TO VOTE is an extremely precious and valuable privilege that we as citizens of a democratic (the world’s largest democratic nation) nation enjoy. We choose leaders, we choose leaders to govern us and most often we end up with either criminals/selfish / senseless/ inefficient leaders and the weapon we have to confront such leaders is NOT TO VOTE. The fact that we have the right, not to choose any of the candidates form the voting list makes our right even more precious. But the problem is that most of us aren’t aware of such a right.
As per the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1969 Act, in Section 49-O that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked, and convey to the presiding election officer that he/she doesn’t want to vote for anyone! Yes, such a feature is available, but obviously these seemingly notorious leaders have never disclosed it. It is called “49-O”. In an extremely corrupt system, there is a provision for such a right and this could be attributed to our constitution.
Indian constitution is the longest written constitution of any independent nation in the world, containing 395 articles. And our constitution has snippets from other constitutions like that of Russia and a dozen other countries. A constitution that has taken a year and half to be properly structured and framed and put to function. A consequence of such a rich constitution is that we have been endowed with a right to voice our views openly and freely. We could condemn the elections saying that we don’t wish to elect anyone, the most obvious reason for which is that the candidate is not worth the post.
Well the scene on the other side is not very encouraging; here is the peak in to the voters’ and the candidates’ profile:
There are 730 million registered voters in India, an increase of 40 million since 2004. Voting will be conducted at 800,000 polling booths and 1,368,430 electronic voting machines. Of the candidates announced, at least 70 have criminal cases pending against them. The charges include murder, rape, kidnapping, extortion and assault.
According to a study, the national average of people who took cash to cast their votes was found to be 22 percent in the general category and 37 percent in BPL (below the poverty line) families. The BPL sector fails to understand that the rich-poor divide in India is largely because they choose the wrong leaders….
The middle class most often does not bother about the elections most often… they are happy to do their work religiously and vote their leaders on an alternative basis…. and we really can’t blame them …
With such imbalances in the system we could just hope that the system is free of corruption one day and truly deserving candidates make it all the way to the Lok Sabha….
BUT THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE AWARE OF 49- 0, PLEASE SPREAD THE MESSAGE ACROSS….