Should I cast my vote?

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 19:58
 
Rd. Alexander  

What a privilege it is to be born and brought up in a democratic country like India where I have my rights and freedom, which not many countries or citizens around the globe enjoy. These privileges have been given to me so that I use them to become a better citizen and help in the progress of my country. One amongst my rights is my right to vote and elect my own leader who will take charge of my country and look after the welfare of the people. Indeed, Indian democracy is a ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people’.
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There is also no denying the fact that every citizen of India enjoys the privilege of the right to vote. Since independence, every citizen above the age of 18 years (21 years until 1989 when it was amended and brought down to 18 on March 28, 1989) has enjoyed this right and elected his/her leader. And in a democratic form of government, people deemed it the right way to choose and elect their leaders.
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However, over the years, my personal view on elections, election of leaders and the government has changed much that I have started to ask myself if I should ever vote and elect my leader again. And as the Assembly polls 2012 in Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and two other states approach, the question - ‘if I should really vote’ - has become all the more pertinent.
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Why I don’t want to vote?
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Corruption, scams and scandals have become so synonymous with the elected Indian leaders over the years that I have begun to value my right to vote all the more and do not wish to waste it. Though at times, I find it hard to fathom the matter and question myself if these so-called leaders were really elected by the innocent citizens of our country; as far as I am concerned and believe, no Indian wishes to elect a corrupt leader, for any matter. But our leaders tell a different story.
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Being a citizen from the northeastern state of Manipur and understanding the place so well, especially the government and how it functions, I know things will ‘never ever’ be the way I want them or as a majority of the people of the state want it. As Manipur polls inch closer by the day, people are speculating that the Indian National Congress under Ibobi Singh may come back to power.
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Someone in my office asked me if I was headed home for the state elections. My answer was a ‘No’ with various reasons and at a point, I said my vote ‘wouldn’t make any difference’ considering I almost already know the outcome of the election (I could be wrong though).
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This is not just the case in Manipur. Perhaps, even people in UP, Uttarakhand, Goa and Punjab would agree with me on this matter as the state Assembly elections in their respective state approach.
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Though we have been given the privilege to choose, vote and elect our own leaders, somewhere down the line wrong leaders are almost always elected. Protest being held all over the country in 2011 under the aegis of Anna Hazare against corruption is a clear proof that our votes were wasted.
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So, do I want my vote to be just wasted or should I not vote at all? A difficult question indeed. But regardless of my vote, only if honest and worthy leaders stand for elections, perhaps voting would be more interesting and useful.



First Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 19:58

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