Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Indian Political Theater

This post written around May 2007 is dated in the future so that it stays at top of all posts and symbolizes the burning desire to act in this regard. For other posts see below.

That's how the Economic Times describes its political news page. And I think it aptly sums up the feelings and expressions of any regular educated middle class Indian. Especially those that belong to the creed of people who move away from home for better pastures abroad, not necessarily to different countries but to neighboring states within India itself.

Oftentimes, when I have been involved in any sort of discussion (heated debate) on the situation in Indian political scenario, both parties have derogated the current existing state of Indian politics in general and then have proceeded to thrash the party in opposition to their own favorite. What probably they miss is the point that both are agreeing that its the Hobson's choice and yet are taking no cognizance of the fact.

Getting more specific, people of my age (mid-20's) are acutely aware of what is missing and will endlessly debate about what can be done. We whine about the availability of good leaders, about there not being enough people with political will to implement development projects as we like it. But when it comes to action to get a better society, we pull back citing not enough resources and not enough experience. Recently in such a debate one person alleged that the country had not given him anything, had not helped in his progress in any way. So he was not bothered about the progress of the country and would rather think about the progress and welfare of his own family.

But here lies the crux of the matter: WE DON'T EVEN VOTE IN ELECTIONS, LET ALONE TAKE ANY AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. Can you think of a bigger hypocrite than this??

I have been burning with this idea since sometime. And I have decided to do something about it. Here are a few simple things that can be done and I hope to follow them through, keeping in view that the next national elections are to be held approximately 2 years from now.
  1. There is enough time, so get the voter id card. It makes you eligible to vote.
  2. Save some holidays and plan so that during election time you can go back to your constituency and vote. Far as I have heard, you can also vote from where you are now. Need to find out more details.
  3. Cast your vote. It is essential. You find that the candidates from the larger parties are not good. Simple idea says choose one of the independents. Let the government formation take care of itself. As of now, nobody can foresee anything but a coalition government at the center.
More ideas later, but I believe these are very simple and you and I as the educated but frustrated middle class can follow them through and make a lot of difference. All voting statistics in the recent times say that only 45% of the people registered do actually vote. And the winning party takes only about 30% of that. Which makes it only 13.5% affirmation for the largest party in power. Imagine the difference you could make.

Update (31.08.2007) : As of yesterday, I am an Indian citizen carrying the voter id card, that makes me eligible to vote in the forthcoming Indian parliamentary elections.

If you are reading this, then go out and get your voter id card. Don't just read this.

Update (14.12.2007) :
All please follow the Lead India campaign on Star One at 8:00 pm every Saturday.

Update (01.10.2008) : Try out Jaago re ! Is a good option to get more information on the voting process and a lot of help on it. www.jaagore.com
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