Elections 2014: Time to exercise your fundamental right

By Gayatri Sankar | Updated: Mar 21, 2014, 14:12 PM IST

Many of us must be wondering what difference our voting will make anyway. The answer is simple. Voting is a fundamental right of a citizen of a democracy and it helps in building the nation of our dreams...a nation that can boast of a holistic development.

More often than not, we end up making a mockery of our own power by shying away from responsibilities. We often blame the system, but fail to acknowledge what leads to the deterioration within the system. And hence, even before we can think of pointing fingers at anyone else, we must hold ourselves accountable for our miserable plight.

The 2014 election is at the threshold of changing the face of Indian politics. A number of political parties are on their toes and are adopting all tactics so as to stand a chance this time around. The Indian masses have a variety of parties to choose from and have an option to cast their vote in favour of the party that they think best suits their needs. But it is equally important to be vigilant about what the repercussions would be, while choosing a party which may hamper the election results in the larger scheme of things.

The Congress is desperate to do damage control after the sagas of scams and corruption while the BJP is trying hard to win over the hearts of the masses by projecting the `development` formula.

2014 is a do or die situation for both Congress and the BJP. The former knows that their political standing will weaken further if they face defeat at the hands of the BJP. And the latter knows that going back to the pavilion will only make things worse for them in the political circuit as a number of political parties have teamed up strongly against the BJP cadre.

The other parties- Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi Party, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janta Dal, the Left and several other regional parties are hoping to make a fortune! But, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party may just act as a spoil sport, for it may not win good numbers to form the government but may garner substantial enough votes to dent other parties’ vote share. Remember the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections and its aftermath?

Nonetheless, you, me and all of us, do have a chance to make a difference - something that can change the perception of the world about our country. Being looked down upon due to pervasive poverty and lack of development even after 67 years of Independence, is no achievement. We need to remind ourselves that we are not a “mango man of a banana republic”. We are a significant part of the world’s largest democracy.

The government does have an important role to play in our daily lives. The infrastructure, the civic and the education systems, the financial and the economical structures etc. have a great impact on our livelihood and lifestyle. We often crib while travelling by public transport, we have reservations about sending our children to the government run schools, and we have the least faith in government aided hospitals because they aren’t managed the way they ought to be.

Reading news about scams and corruption every morning is no pleasure. Citizens of present day India are bold enough to call a spade a spade. But unless the anger gets translated into votes, a change in the existing pattern cannot be brought to effect. For good governance, progression, collective well-being, prosperous economy, you and I must vote.

We may belong to different faiths, caste or social strata but our combined aim should be to vote for a better India. Irrespective of what our religious orientation is, we must vote for a better future where each of us are treated as equals and not just as pawns for the vote bank.

May 16, will be a litmus test of sorts. It will tell us what majority of us have collectively chosen. So vote wisely.