” these are real serious question asked by young voters to political fraternity across the board. Why should I vote for some pappu whose only achievement is getting birth in certain politically strong family (even that achievement is not achieved by his effort), Or why should I VOTE astute corrupt who is molesting my country’s progress for since decades, We have educated politicians who for few votes supports Khap panchayat and Honour killings Or should we vote for those candidates who spread lies and distributes money to poor voters OR elect a government who in disguise of secularism is winning elections and alliance on vote bank politics and dividing society OR some one who is so myopic in his vision to separate the community in process of branding oneself as protector of a particular community.

We have politicians disclosing their assets which run in crore, but their constituency or state is lagging behind development. We have a Aged – toddler who has been touring Biggest state of India for election and claiming to bring development in the state if his party is chosen by the people, but his own constituency within the same state is in real pathetic condition, he has not worked for betterment of his own people and has his MP fund stands nearly unused, no participation or representation of his constituency in parliament and still he and his party expects we neglect this performance and get his party to rule state. The party which he presents, have broken all records of arrogance and apathy towards people, subverted the institutions of the country and shamed INDIA at international level for many times. Nearly 20% of candidates willing to represent us have criminal records and again all parties are equal in hiring criminals for elections. And when i Say this, it is with the authority, Almost all parties, have been sullied with the corruption cases / fringe elements with charred character.

What is seen today in politics is only mudslinging on each other, trying to prove that one party is less corrupt and inefficient than other, in a nutshell what is coming straight on face is, that everyone is corrupt just that ratings are varying. So why should we vote for these politicians, when they are not concerned with my state / country’s development, they are not fit to represent me and also it is easier said than done to participate in political system and importantly what difference will 1 vote make when the system in itself is corrupt. Its like Hindi quote “mein is paapi ko saath nahi dena chahta, kyuki mein is paap ka bhagidaar nahi banna chahta”.

But even than my question still remains that despite all the above accusations and explanations, is the solution devised of “NO VOTING” a suitable and progressive one. Well to me “Avoiding is never a solution to any problem” and again by deciding not to vote we are actually voting for the same corrupt politician to get re-elected, whom we hate for his crimes and selfish and narrow attitude. Well I would just like to say, please “VOTE”, and vote not just for the change but also to initiate the process of change. When the voting percentage will increase, it will also increase the vigil and so the accountability of the politician. To make the matter simple, lets take a scenario of one hypothetical constituency, where voting percentage is very low, the candidates conducts a political arithmetic, and he finds that educated / middle class people are not going to vote, so why to flatter this class with development or any positives, as nothing matters to them and on the other hand he can buy out few percentage of vote by distributing money, liquor and sarees. Hence the politician is only interested in making money by hook or crook to distribute among poor to collect votes and will not look after development at all, as development may drive away his vote bank and also create hurdle in his money making business. Also the politician will not work for the development for those from whom he purchased the votes, as by having development these voters will join in the educated / middle class there by reduction in his vote margin, and hence development is eloped from his constituency. When every one votes, the vigil increases and politician is accountable to more people and also he cannot purchase all the votes hence he has to give back to society by way of development work to get re-elected.

It is completely agreed that by voting this time it is difficult to change the system or get the development in process, but to initiate the development, just vote even if it means to select a lesser criminal of the options but choose one and vote. Yes, we should vote the best and honest person but if there are no honest candidates as an option, then we should go for a politician with lesser criminal record as only by increased voting we can fit in the fear of incumbency in politician for future election and he will have to start working or else another politician will get chance. Nearly three election with sustained high percentage of voting is required to clear the nonsense of vote bank politics, corruption and polarization of votes

It’s only in our hand to clean our present mess for beautiful future. As said “Always fight for yourself, as no one will fight for you” and that includes even your so called political representative. We have to stop being afraid and also refrain from passing the responsibility of choosing future for ourselves and our future generations. It looks so very easy to comment on a stupid politician’s speech or act, it becomes a talk over tea and debate session in office, but then what are WE doing apart from debate, are we putting these debates in practice by stopping that particular candidate to get re-elected? We plan out time to buy beers and sports lounge tickets in advance as voting day is dry day and holiday so that we can enjoy this holiday, however important day it is. We plan out vacations and watch cricket matches instead of selecting someone to govern us. Also because it is difficult for every one of us to get into system of politics, So VOTE TO INITIATE THE CHANGE, IF CHANGE is not seen right away.

