Of Rights & Duties & Being Indian

Well what I choose to write about today is something we have all written, read, discussed and felt angst about. I am not shocked about the shameful 42% voter turnout. I am not surprised. But yes, I am angry. I am disappointed that a city that poured out into the roads to light candles in protest of the horrific 26/11 attacks, refuse to show up at their polling booths to cast a vote.
To vote is our right and to vote is also our duty. Until when are we going to go on blaming the leaders, politicians and others when we fail to get out and stand in a queue to press a button?

I agree, the right to vote is given to you after a fierce struggle because of the adamant ERO people who refuse to take their job seriously (well, most of them). We admire campaigns like Jaago Re and praise websites like Mumbai Votes. We generate independent, dependable, well educated candidates like Meera Sanyal and yet decide not to vote? How can you think it’s a holiday? It’s a day you are supposed to forget that you’re a banker, doctor, engineer or a writer and think of yourself as an Indian.

I ADMIT. The year I turned 18 I was complacent. I did not bother to register but I felt shame, I felt regret when I did not vote for the state elections back then. I struggled, fought and boiled my blood to get my name on that list. And when I stood within the limits of the cardboard box, thinking about the research and thinking I put in, and pressed the blue button, I felt a high. I felt proud. I felt like I had finally gotten my lazy ass off the couch and decided to do something. It’s not enough but it’s the first step. When are you all getting out there and taking that step?


12 Responses

  1. It’s sad. Even I was infuriated by the kind of non-chalance that Mumbai showed, especially after all the anti-government speeches, agitation marches and the so-called democratic awakening post 26/11. Now no one has even the smallest right to accuse the government. A minority of population selecting a majority of the government. Pathetic.

  2. can we say anything except..*it always happens* I have lost stuff to comment on elections and everything related to it..

  3. People are less interested in voting yet!
    By the way, I’ve started the story!
    Bye, Take Care!

  4. CW, I think a lot of young educated people did come out to vote. I think some other groups didn’t. I believe fewer of the poor voed this time and there was a poor turnout amongst the Muslims in MH due to disillusionment with the Congress.

    • Nita, I work with a lot young college students who did not bother to register. And quite a few who went out on a holiday!
      Whatever the reasons, Mumbai needs to feel ashamed of its nonchalance!

  5. It was indeed a shame that Mumbaikars flock with candles to protest but many of them fail to cast their right to vote. .

    may be holding a candle is just a chic fashion statement *sighs*

  6. I don’t understand. Why would the Muslims NOT come to vote after the disillusionment with the Congress. They all the more should, and I guess, would have.

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