Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Voters: The dominant face of democracy 


By Acharya Dr. Lokeshmuni

The assembly elections of five states have been announced, but the biggest irony which is being seen every time is that these elections are issueless and the situations of changing the parties are a common thing. From Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand to Goa, Manipur and Punjab, now the fortune of political parties and leaders are in the hands of the voters. Like every time in these elections also, the main issue is casteism, communal bigotry and attempts to woo voters are weakening the roots of democracy. At present, money and power are becoming dominant traits in elections, politics was once a means of service, but today it is becoming a business, it is a matter of concern and it is weakening the roots of democracy.

In the elections of these five states, the voter will have to play a dual role – as the owner of the house and also as the watchman of the house. As a proprietor, it will be his duty to try and see those who are called contractors of public interest and as the watchman of the house; it becomes his duty not only to stay awake but also to be constantly alert. It is the need of this awareness and caution that he weighs the words and deeds of those who want to sit in power on the scales of conscience. Since he is the one to lose the most and gain the most, he also has the greatest responsibility. Voters should fulfill this responsibility at the individual level as well – by asking themselves what would be the basis for their voting. The first decision the voter has to make is whether he has to vote. Then it has to be decided that he will not vote in favour of the ‘wrong’. When every voter uses his vote very thoughtfully, then only democracy will be strong and only then a strong India can be built.

Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti is running a voter awareness campaign to make voters aware. The main purpose is to force the voter to think that how criminals get our vote? How do the corrupt that play with the wealth of the nation become our ideals? Why do we vote for the corrupt, opportunists and criminals and then they rule us? We accept these conditions silently. But for how long? How long will we keep being cheated? For how long will we continue to watch the nation being looted as a mute spectator?

Change can take place in society only by the collective improvement of the individual and the system. Unless the hands that govern the law are holy, even changing the law will be insufficient. To strengthen democracy, it is necessary to choose the right candidate. Just as criteria are necessary in various examinations, in the same way the criteria of eligibility should be fixed in politics. Vote for those who are honest, free from destruction, free from casteism obsession and communal fanaticism and believe in national unity, human values and social harmony. Just as a person thinks while handing over his daughter’s hand, in the same way while casting his vote, he should cast his vote after considering it.

Political parties have started preparing for the elections in their own way. There was no talk of alliances; the strategies for alliances were being prepared. Defection is happening. Various political parties have started manipulating the equations. There is a ruckus in some national parties, while for some regional political parties; these elections remain a question of prestige. Amidst these situations, the voter also has to be aware. Voters should present their role in such a powerful way in the coming election that the political party cannot dare to ignore it after the election. Even political parties should learn that today’s voter is not a puppet of their hand although a strong component of this election system.

This system of kings and rulers is a universal truth of the world. Methods keep changing. Earlier the king was born from the queen’s womb and now he is born from the ‘ballet box’. That is why the most important aspect in democracy is elections. It is a reflection of the national character. To maintain healthy values in democracy, the health of elections and the active participation of common voters are essential. Voters have to wake up before political parties. All political parties publish their manifestos – will make the people rich in five years, every hand will get work, there will be houses for all, roads, schools and hospitals, now there will be competition to provide electricity and water for free.  In the newly emerging political culture of freebies people keep taking sweet dreams. How many five year elections were held and so many five year plans were completed but it is the eighth wonder of the world that no goal was achieved in its totality. Every time the voter was cheated, misled. Why don’t his eyes open yet?

There was an era when emperors, kings and rulers used to protect their kingdom and subjects by fighting with the strength of their arms and sacrificed their lives for this duty and ideal. Today the fight is being fought with slogans and notes, elections are being fought – to get power. The one who can give an alluring slogan, who can spend as much money, can only mislead the voter today. That is why not only the political parties have to prepare for the elections; the voters also have to do it. But do we make any preparations? Or are you preparing? The games of political manipulation and distribution of freebies should be happy only to the political parties, but only the awareness of the voter can give pure breath to the nation and democracy and for this the voter will also have to strategize. Why should anyone get my vote? Has the one I voted for lived up to my expectations? Wasn’t the wrong thing influencing my decision to vote? The one I didn’t vote for, has he tried to correct his shortcomings? These and many more are questions that voters will have to constantly ask themselves. Our misfortune is that voter apathy and neglect is the biggest cause of political corruption and criminalisation.

The truth is that the job of a voter is not only to vote judiciously, but also to constantly check whether his vote is being used properly or not. The question is not only of the interests of the political parties, it is a question of the frequent betrayal of the voter. And what is the voter doing to make himself eligible for democracy? Despite the huge budget in the name of development, why do conditions of drought, illiteracy, unemployment, inflation, malnutrition have to be seen? A long chain of such questions should arise in the mind of the voter. The question is also why political interests often outweigh the interests of the society and the country? The question is also why do situations like demonetisation come into the country? The question is also that when a strong atmosphere is being created in front of the parties which have been raising slogans on corruption and black money for a long time, then why were these parties stealing their faces from this campaign? Will they remove the worries of the poor people in the country who do not even have time to overcome the worries of maintaining their power? Will such political parties build a corruption-free strong moral nation, which is being accused of corruption every day? The biggest control in democracy should be public opinion, not politics.

(The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. He can be reached at [email protected])

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