Understanding National Voters’ Day Responsibility of voters


The importance of the National Voters’ Day held on January 25 should not be lost on anyone. As much as election is about different political parties trying to best the others to take hold of power for the next five years, it stands that central to any election are the voters, the people who will decide which party rules them. This is where the beauty of democracy lies-the voter is the key and it is the key which should kickstart the others-the process of of deciding which party rules. And it is in this backdrop that the theme ‘no voter to be left behind’ for the National Voters’ Day held on January 25 should be understood. Responsibility, that is what all voters should come face to face with for it is not without reason why there is the universal observation that a people get the Government they deserve. Participate. Exercise one’s franchise rights. This is the key to the theme ‘no voter to be left behind’ and while it is the bounden duty of everyone to take part in the democratic process of electing a Government, it also remains that this duty also comes with its share of responsibility. How well intentioned are the voters, is the question that follows. Why is talk of money power associated with each and every election ? Why has the Election Commission of India deemed it fitting to keep a ceiling on the expenditure of each candidate in the fray ? How many voters actually vote keeping the overall interest of the people in mind ? More specifically how many voters can sincerely say that their vote is not for sale and indeed is not for sale ?
Responsibility of a voter. This is a point which has not been deliberated with the seriousness it deserves and with the Lok Sabha election scheduled to be held soon, this question should not be brushed away that easily. Democracy means that power should lie in the hands of the people, but this understanding is hit for a big six once a price is fixed on the vote of each voter. This is a tragedy that Manipur has witnessed and experienced down the years. Sell one’s vote and then give five years time to the elected to do whatever he or she wants. The negatives cut both ways. With the elected knowing that he or she bought the votes which elected him or her to power, the sense of obligation towards the people evaporates. On the other hand, with the voters knowing that they had sold their franchise rights, they do not have any moral right to question the commission and omission of the elected representative, eroding the basic understanding of democracy. Seen against this reality, then it becomes important for all to acknowledge the fact that election time should not only mean putting the candidates and the political parties under a microscope but also the voters. Time for all voters to start questioning themselves whether they have been true to the spirit of the election which will decide the next five years of their life. This is a point which should not be lost on anyone in the run up to the Lok Sabha election.

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