What we are voting is not just for a candidate of constituency but we are voting for “HOPE”, a hope that if not today, may be our tomorrow will be better and with more satisfying feeling that I had a part / role to play in deciding what is right for my country. GUESS WHAT, THIS SATISFACTORY FEELING OF AN ATTEMPT TO SAVE OUR COUNTRY CAN BE AVAILED EVEN BY YOU AT A SMALL PRICE OF JUST ONE VOTE IN EVERY ELECTION WITH NO ADDITIONAL OR HIDDEN COST.


I can recollect a simple nursery story, which tells that a mouse ran over the body of sleeping lion. Well to me the moral of the story is “EVEN a mouse can harass and run over an unaware and sleeping lion”. So even if voters are the most important in democracy but if they are sleeping, then these crooks / pappu can take us for a big ride.

17 thoughts on “Vote ~ Should We Not or Should We, Actually”

  1. Hi Jem, thats a nice write up. I saw the rave reviews it was drawing on twitter (and rightly so!), i decided to have a looksie. Every coin has two faces and as i see from the comments , i guess each has a point that is relevant to this or that situation/perspective.

    My view is that, while most of us are aware of our rights as individuals and citizens, somewhere we tend to neglect our duties. While we are ready to stand in long ques in front of the US consulates salivating for a Visa, or spending log hours in dusty offices registering property, we just dont want to go to a polling booth to exercise our franchise or shd i say our perform our sacred duty. And so, there are times i feel compelled to believe that Voting should be made compulsory. Like you have stated in ur write up, the cynicism about (im)potence of my ‘one vote’ is our greatest enemy. But underlying this cynicism is also a disdain, care-two-hoots and pure laziness arising out of the secure knowledge that no one going to boot ur butt if u just take voting day as another day off.

    Once again, my compliments for a nicely articulated and a powerful piece.



  2. Dear Jay, excellent blog. My limited views are:

    Voting is a method by which an electorate chooses options to elect what they deem as efficient candidates to govern them for the stipulated period set as per constitution. It also involves the sentiments of the people by and large. A simple choice, or the umpteen options thrown to the voters in the Indian rostrum, does not allow voters to express the ordering or the intensity of their feeling truthfully. Often, a compromise is made owing to lack of efficient candidates across the spectrum. Nevertheless, voting rightfully defines the nature of governance that has been legitimately elected by the citizens of a country, however good or bad that legitimacy culminates.

    A sentence here – I totally agree with Ms.Vidyut’s comments to your blog except for the fact that then, those citizens who so choose not to vote has also no bona fide right to lament on anything!

    To continue…Voting is not stipulated as a compulsory *right* of a citizen in the constitution or by any legal stretch. It is but definitely an unsaid imperative that those of age MUST vote. If not, don’t crib – period! Indians, especially the 300 + Middle Class has this habit of imparting utter disdain at the discomfort accompanying the exercise of voting and thereby refrain from it. This is callousness from their part – a sort of disowning their legal rights for temporary comforts.

    Let’s take it from a political point of view. Only remnants of political ethics remain with the umpteen political parties crowding the Indian electoral spectrum. None have the moral authority or capability of proclaiming themselves to be the stalwarts of impeccable governance. They all vie for annexing *the seat* that ultimately grants them the infinite power to loot and destroy. Never has the old saying **Promises are meant to be broken** more pertinent in the Indian electoral context than anywhere else – not even in love! Every politician shamelessly and unhesitatingly beg, borrow and die for our votes only to *forget* them overnight after their victory. You will not find a devout politician across the spectrum that would be willing to shed fame and prosperity for national development and progress. All come with a vision as long as their nose tip only. There is nothing like the bloated and filthily used word – secularism – anywhere in the vicinity of its intended meaning which broadly is – “not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body or not religious or spiritual in nature”. Right throughout the last 64 years this word has just about meant anything else but its true meaning at the hands of the Congress Party. They have abused and reduced this word to a meaning that presently signifies THE DYNASTY and their DEEDS!

    I would say, in the Indian context, after prostitution, elections are the most immoral acts of deed a politician commits with the benefit of the voter. Hence, to me both are equally culpable. Having said that, that does not relieve the politician of his duty. It is his job to execute what he has been deemed to do.

