Every day in the bus, on the road, at work, at college, at the station or at the market, there is always someone or the other complaining about the government’s inefficiency – be it for price hike of vegetables, safety of women, proper state transportation, potholes on road, corruption, police ineptitude, and the thousand other problems that surround our society. But what we forget is every five years we are given the power to bring about CHANGE in the society, and our lives – WE CAN VOTE!!
Every Indian adult citizen has the constitutional right to vote for a representative for themselves, and this set of elected representatives form the government at the Centre. In this sense even though we can’t be physically present in the Parliament to put forth our opinions on a new law or bill, we can elect a representative to be our voice and do so. Does this not seem like an important enough reason to go out, once in five years, and cast your vote?
I was recently talking to a friend on the phone, who was reluctant to go out and vote. ‘Chood na, ek vote se kya hoga?’ (leave, what difference will one vote make?) he told me. It does make a difference. If you don’t cast your vote, somebody might misuse your name and power as a voter to vote for a inept representative – and you will spend five more years in hypocritical and ineffective rants.
‘I am not interested in politics. It bores me’. This is a common sentiment, not restricted only to my friend, but spread across the current youth. Yet this statement is absurd. You might as well say that I do not care about who rules over me. I am happy being a slave. As a citizen of your country, you cannot be impervious to what happens in your country. But even at a more fundamental level, if you won’t vote for your country’s future, vote for your future. Vote for cleaner and regular water supply, vote for better roads and infrastructure, vote for less delays in the railway, vote for more playgrounds, vote for more employment opportunities, vote for better education, vote for change – vote for all the things you have been cribbing about the last five years. It is very easy to sit in a air-conditioned restaurant and remark casually over drinks, ‘the country is going to the dogs’ ; or to read an article on displaced and impoverished tribals, and say ‘the government ought to do something for them’. Vote to Act!