With the second batch of legislative elections for 2013 over, having few of the most influential if not the biggest states in the picture, the countdown has begun for the general elections 2014. These legislative elections, besides acting as a warm up for the world’s biggest elections, also interestingly recorded the highest number of voter turnouts in almost all states. This, combined with the entry and hopefully a decent performance (as per exit polls) by the Aam Aadmi Party, has awoken the complacent Indian National Congress and Bhartiya Janata Party to the reality that the path ahead might not be that rosy.
The best showcase of that were the Delhi assembly elections which saw candidates resorting to all sorts of campaigning tactics in the book after a long time due to a new fish in the city (AAP). Yes, no one wants a hung parliament. But every single person knows that time has come for a change. And this fight for change is bigger than just removing one party from power and putting another instead. It is the fight for the realisation of this nation’s citizens’ right to vote, which has now turned into a duty. If the trend of this year’s elections is to be relied on, we are finally seeing the people actually taking part in their nation’s governance.
In the beginning of the year, Tripura had a record voter turnout of 93.57%, which set the record for the country’s highest-ever voter turnout. This was followed by Meghalaya which saw a voter turnout of 71.24%, Nagaland which saw a voter turnout of 92%, and Karnataka which had a voter turnout of 70.23%. Then, in the recent November-December batch of polling, the Election Commission recorded the highest voter turnout in their respective states in all elections, be it Madhya Pradesh (71%), Chhattisgarh (75%), Rajasthan (74.38%), Mizoram (82%), or Delhi (66%). While many say it is due to the people’s frustration with the current governance or rather a show of support, depending on the party in power, fact is that this is perhaps a step ahead for our nation.
People, who don’t vote, don’t feel responsible for the acts of our ‘esteemed’ politicians. They then act as mere cynical commentators on the ruling government. At least with the increase in the voter turnout, the people have chosen. Democracy has played a role. Whatever may be the result of those 5 years down the line, the people will feel responsible. Who knows, the same uproar and dissatisfaction which welded AAP from the fire of social movement and need for change, may remind the ‘ruling’ parties of our nation that they are here ‘serving’ the nation. It will hopefully remind the citizens that the framers of our Constitution established our nation’s governance on the principle of “of the people, by the people and for the people” instead of “fool the people, rule the people and use the people” which seems to be the current scenario.
It is a fervent hope that the country won’t disappoint in the General Elections 2014 and that democracy shall prevail, for even if we choose wrong, we can hold ourselves responsible but it is when the choice of action has not been taken by us that the true defeat of a nation occurs. So rise and shine India, Wake up and Vote India.
About the Author
Sonakshi is a first year law student at Symbiosis Law School, Pune. She completed her schooling from CJM Convent St. Anthony’s Junior College, Agra, where she was the Head Girl of the student council. Her interests include reading, writing and debating and she enjoys good music, appreciates humour, thrives on sarcasm and generally annoys the hell out of her friends (that last bit is unintentional, well most times anyway). Currently, she is experiencing and surviving through the first year of law school and is extremely excited about the opportunity to share her views on the platform provided by the Alexis Foundation.