    Voters being young or old are beside the point. Age is not a prolific factor in voting. The mindset of the voter is predominant. If the present day youngsters so choose not to vote, perhaps out of their frustration at the system, perhaps due to their own lacuna, perhaps due to the atrocities candidates employ or even perhaps due to their preordained stigma at politics, it still remains their right constitutionally. But to squeal, groan and bellow at the various failures of the system thereafter is certainly NOT in their rights or terrain. They simply got to shut up and endure the plight which otherwise perhaps their votes could have amended.

    To refrain or abstain from voting is not in the best interest of a vibrant democracy. Vote they must and bring about changes as required. If not, the process of change becomes distant and even totally absent. In this era when electronic media is alive with events unfolding every second, it is not a dilemma for a common young voter to caste his/her vote to the best option available to him/her. Unless the voter themselves undertake to instigate and initiate necessary changes imminent to the system of governance they have endured thus far, there cannot come about much changes as desired. It should not be passion but diligence and sheer practicality that determine the voter’s sensibility. Vote bank politics, caste politics, minority appeasement politics, regional politics and linguistic politics should be shunned and demolished by the youngsters through their astute voting rights.

    Though the sense and sensibility of the voter in deploying his constitutional right to vote and determine his own future remains paramount, it is not a constitutional compulsion or priority. Nevertheless, I would beg of them to employ their rightful power to vote in determining their amenity and comfort and the nation’s progress they live in.

    So, let us hope that the voters will foment their votes diligently to kick out the despotic dynastic rule that has ruined our great country!


    JAI HIND Sirji. Well documented blog indeed.

  3. With all due respect to Vidyut, I must say “the idea of voting as an individual hillarious”. In a democratic election, individual vote is nothing.

    Let me put it in the words of Atanu Dey speaking on his seminal book “Transforming India”.

    “Single Vote doesnt really matter. In contrast, consider voting enmasse. A few thousand people in a ward agreeing on ‘minimum required things’ in the ward voting enmasse to that political party or leader agreeing to fulfil these demands would make a huge difference. Nobody would need to force anyone to do this but everybody would vote just in the self interest.”

    No lofty lofty ideals of “desh ke pragati ke liye….”. No. Simple self interest. Something like “we are some 1000 people who face similar problems. we will vote enmasse to that guy who understands our problems and is ready to solve them”. This is the only way for middle class to have their say in poltiical reality of India.

    I think voting is very much a choice. But by not voting, one simply looses his right to crib, bicker and moan about bad state of affairs.

    A friend of mine Vimal Mehta, always says “I wont vote. I am ready to pay any tax Govt. levies on me. I dont want any specific service from Government. I will not vote. You have no right to say otherwise because I am paying taxes and following all laws framed by such a Govt.”. So my question was “are you ready to face the consequences of ill health if the government doesnt ensure sanity of the roads? Since you didnt exercise your vote, you simply loose any moral standing to say that Govt is wrong. Govt is not some out of the world entity. It is just people like you and me.”

    His answer was a long pause, which about said it all.

    Not voting has consequences. Severe consequences. Voting alone may not matter much. This is where muslims and christians have got most of their demands accepted. They vote enmasse and it is too difficult for any political party to disregard the power of voting enmasse. We should definitely form groups of a few 1000s and vote enmass based on a set of demands common to all.

  4. Voting is an individual right and it should not be interfered with. That includes not forcing it to be exercised. That undermines democracy.

    Don’t believe fascist leaders who think people who don’t vote are not citizens. There is no such thing in our constitution. Leave them to their delusions that forcing a 300 million middle class to vote will mean that these people will all vote for them and create different results in a country of 1.2 billion people.

    Do what you want.

    1. Incidentally, that goes for the think tank ideas of creating vote banks. As if some vote banks are more democratic than others! Good Taliban, Bad Taliban. Undemocratic. Never give up your right for voting or not voting exactly as you wish. That is your stake in the country. Your ownership.

    2. In the sense that you understand what the political parties are up to and know whom you want to vote for, great. If you have a whim to vote for the prettiest symbol, that is your right too. If you think you don’t trust any and would like not to vote, that is your right too.

      Many people have tried to turn voting from a right into a duty. I think that will be a disaster – India already has too few enforceable rights. This is too crucial a one to lose.

