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HindustanTimes Mon,15 Sep 2014

Our vote will decide quality of governance

Kiran Bedi, Hindustan Times   April 09, 2014
First Published: 22:40 IST(9/4/2014) | Last Updated: 22:43 IST(9/4/2014)

India is world's largest democracy with 81 crore voters, of which 10 crore are first-timers. The right to vote comes to us every five years to elect our Parliament and state assemblies. We also elect our municipal councillors and panchayats. It is this one vote collectively counted that brings into power a group of people who then govern us for five years.

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None of them can be recalled once elected for there is no provision in our Constitution to do so. We as voters have only been recently given the right to 'No Vote' if we do not like any candidate. But even that does not amount to recalling the elected candidate.

Sacred responsibility
Hence, voting is our sacred responsibility for the quality of governance of the village, district, state and the country. How have we exercised this power in the past over 60 years? Did we consider it as a conscientious duty which must be performed with a sense of full responsibility?

Voting is not compulsory in our country unlike in some other countries such as Australia. But it is our duty as a citizen.

In the past, in some key metropolitan cities, the voting percentage was even less than 50%. This is negation of one's responsibility as a citizen. If one does that, one has no right to complain about bad governance. Hence, let us commit that this time no one will miss this sacred duty.

Once at the polling station, we need vote for the future of the country rising above narrow interests. We should know full well who are we voting for and why. Is it in national interest or we are having a personal and narrow view?

Party credentials
Both the candidate and party are important. Also, by whom is the party led? Who all does the party comprise? What is their spread and organisational strength? What is their past record? What are their policies, manifestos and declarations, their capability and capacity, their vision and intention?

This is everyone's duty that cannot be delegated. There was once a king who one day asked all his court persons to bring a glass of milk each and pour it in a big pitcher placed in the centre of the courtyard. People thought how did it matter if they did not bring in milk because their water would get mixed with the others' milk. Little did they realise that many others were thinking on similar lines. So when the king saw the pitcher, it had only water. Moral of the story: do your duty and don't expect others to do what you are supposed to.

This is what many of us voters did in the past thinking what if I didn't vote, others would. Or if I voted with a sense of irresponsibility, it wouldn't matter for I would have the right to claim good governance anyway for others would vote with responsibility. It won't happen this time.

Each vote is a responsibility for voting for good governance, which ensures longevity, sustainability and right policies, which are in the best interest of the country, giving people a sense of security, enhancing prestige and power of the nation, getting out of debt traps, balanced budgets, inclusive growth, generating employment, increasing infrastructure, ensuring health care, education and skills for all and more. Most of all ensuring our hard-earned money is not wasted or stolen.

For this each of us has to cast our vote with a full sense of responsibility. It's a vote for our future and the future of our children. We all love our children. And we love their motherland, which is ours too.

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