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I voted, I made a difference

By Tanvir Khan | Last Updated: Friday, May 8, 2009 - 19:09
Tanvir Khan
Hawk Eye

I’m proud to be amongst the 53% responsible residents of Delhi. Yes I voted, and I hope it makes a difference.

This was only the second time that I voted. The first was in the Delhi elections last year. This year too, I had the same great feeling; the same excitement ran inside me as it did when I went to vote for the first time. Since the time I have turned eligible for choosing the leaders of my country, there have been only two occasions for voting, and I have been a part of both (Delhi Assembly Elections 2008, <a href="">General Elections 2009</a>), and I am glad that I haven’t wasted either of the opportunities.

The general perception still is that one vote can’t change much. After polling, I met quite a few people, who either did not vote or did not care to. And then they accuse the government of failing to live up to the expectations of the citizens. Incredible!

Honestly speaking, I had expected a turnout of somewhere around 60-65% in Delhi, in the least. For the entire nation, I had thought of the same figure, or perhaps little more, especially after the ‘Wake-up-and-vote’ campaign that kicked off in Mumbai after the 26/11 terror attack and spread across many more regions of the country following repeated terror strikes, Delhi not being an exception.

With so much hype and hoopla about the elections and major attempts to make the ink mark on the finger look “cool”, one thought that there would be a massive turnout of voters, at least amongst the youth of Delhi. They did come out to vote in large numbers and a huge number of first time voters were also present, but it was well short of the expected number. Only a little more than half of Delhi’s population ‘woke up’ and took the pains of visiting the polling booths to have their say in the formation of the government.

A lot of people complained that their names were not on the voting list, but let us leave that aside. I write this for those who did not vote. Yeah, and they are responsible for the names missing on the voter list too. That, because, they need to select a responsible government that functions well and that the government work is not taunted as ‘Sarkaari’.

The celebs in Mumbai took the voting mark on their middle fingers. To me it seemed like an attempt to make voting look ‘cool’ to the youngsters. It did interest me, if not many others. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about their influence on me to cast my vote. I would have done so, in any case. It was just the voting mark on the ‘celeb finger’ that fascinated me further. And guess what, I was successful in getting an ink mark on my left middle finger. Not only that, the cost of getting a mark on the desired finger was another mark on the index finger. Why? Because one of the authorities wanted me to get it right. And right is the index finger. Where is that written in the Constitution? So, now I have two voting marks. Am I the only one with two painted fingers or are there many more? Do come out in support with your comments. I’m being suspected for bogus voting!

Talking about the irresponsible citizens of this country, they are equally at fault with the corrupt politicians. They are more of a threat to us than the terrorists. They are the ones who do not care about the country and its citizens. They do not care about what is happening. Jo chal raha hai chalne do(whatever is happening, let it happen) is their attitude. The day of voting is just another national holiday when they would like to sleep till late, wake up in the afternoon to a ‘morning bed tea’, have chole bhature for breakfast at lunch time, and take their family out for a ‘picnic’ at India Gate.

How on earth can half the population decide who governs our country? How can one be irresponsible to the extent of being dangerous? Everyone wants to sleep in peace, everyone wants security for themselves and their families, everyone wants to drive on good roads and all of us want world class infrastructure and a terror-free state. So why don’t we all vote? Why don’t we own up our responsibilities and act accordingly? Why do we wait for the government to be formed and then criticise them at a chaai-biscuit session?

The Delhi Elections in 2008 had seen a 57% voter turnout. To increase the numbers, advertisements with emotional and humour appeal were broadcast and telecast everywhere, newspapers carried ads appealing to the citizens to use their power to vote effectively and not waste it. All the efforts went only in vain as the turnout fell by almost 4% in Delhi, though it did rise 6% vis-à-vis the last General elections in 2004. The ek vote se kya hota hai(one vote doesn’t make a difference) attitude brought down the turnout to 53%. Those who don’t cast their vote have no rights whatsoever in criticising the government because when the power to ‘choose’ was given, they ‘chose’ to sink in their recliners and follow the voter turnout on their plasma screens and say, “Dekho kitne kam log gaye hain vote karne. Kya hoga is desh ka?” (See such few numbers turned out to vote, what will become of this country?)

‘Loser’ is the term for them.

Now, I think it’s quite late. Hopefully this blog makes all the Pappus feel disgusted over their act of irresponsibility…!!

First Published: Friday, May 8, 2009 - 19:09

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