Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Low turnout on elections

Sorry guys, I have been away from this space for a long time. The little one at home has been keeping me busy.

A lot of fuss has been created about the low turnout in polls in a place like mumbai. Just 40 percent. Well I am the one of those who has not voted this election. The reason, I am in mumbai and I have a voter id in Jammu. Around six months before I tried to register myself in the voter list in mumbai, for that I was required to get my name de listed form the voter list in Jammu first. Well going to Jammu, visiting Tehsildars' office, paying him him the bribe or to make five to ten rounds of his office for a voting right in Mumbai. Well all this, I could not afford for various reasons, well understood by those who live in my class, the educated lower middle class.
Our political leaders have come out with the idea of making voting compulsory, least aware of the fact that the system to ensure the same is not in place. We have failed in bringing those people to book who have committed heinous crimes, how are we going to deal with those who do not vote, and mind you the number of such people will he huge. The already crumbling police and legal system can fail because of this one stupid step of the government. And why should one think of this, once there are other means of ensuring the same. We have failed to learn lessons from the Income Tax Department. The tax collections grew many fold not by cracking the whip, but by making tax payment easy and by reducing the tax rates, thereby encouraging the tax payer to pay the tax.
Internet is a very powerful tool. Online voting is a wonderful Idea. Even those who are abroad can vote on the day of polling. I think this is the only way to make the educated and informed voter, which sadly has not been voting since independence, to take part in the process of government forming. We can go even a step ahead. Voting by sms. All the election commission is required to do is to tie up with the various telecoms service providers and issue a user id and a password to every voter. I know these ideas are there in the minds of those who matter, but somehow they do not want to implement, either because they want only illiterate and ignorant to vote, or the will is lacking. As I generally say, its time for us, the educated, honest, and young lot of India to join the politics and clean the filth, rather than being the mute spectators and mourn the countery's pathetic state of affairs over a cup of coffee inside the comforts of our drawing rooms.

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