No, I did not vote………….
Call me a skeptic preacher or a hypocrite who writes and talks about the public participation in affairs of national interest but does not cast his vote when time comes.
What stopped me was not the heat or crowd, what made me change my mind was the fact that I read in papers a series of lofty, unrealistic and utopian promises made in flowery and cosmetic language which can hardly be kept. Populist slogans and promises are made just to gain votes unmindful of its ramifications on the country its people and economy. They want to make everything free without giving a slightest idea as to how they plan to raise the revenues. Sensitive, emotive and divisive issues and non-issues are raised to gain electoral dividends. Unrealistic, unattainable and illusory promises are made which could hardly be put into practice. I fail to comprehend which common man they are talking about.
Will somebody explain to me why the salary of defense personnel should be exempt from income tax? What crime has a teacher, doctor, industrialist or a clerk done? Defense of the nation is just another profession and I don’t consider them heroes in anyway. I was part of the defense for a major portion of my youth and I don’t think that defense personnel in any way is more patriotic than a farmer who ploughs his field early mornings to produce crop that you and I eat.
Lincoln defined ‘‘Democracy as the Government of the people by the people and for the people’’ but our politicians have degenerated it into ‘‘Government off the people buy the people and far the people’’.
In a true electoral democracy elections are the means to form the governments but not the ends therein. The end being developmental issues, welfare, health and education, infrastructure and quality of life of an average citizen. Though elections are integral part of democracy yet we definitely cannot say that democracy is elections and electioneering only.
If we want to make electoral democracy successful and meaningful, then the government must make election manifestos enforceable.It is only then we can make voting compulsary for every citizen and not voting a punishable offence. Let these people do what they say and run the country. As long as election manifestos continue to be just a bundle of lies, electorate like me will continue to loose interest in elections.