Last week, I was having a conversation with my mom when she suddenly brought out the fact that I was eligible to vote this year and asked me, who would I vote for? I casually answered, “ I don’t know mum, rather I am not sure if I’ll go out and vote.” I got a look of disgust from mom (which I am sure all of you are giving me right now) followed by a few lines on how I ought to exercise my vote. Well, she’s right, isn’t she? As a responsible citizen of this country, I ought to vote, right? Rather everyone is supposed to go out and vote, right? NO. I am sorry but I don’t think so.
The election fever is in the air. Open a newspaper and you will find page length advertisements of celebrities urging you to vote and politicians seeking your vote. Switch on your television and all you’ll get is commercials making those who vote look like heroes and those who don’t, criminals. Log in to facebook and your newsfeed will be brimming with pictures of inked fingers. Isn’t it highly encouraging for a nation to see its population so excited about voting? Seeing the percentage of people exercising their vote rise indeed instills a hope that the people recognize their responsibilities and are ready to take the nation forward. But believe me, the picture is far from being this rosy.
Let me put across some questions to those who voted this time around. Before going out to cast your vote, how many of you actually made an effort to go through the detailed agenda of all the contesting candidates? How many of you enquired about the past record and career graph of the candidates? I am pretty sure, not even 1% would be able to answer in the affirmative (and yes, to all those who think that just knowing the broad perspective of the party you’re voting for or their prime leader makes you a responsible voter- I am sorry it doesn’t)
This just goes out show how rampantly apathy is consuming our nation. We spend days and months cramming words verbatim for some silly examination but can’t spare time for such a significant matter. Then why bother voting? Please stop pretending that you care because believe me, you don’t. You’re making the condition rather worse. I assure you it is much better to not to exercise your right than poorly exercising it. I would rather have a 0.1% of turnout comprising of informed citizens deciding on the future of this nation rather than an exuberant 80-90% turnout comprising of people just there to update there facebook DPs.
I must clarify here that I am by no way suggesting that voting right should be snatched off the people- No, not at all. Our ancestors sacrificed so much so that we could choose the people to govern us and it is indeed a crime not exercising this right. I am not against people voting, I am against people voting blindfolded. It’s high time we redeem ourselves as a nation.
We need to understand that it’s not about voting, it’s about judicious voting. We need to dig deep into the agendas, manifestos, past records and even character traits of the candidates and then make our choice. Lack of time is just not an excuse. To all those parents who are on the backs of their children throughout the year asking them to study for exams, don’t you find it important to give just a week for something that will impact our lives much more than the marks in an examination?
Well, if you still can’t, then I have just one piece of advice for you. The next time you find your nation under turmoil of hit by scams, don’t wander through the newspaper to explore the culprit, it’s the man in the mirror.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.