Don’t Vote, Only Talk of Democracy

ARMCHAIR POLITICAL ANALYSTS AND EXPERTS on democracy are as common in India as the cricket watchers who from the comfortable sofas in front of their TV sets know exactly how IPL players should play. And all the mistakes they commit.

These experts declare  that the bane of Indian politics is that the educated people do not vote.  They leave electing the rulers of the country to the ‘vote banks’ of illiterates who can be influenced by the three Cs – cash, caste and coersion. The result is a “govenment by fools and knaves” who try to rake in as much wealth as they can by every conceivable corrupt means.

It has been said umpteen times that those who think politics is a dirty game they wish to keep away from,  have no right to complain against the misdeeds of the elected MPs and MLAs who consider even sitting with the ‘common’ people below their dignity.

The tragedy is that often those who make such pithy statements do not themselves vote. So it was a surprise when a relative who shifted from another city wanted to know how to get a voter ID.

After some Googling and asking around it was found that he should go to the Bangalore Municipal Corporation office at Mahadevpura and apply.

The officer there seemed least interested in helping him.  “Where is your old card?” he asked. When told that he was on the electoral rolls of a small town near Pune years ago and had lost the card, the official who was extremely rude, asked him to go back there lodge a police complaint and produce evidence that the name has been deleted there. When he demanded Form 6 in which a new voter can apply, the official refused. When his rude behaviour was objected to the official said, “Go and complain to whoever you want. No one can touch me.”

Another friend who had an old election ID card wanted to get another as he shifted to a different constituency. He too was told to go back, get his enrolment there cancelled and produce proof.

So he took a day off from office nd wen al hecway to his old locality. A reluctant but less rude officer took his old card, searched the role and said his name was not there. What about the photo ID card with a number and name of the constituency on it? “I don’t know. Your name is not here so I cannot delete it,”  he was told.

The rude officual in the new locality refused to give him a form unless it was struck off from the old list. So he cannot be a voter. It was obvious that none of the officials were interested in seeing that he was able to vote. After all he did not belong to any vote bank which the leaders woo.

Why not develop a device to scan the barcode on his  Adhar card on his mobile’s scanner and transmit it to the polling booth without even going there? That way there would be much larger scale of voting. As the Adhar card is biometric computers programmed for it can eliminate duplicate voting  Officials with instruments like smartphomes can even go from house to house and ensure there is 100  per cent  voting.

But in a country where the electronic voting machines are doubted by those who lose but praiaed by the winners, who wants 100 p.c. voting?

You need not vote – only talk about the importance of voting. And of democracy.

Published by

B. Someswar Rao

60 years of journalism, from the age of 16, and two books later, life has so much more to offer, there is no looking back. Not yet. Unstoppable after 70 is a simple expression of my thoughts, my triumphs, my failures and everything that makes this journey incredible. My books: - A TOWN CALLED PENURY- the changing culture of Indian journalism - JOURNALISM - Ethics, Codes, Laws Working on: - 'THE OUTHOUSE ON THE FIRST FLOOR - Coming of (Old)Age in India'

6 thoughts on “Don’t Vote, Only Talk of Democracy”

  1. It’s rather unfortunate when such things happen. When a voter who wishes to cast a vote can’t even get voters id card easily enough, it says something about how important votes are to this nation, or rather what kinds of votes are important. We’ll put together Sit

  2. A few days before the Assembly elections in 2014, my neighbours in the Journalists Colony and I discovered that our names,along with hundreds of other names, had been deleted from the voters list. When we approached the officials concerned, they could not tell us why so many names had
    been deleted but said that a booth would be opened shortly in our locality where we could apply for the voter ID card. A booth was indeed opened and applications along with proof of identity were collected but nothing came of it. No one was held responsible for the ” loss ” of the applcations. Subsequently, the GHMC issued voter ID cards — with names misspelt.
    Why so many voters’ names were deleted remains a mystery.

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