Voting is a constitutional right given to any citizen who is above 18 years of age.
But many of us don’t execute our right. Election day is declared as a holiday and so most of the urban population take it as a day of rest. It is important for us to understand the long term adverse consequences of not voting. In 2014 we recorded the highest voter turnout and that was around 66%, meaning that 44% did not vote at all. These numbers are alarmingly high and not good for any democracy.
Every good citizen must ensure that they cast their votes, as they are the ones who make the decision of having a good and clean government. Many a time people are disgruntled and unhappy with non-performing MLA’s and MP’s, but they don’t take any stand by casting in their vote.
India is the largest democracy in the world due to its large population.
Every vote counts and can make a difference in taking our country to a road of development. Yes, sometimes we are disheartened that though we vote, we are still not able to get a good and corrupt free candidate elected and hence we avoid voting. But remember by not voting, you are increasing the chances of all the unsuitable candidates. It is a moment when everyone in power wants to listen to your concerns, problems and the key priority areas that matter to you. So do not let the opportunity go waste.
Our democracy depends upon our freedom to vote.
Though it is understood to be our fundamental right, it also comes with a huge responsibility. We need to exercise our right and responsibility. We also respect the right that our country and constitution has given us. It is our duty to make a wise and informed decision to choose the right candidate, so that there will be good governance in our country.
We will be soon be having our Municipal Elections.
In the local and the national elections, we elect our representatives, who then become an integral part of making laws, policies, and other important appointments. These decisions affect us in the long run.In view of the disappointment amongst citizens with regards to casting of votes, the Government of India has also made provisions for NOTA (None of the Above).
This is a facility given to those who are not willing to cast their vote for any candidate standing for the election. NOTA – simply states that none of the candidates are good.
We need to understand that we are very privileged to be able to exercise this right to vote.
Many nations in different parts of the world do have the freedom to vote and choose their candidates. There are threats, disruptions and violence to block people from exercising this right. In India too, we find that there are threats of violence and militancy to prevent the process of peaceful elections in certain areas. However, our country is committed to peaceful elections and our election commission is widely applauded for successfully conducting such mass scale elections peacefully.
Let us understand the process of elections.
The election commission is responsible for ensuring the smooth control, direction and conduct of the elections. Some of the key points to be kept in mind are:
1. You need to have a valid Election Identity card. You can apply for the same on-line or at the Regional election commission office.
2. You need to find the polling station where you can cast your vote.
3. The name of the candidates will be listed in alphabetical order in the respective state language.
4. You need to press the blue button next to the candidate you have chosen.
5. You will receive a mark of ink on your finger to identify that you have exercised your vote.
6. You can also use NOTA.
Whom do we elect ?
We elect officials right from the local level, state level to the federal level. We have two Houses of Parliament.
This is the lower house of the Parliament, also called as the house of people. We elect the Members of the parliaments (MP) every 5 years through general elections. Currently the Lok Sabha has 545 members.
This is the upper house of the Parliament, also known as the council of states. These members are elected by the members of the State Legislative Assemblies and the union territories. Therefore the members of the Rajya Sabha are indirectly elected by the people. There are 245 members elected for a 6 year term. 1/3rd members of the Rajya Sabha retire every two years.
These are some of the important aspects to be kept in mind while understanding the importance of voting in the India democracy.
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