    3. While I do agree, there is no such thing as forcing an individual to vote. Also point is voting intelligently, despite my supporting to a certain party openly, i dont mean to force people to vote for a certain party only, choose rival party for all i care. My point is increased voting does increase the vigil n sense of responsibility, and chance of hung parliament reduces which provides hope 5 yr stable govt

    1. My theory, increased lens on performance of the politician, will compel him to work .. increased lens are by votes … long process, but voting is only option and not holding candles for purpose 🙂 is the solution

  5. Will you vote for a party that projects a nincompoop as PM, that has looted the country for 6 decades and, in the past 7 years, has looted more than what was done in the previous 57 years? If the answer is No, kick the Congress out! To me vote for a party that has exemplary CMs such as NaMo and Lt Gen Khanduri, that has paved more highways in four years than what the Congress has done in 60 and that is in any case can never attain the heights of venality that the congress has. If we understand that any Govt can do more and will be much less corrupt than a useless Congress, and vote in accordance with our perceptions,we can get a govt that really works for all and not for corruption and corrupt people!

  6. We are facing numerous problems which range from lack of basic amenities to the lack of good governance at the Centre. If we want to really bring any change to this, it should start with Voting for the right people.

    It requires an elaborate debate on how we can create awareness among masses, esp. urban people, and convince them about voting. This blog has surely contributed to that.

    Well written.

  7. A good essay indeed. have u ever thought y we vote these politicians (criminals and pappu as u call them). may that they are robin hood to us and villain to clubbies (club class). may be we got the taste of power through them and they made the system to work in our favour. ponder over. u said poor vote for note. pity on sense and respect to your fellow citizen. do u think we da voters are bikau. may be u have this understanding coz of the society where your belong as only money matters in that society nothing else.

    who ever abuse elected reps i feel ‘becharaa’ for him. coz abusing a elected rep is as good as abusing self. parents, family, friends, near and dear. Afterall, they are the one who voted them.

    now the positive part of your ‘essay’. Yes we must vote. SADHUWAAD to u for emphasizing the need of participation. Thanks

  8. Hi Jaymin Sir, This is indeed a nice read and thought provoking one. My final say is that those who don’t vote do not have any rights to crib or talk about the state of governace in country.

    Further, folks who do not vote, deserve what they get and also others who vote too suffer due to their callousness.

    That said, it is imperative to exercise our right and let politicos know that we cannot be taken for a ride now.


    1. With this logic, kids would have no rights?

      Old people, senile people who can’t vote, they have no rights?

      Rights are enshrined in the constitution, they are not conditional. The right to vote is also the right to not vote. And it has a political impact too, even if people don’t want to understand it.

      In fact, a person without a clear understanding of why he is voting for a certain candidate is more likely to do harm to the country by simply opting for whoever is more catchy. Such a person not voting is actually better for democracy, no?

      Such fantasies are largely created by those who would like to believe that they lose elections because everyone who would have voted for them didn’t vote at all and only the “corrupt” people voted. This is bull shit. Democracy is far larger than this myopia.

  9. very gud one Mr. panchal. allow me to share my humble views:

    We Indians love to talk. we love to crib, we love to become the arm chair critics. we love to proclaim and shout from our roof top that we are world’s largest democracy but i often wonder if we really know what is the meaning of democracy. do we know that we the people make or break this system called democracy. the fact the the ultimate power is bestowed upon us to make our choice.

    but what do we do, we continue to remain in our ignorant bliss. for us everything is ‘chalta hai’. for us going out and standing in a queue (once in a 5 years mostly) is a herculean task but then we all love to share opinion. i feel we loose the very right to criticize, raise our voce if we dont exercise our mandate.

    the recent state elections are showing both the sides of the prism. on one side we have a much battered manipur which gave 82% vote and on the other side we have a Punjab with 30% vote. what does it prove. it proves two set of people – a) who want to have their say 2) who are indifferent.

    supporting a political party/ideology is personal and there is no rule that our choice has to be same but when the nation calls (acc. to me election is nothijng short of our nation calling us to give her a good ruler), we as Indians should respond and turn into voters. but then this is again a wishful thought since there is not enough to make us feel confident that people will vote in next general elections.

    what people dont understand that is that by NOT voting, they are harming ONLY their own interest but i hope sanity prevails before 2014 and we see long queues of people waiting to vote. besides. if voting is maximum, the chances of rigging/manipulation by people in power, will become minimum.

    Thanks again Mr Panchal for your blog.

    1. I have long suspected that the right to vote, the right to influence your world depends directly on how much suffering needs to be combatted and the urgency. Nothing like the world going wrong for citizens to learn to grasp desperately the one thing they can use to fix it.

      On the other hand, if people see not much wrong, or not much change they desire being possible by voting, it is possible that their vote is rendered meaningless, and thus not used.

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