Go and vote—It makes you feel big and strong

Go and vote—It makes you feel big and strong

Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people. Somewhere inside of all of us is the power to change the world

General elections are round the corner. Every day there are political rallies and road shows of different leaders from different political parties. A precious time for the first -time voters, who are eagerly waiting, to show their ‘might’. Associate yourself with any party or any candidate. But vote. It is a holy ritual. It is a great feeling. It is not only the right but a great responsibility you have in deciding the future of the country.

I still remember the day when I voted for the first time. It was in 1971. That time the voting age was 21, we were just getting out of college. The general elections were held between 1st and 10th of March, just before the final year examinations, to elect members of the fifth Lok Sabha. At that point, it was 27 Indian states and union territories represented by 518 constituencies. There was excitement and anxiety in me as though, I was writing an exam, everything should go perfect. Felt great as if a tremendous responsibility was put on my delicate shoulders, Atlas carrying the Earth. Way back we had no access to technology to know about the candidate. We had to totally rely upon the information provided by the newspapers or the small, cheap paper pamphlets that were distributed by the party workers from house-to-house canvassing. The first- time voters either went by the suggestions of their elders or by discussions with their peers. Some were well aware of the candidates in the fray, others had no information of any sort. The first- time voters of this generation are lucky. Thanks to the Information Technology, everything is right in front of them at the click of a button.

The first thought that usually comes to anybody’s mind is ‘Why should I vote’? The second thought is, what difference does that one vote is going to make. Those who stay away from the election think 1 vote will do no good! ‘T is but one step more to think 1 vote will do no harm. Each and every vote counts, and therefore we must never underestimate the power of even one vote. Go with pride and special feeling. It is your faith that votes. Democratic privileges duly exercised until the next time. You experience a sense of responsibility as a citizen and the power which can overturn the results. People shouldn’t be afraid of their government; the government should be afraid of their people. This is your bit you do to strengthen democracy in our beloved nation. Supposing people’s choices are just trails of regret, how can democracy be effective.

Now comes the question of choosing the right candidate. Google about the candidates of your constituency. Look for any criminal records. Number of times candidate had crossed over to another party. That shows whether the candidate is giving more importance to personal advantages than the country. Look at the promises made now and previously. How many were being fulfilled. What is the promise for youth. Check whether there is a free flow of subsidies- because it is not possible to maintain after sometime, they are false promises. Don’t think of the option of NOTA (none of the above). It is as good as not voting. It means you have no faith on yourself, your decision and you doubt your own judgement. If you love your country and want good to every citizen of this country, don’t ever bring it to your mind. Voting is not only our right; it is our power. If you don’t vote you lose the right to complain.

The Election Commission of India said that a whopping 96.88 crore voters will cast their vote in the upcoming General Elections. It further said that over 2 crore young electors in the age group 18-29 have been added in the voters list for the Lok Sabha polls scheduled to be held in May 2024. The Prime Minister of the country Narendra Modi urged India’s youth to vote in the upcoming general elections. He said, ‘on turning 18, the youth are getting a chance to elect a member for the 18th Lok Sabha and it will also be symbol of youth aspiration’.

Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people. Somewhere inside of all of us is the power to change the world.

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