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To vot or not to vote

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….




  1. The Article 49-O mentioned in the post above is not true. Article 49-O of Indian constitution mentions something else: Pls refer:

    Hope this clears the doubt/confusion

    • Thanks sudhi, for your comment….

      I hope voters get my message… Thats the ultimate goal….

      The article in my post does deliver the message and thats wat i want… 😉

      And the right not to vote has been very much facilitated by our constitution, the worlds richest constitution

      49-0 is a provision that helps minimise electoral frauds….

      As in it helps us root out people who would fake votes in our names if v do not vote…

      Instead we cud choose not to vote anyone….

      I hope i am as clear as possible…..

    • Thanx for the link…..

  2. Hi,

    49-0, Right not to vote – Interesting Article…

    jes wonder if v have the power of nominating a guy who is pontential enough….

    Xpectin more n more similar interesting topics up ahead in future…Good Job yaar keep goin n rocking!!

  3. hey nadhiya nice topic. . i read ur comments too with the article. yes you are trying to be very clear with the message is that vote n vote for the right person. which the most important thing when u take todays political scenario into consideration. and many other means of voting channels have been launched people can use those mediums to make a right choice!!! hope u agree with me 🙂

    • Hey suman,

      Absolutely right…

      The deeper prob is that we have hanful of them who we can say are the “right” people… jus about a drop in the ocean..:-(

      So lets choose not to vote…. 😉

  4. It’s an interesting article and thanks for the link Sudhindra. A major flaw in the Electronic Voting Machines is the unavailability of an option to cast a null vote. This leaves us with two options alone (1) you choose not to cast your vote wherein there’s a chance of somebody faking your vote or (2) You choose to cast your vote but your left with choosing between the devil and the pit!

    So where’s the democracy in all this???

    • Tats a sweet comment paul…



    Yet another link to put things straight and clear….

  6. hey nadi!!
    very nice topic… i was not aware of this system before u mentioned it in ur blog! its very nice of u to spread the awareness about this aspect of voting system.

  7. I strongly feel that irrespective of the 49 O, no party is going to win the majority this elections. People have woken up to the harsh reality of elections being a futile exercise. Casting a vote would just be a formality. Though the 49 O may vociferously reflect people’s disregard for the elections, the results are eventually going to show the same figuratively. People have given these ‘leaders’ enough chances to keep up their promises, but they have failed at it badly.

  8. Well said Nadhiya,
    I totally agree with u regarding what’s happening in this country’s political scenario. I endorse your views.
    But who shall bring a change to this? What are we going to do about this?
    The educated ‘thinking’ young people of this country need to consider entering politics to bring a ‘change’. A ‘ change’ that leads to a better nation..
    The 70’s and 80’s generation shied away entering the political scenario perceiving it as a crime. I dont this attitude is going to help us any more.
    The change may take time..However,we need people who’ll work for the betterment of this country.
    It may be difficult but not impossible
    I request you all to think and reflect on this..

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By YOUR RIGHT NOT TO VOTE on 20 Apr 2009 at 6:03 pm

    […] Original post by nadhiscorner […]

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