Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Poll Apart

I know what Democracy means. I also know what Democracy does. I think I am democratic by thought too. But do I practice it? Am not too sure of that though. I have read, Democracy is of the people, by the people & for the people. So, I can safely assume, here in this sentence, I am included in “people”. Right? Good. Which would mean it is I who has the right to run democracy, it is chosen by me & it is for the benefit & well being of me. Is that right? I am correct, second time too…. wow! Am on a hat trick!! But have I exercised my rights? Clean bowled!!! After two huge hits, I fall apart (Cricket the next most popular issue in India right now!). Being born in the largest democracy of the world, gives one rights & liberties to exercise & enjoy. However, all rights come with responsibilities attached. I have very conveniently chosen selective rights & avoided most of the responsibilities of a natural citizen of the country.

It’s been 31 years of my natural citizenship, I have never voted. Not that I never wanted to. I never bothered to. We have been discussing Politics since a young age. Especially so, may be because my father was in a Central Government job & we all knew this much Geometry that any change in the Centre of the Circle would certainly change the status of the Circle. It is the Government which is responsible to run the country. But it never hit us that it is our responsibility to vote & elect it. We are ready to criticize the running Government, ready to bring it down. But we are not ready to vote & elect a (supposedly) better Government to replace it. I don’t know how many of my friends have voted yet. And even if they have, how many actually wanted to. And even if they wanted to, have they actually voted for the person/party/coalition it wanted to? That’s strange too. Considering, discussing Politics from a young age, being aware of the systems & civic obligations, we have never discussed if we ourselves have ever voted in (or out, whichever way you look at it) a change in our lives? Looking at the “Youth India Drive” with a new quote everyday, e.g. “Someone who cannot walk, is running our country”, “Someone who is not physically fit is fit enough to run a country” etc, has made me think.

Why & how come WE, the people, become so creative & innovative suddenly just before elections? What do we do, for the in-between 4 ½ years when the so called out of shape, unfit & ailing “chosen ones” are limping around? How do we so clearly see every hair on the body, every move of the muscle & every twitch of the eye of these very people who were brought in as change to bring in a change at this moment?

Well, some would say, I don’t have a right to criticize when I don’t even vote. But then, freedom of speech is a fundamental right of every natural citizen of India, right? I believe, Politics is about understanding the intent behind creating & running of a sovereign, purpose of a written constitution, the need for public administration & the logic of civic governance. Once we have understood the real meaning of it, then electing someone who represents your idea of Politics, would help evolve a better election system with the best person/party/coalition trying to bring in the change we desire. Ofcourse polling is important.

Politics is not just about elections. Or may be, my thinking is polls apart.

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