April 10, 2009

My Precious Vote goes to...

The Indian General Elections (2009) are round the corner and it is a time when each one of us has an equal right – irrespective of what you do, what your status is, where you live… It is exactly ONE VOTE!

It is your voice to decide who makes the decisions for us. We need to ask ourselves some questions about this opportunity:

1. First and foremost: Am I using this right and considering it as a duty to vote? If I do not vote, I am not participating in our country’s and hence our own development. In 60 years of independence and democracy, our country has not moved as much as one would have expected.

There have been only 2 governments – PVN Rao’s liberalization and Atalji’s IndiaIndia count and lead the way in setting a new order for the world shining – that have actually done something significantly good for us. Imagine what sustained good governance can actually do for all of us. We cannot sit back and let things just go on. Today, the world is looking for a new order and we have to make

This has to be based on Indian values because we have seen that communism, socialism, capitalism have failed us. This is a beginning of a new era – each one of us and our country has to lead the way. And this starts with a strong government.

2. Second: Whom are we voting for? Given our model of democracy that allows a huge number of parties to play in the national government formation, we have to give one party a chance to run the nation without worrying about some small party arm-twisting it. A general rule to follow can be – vote for a party in national elections and vote for a person in local elections.

Each party has its good spots, bad spots, achievements, problems, etc… We need to decide the issues that are of importance to us and do a fair evaluation of the past as well as expected future performance.

It is important to dig out facts for ourselves and not go by hearsay. Today yellow journalism blows small incidents out of proportion and subsequent actions/ good work does not get reported. Internet has made all information available at your fingertips – spend time and do your research.

We should not be afraid to change – in fact, giving different people a chance ensures that all parties are on their toes and the people and country win. “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is very apt and we should keep that in mind.

3. Third: Pick pertinent issues and go deeper into it. (I have taken one issue for illustration)

It is amazing to see how the only rhetoric other parties use against BJP is it being communal. And it is even more surprising to see how we get taken in by such things. If we have done our homework, we would realize the fallacy there.

Secularism is defined as separation of religion and government (church and state). This also includes replacing laws based on religious scriptures with civil laws and eliminating discrimination on the basis of religion. This would then imply talking of implementing Uniform Civil code is secular! This would mean removing religion/ caste based quotas would be secular!!

Modern commentators have actually criticized secularism as being anti-religious and atheistic. In fact, Pope Benedict XVI has declared ongoing secularization to be a fundamental problem of modern society, and has made it the goal of his papacy to counteract secularism and moral relativism.

So, now who is secular and who is communal? Look at the changing demographics of India; look at how minority-appeasement is being referred to as secular and not communal (e.g. The only country giving subsidy for Haj pilgrims, the only country talking of giving CBSE status to madarasas!, allowing forced conversions – and the list goes on…)

It is time we all wake up, do our homework and vote! People get only what they deserve. So, we have to change first and we have to really want a change in the governance – only then we will get it!

Read Sri Sri's views on elections - click here

More posts from Bawa - Reservations, Inconvenient Questions - I, Inconvenient Questions - II and Another Outrage

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