India’s democracy is the most successful experiment of organised human political endeavour in the history of the world. Just look at the numbers! The largest ever number of voters in the history of the world shall cast their vote in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. The fact that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are now used in the entire country makes India’s electoral system the most transparent and efficient for such a large country, in the whole world. While our politicians do not normally deliver what they promise during the elections as we are all aware, at least we are able to elect them through a process that is quite free and fair. Gone are the days when booth capturing was a norm and violence was widespread. People of weaker sections were too terrified to vote, whereas now there is greater awakening and more confidence in each citizen of the country that he can vote as per his own volition and can make a difference.
Thus it becomes incumbent upon those of us who do not normally vote, to do so! We tend to feel at times that our ballot is not going to make a difference in the overall scheme of things. We feel disillusioned with the system and often mock at the results of elections. The fact remains however that very few of our brethren who are armchair critics and drawing-room debate winners, actually have the gumption to take up the cudgels for any social cause in public life. The least we can thus do is to make the effort to visit the polling booth on the day ordained, so that we can exercise our democratic right. Today we can even choose to vote against a particular candidate who we feel does not deserve to ever contest an election.
Let us hope that the forthcoming elections do not slow down the momentum that India’s democracy has attained, and that we the people make the democratic process even more robust by exercising our fundamental right without fail!
Vivek Atray