“Koi desh perfect nahi hota. Usey perfect banana padta hain.” This line from 2006’s Rang De Basanti still remains relevant, especially with the Lok Sabha election in the horizon. However, the process of perfecting democracy in India does seem to tire many. India is the largest democracy, going by the size of the electorate with the youth comprising of the biggest demographic. Yet, many of the young people do not step up to vote during the elections, be it their local elections or the Lok Sabha elections. However, rather than painting the picture black or white, let’s try to first understand what deters the youth from voting before exploring the scenario further.
First of all, the representation of politics in the media, especially social media, has created a toxic environment of unhealthy competition. Wherever we turn our eyes, we are presented with unpleasant sights of abuses, rumours and shaming. Hence, one must try to look at the media sources with objectivity and look beyond the chaos to develop more refined perspectives. Sounds complex but it isn’t! It’s like a social experiment where you examine the scenario from different perspectives and back the one with the strongest evidence.
Now that the major deterrent has been addressed, let us look at the need and power of votes.
Each Vote Counts
The common myth many have is their single vote does not make a difference in the larger picture. However, that is far from reality. Each vote counts and has the power to change the end result in elections, as proven at certain instances in the past. In the 2008 Rajasthan Assembly Elections, State Congress Chief C.P. Joshi lost to Kalyan Singh Chouhan of BJP by a single vote. Joshi had secured 62215 votes as opposed to 62216 votes won by Chouhan. To know about more such instances, click here.
Votes have the power to bring change
Whether a government is performing or not, it is the citizens you get to decide whether they stay in power or not. So, if you think the government is performing, cast the vote in favour. If you feel otherwise, go vote for the opposition. But do vote, because as stated, youth, being the biggest demographic, hold the power in an election. A proof of this was the 2014 general elections where the youth helped the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win the majority. States with the highest proportion of young voters (also states with the highest population) had voted for the party, as seen in this article from IndiaSpend.
Even this time, 43% of Lok Sabha members shall be elected from the top five states with the highest number of first-time voters: Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. So, you must be getting the biggest picture now.
The power of NOTA
Now, there shall be some who may not be satisfied with either party’s performance at the Centre. They may think why vote when I do not wish to vote for either party. However, the Election Commission has given a solution to this predicament too with NOTA. NOTA or None of the Above option is something you can choose in your ballot to make your criticism count too. The symbol comprises of a ballot paper with a black cross across it.
Undocumented criticism is futile criticism. Hence, make your voice heard as people have done in the past. In the 2014 general elections, over 60 lakh NOTA votes were polled, accounting for 1.1% of the total voter share.
With so much power infused in a single vote, do not underestimate its power and stand back. Be an active participant in exercising the power of the electorate and make a difference to the welfare of your nation.