Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Who Deserves Your Vote?

“That we have the vote means nothing. That we use it in the right way means everything.” …Lou Henry Hoover.

Lou Henry Hoover was the wife of President of the United States Herbert Hoover and served as First Lady from 1929 to 1933. And sure the first Lady’s word indicates her wisdom also, for which she is known! And especially when election in our State are hardly two weeks away, here this quote seems very apt for the present sorry scene around us! I am no political expert neither this blog is for any political party or guidance but all I am always interested in is development of the society we live in. And for that development every election around is important yet the State Assembly election has its special importance. As Municipal elections are on very local issues as well Central i.e. Lok Sabha elections are for National level issues, it’s the State issues which are more important as right from Law & Order around us  to Urban Development Policies to Infrastructure Development, most of the things on which we decide the quality of our living, depends on State Governance. And that’s what makes State elections more important as it’s this Govt which is mainly responsible to make difference to our life for next five years! And it’s not just the five years but the decision taken during these five years makes long lasting impact on our future directly!

On the back ground of Lok Sabaha elections outcome, we are seeing too much of shuffling of candidates in all the parties around & a common voter like me is not only confused but frustrated about what he is seeing around. And somewhere its matter of concern as it’s this frustration which may lead to many for not to vote itself! As if there are no morals or ethics right from the choosing of candidates by the major parties on whom we put our faith, then what to expect from such parties about the promises they will be making to us? This is one part of frustration & equally applicable to the candidates who just for getting ticket of a party which in one way a ladder towards the victory, jumps in any party without even thinking once about their own past! So what confidence such candidate can give us about when he himself has no character, rather an attitude which displays sheer selfishness & grid for the power! Many voters will say there is option of NOTA i.e. "None of the above" means opting to vote no one, which is now available by the election commission! Well, that too is an option & with due respect to election commission, I personally feel that’s a wrong option. As if all voters use NOTA then imagine what situation will arrive? May be re election, but with not allowing then any of the candidates who have contested for as the voters have refused all of them as eligible! Interesting situation we have, as in current scene I think most of the people must be thinking to refuse all the candidates who have displayed a classic show of all sorts of political gymnastics, most popular of which is summersault from one party to other!  

Yet I feel that NOTA should not be used because it’s not possible that most of the people will use NOTA & then whoever comes in ruling will be on lesser numbers of votes yet he will be ruling the entire society, which will be unjust to all of those who didn’t vote or used NOTA. Another curious question comes to my mind is, what if NOTA votes are more than other valid votes to the individual candidates? Does in such case the election gets cancelled & all the candidates from that constituency gets banned for standing for election ever? As its clear that majority voters of that constituency have been rejected by the voters then all the parties should have to find new candidates; as all these candidates once have been rejected by their voters means they are not eligible as per the voters to contest the elections itself! Unless the NOTA right of voting is taken that seriously & awareness about its use has not been spread amongst the common voters, till then NOTA is waste of votes is what my personal opinion is!

Well, till then we have to respect the situation & those who wants to execute their right can press the NOTA button in election. But what about those who want to vote some one? Here I always wonder in our country where the candidates of the party are chosen by criteria like caste, religion, money, muscle power & most important is relation with the existing personalities in politics, which every party conveniently calls as capacity to get elected, what should I decide as a parameter to vote? As where are the criterias’ like vision of the candidate, his understanding & integrity towards the issues in his constituency, his past track record, his way of keeping in touch with the voters, his availability to common man of the society, his dedication towards any party , his character as well social background! Leave apart education & profession as agreed it is important yet many may not be fortunate to have proper education & then a candidate is educated doesn’t mean that he is a good human being! As we have enough examples of highly educated candidates going corrupt when came to power.

One more thing which many of us must have noticed & that’s declared wealth of many candidates which fortunately is mandatory by the election commission! It seems that Carodpati’s seems to be ruling all the constituencies, which means a candidate having wealth above Rs One Crore are too common! We have some very rural & poor constituencies which represents poverty ruled areas in Vidarbha & Marathwada, & even here too when the farmers are succumbing to suicides, the candidates seems to be very wealthy! Being a Carodpati is a coincidence or a criterion for getting a party ticket? And though it’s not surely a crime for becoming rich yet how it comes that many of the ruling candidates wealth has been increased in multiple scales in past five years when their voters financial condition isn’t reflecting same scene? Sure to earn money is a motive of most of the people but how one earns it, decides the character of the person & voters are not blind on this front about their candidate! May be day by day elections are becoming a costly affair & official expense allowed in itself has crossed nearly Rs 25 lacs, obvious that’s just tip of iceberg! And a common man rarely can meet those figures of the expenses. To reach up to millions of the voters needs lots of infrastructure, manual, mechanical as well electronics in now days which we call social media! And too manage all these fronts’ does needs money is a fact! In recent past the campaign nature has changed entirely & gone are the days where the candidate would visit each house personally. Though those were better days of elections where a personal rapport used to get developed between the voters & the electing candidates!

Now during next fifteen days many dreams will be shown, many promises will be given, personal as well about society’s development! But what one has to do as a wise voter is first you must vote & then analyze by your own self about what’s being told & shown to you & then vote judiciously! See that you vote to a person who has a past record of delivering what has been promised & who is a good human being first. Remember there may be many bribes which will come in direct as well indirect forms, may be even cash will be offered or some petty works in the society like fixing paving blocks in drive way or water pumps or bore well etc. But then the person who is trying to buy your vote, think what he will do when he gets power in his hand? There always is confusion in mind of many, even in my own, as to whom I should vote, to the party on which the candidate is standing or the person candidate? Well answer is real tricky, as the famous mythological quest says, what we call as a person, the soul within the body or the body which carries the soul? What I think, is ultimately we have to weigh joint effect of the both. Many a times individually a candidate may be very good as person but the party he is representing may not have stood to its promises or their philosophy may not be in good faith of the society. And it’s also possible that the party ethics are good but they have chosen a candidate with no base in that party & is of a poor character! In such case one has to apply logic & decide what we vote for! 

Ultimately remember one thing we are in democracy where individual person even elected may not be able to make the desired impact yet like each vote has its own value, same way if a good candidate is alone in the party yet he can make the difference with his will & behavior. We all have witnessed that in Lok Sabha elections!

So as the First Lady has said, to vote is a responsibility too,& then executing that responsibility will be important for us; because even in our own work there are situations where we might get confused about what to choose between the options & here is where the ability to vote wisely will come to our help!

Right now it’s our State as well the society we live in, needs our wisdom to choose & if we failed to perform our responsibility then we only will be at blame for our future, which needless to say won’t be bright! So go ahead & vote with open mind & be the change by yourself for the entire society with the power of your vote!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Power (MSEDCL) Committee, Credai, Pune

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