Is voting enough, or do we need to take charge? Every answer leads to a question

Posted on April 24, 2009 in Politics

-Anshul Tewari

It often happens that when we get down to think about India and where we are heading, we enter into deep thoughts and get emotional about certain issues. We want to see a better India but how? Is it that just by voting we can create a change? Is it true that we ourselves have to get out on the streets and do something? If we vote, does that mean we can crib? If the Government of our choice does not come to power, do we have the right to pull down the one in power, and that to for not too good enough reasons? Is politics all about the blame game and struggle between politicians? Are we ever in focus?

The game of politics is not new in our country. It dates ages back, when many of us were either not born, or were 6 or 7. When we were kids, we thought of politics as something unethical and dirty. Then we became teenagers and we were careless. None of us was bothered about the Indian politics.

Then we came to college, that’s the time when many of us gained enlightenment, many of us gained it when they started working. But whatever be the case, there is a day in our lives when we come to know, if not too much, a little bit about politics. We take sides and start supporting a particular political party, usually because our parents support it.

Then we vote, a party comes to power and does its work, or not (as the case may be). But how many of us feel that our work ends after voting? Well, a few years back I used to think this way, but things have changed now. Many of us feel that we want to be a part of active politics or at least be influential enough so as to cast our impact. People tell us to spread awareness and persuade others to vote.

We can surely ask each and every one to vote but yet not reach everyone. Now, the point here is that most of the Youth (major part being the rural or the ones with no access to correct info) are persuaded by the political parties to vote for them, either by lures, or by way of propaganda. The voters have less or no knowledge of their past works of development (which should be the major factor to determine a person’s vote), they do not know what the implications of voting the wrong one in would be, they are persuaded by peers, relatives, family members, etc. and end up voting the wrong person in.

Although the voter rate would be much higher this time, but how do we ensure that the right person gets the vote.

We can spread awareness, but till what level? Till where can we go? What maximum can we do?

26/11 and more such incidents have brought in the fire, but most of it is emotional, and the outrage is certainly not based on logical reasoning. What good would the votes be if they are an outcome of emotions? One needs to analyse a political party’s works, achievements and failures.

If there have been 26/11 at the time of UPA, there has been Godhra massacre at the time of NDA. The list is long for both, but what must matter the most is that India being a pluralistic society, will a political party at power be able to walk all sects, communities, castes or religions together?
Will a political party be able to concentrate on the grass root level issues, which have a long list?
Will a political party be able to work without having a fix, if 26/11 re occurs?
Will a political party not propagate in a way that leads to demolitions of religious institutions?
The list of the questions is long. How will we reach out to everyone, and ask them to be unbiased and vote?

Youth Ki Awaaz asked this question to Rajeev Chandrasekhar, an entrepreneur and a standing MP from Bengaluru and Karnataka. Rajeev Chandrasekhar represents the State of Karnataka and the City of Bangalore in the Upper House of the Indian Parliament – Rajya Sabha.

“I agree that getting the youth out to vote and vote based on the right issues – is the most difficult thing..there are obviously many reasons for it as I see it..Urban youth of India while being very opionated about many issues have not been motivated, encouraged to understand /read /become aware of some of the bigger issues facing our nation..then theres the issue of being disconnected and apathetic to politics and politicians.

This is clearly the fault of politicians and political parties of not reaching out to them..Unless one of the political parties or leaders takes a conscious deliberate effort at engaging the young and put forward a vision of India that excites them and motivates them, the youth are bound to sit on the sidelines and whine, grumble and crib! as do a lot of urban civil society…

You make a good point about all political parties having things in their history and conduct to be ashamed about ! 1984 Sikh Riots, 2002 Godhra, Riots in so many states etc.. Thats why this debate must focus on the future , because if we keep going back to the past to extrapolate the future – we will never make a movement forward…Thats why its important to ask the political leaders about what their vision for India of tomorrow! and take our decisions based on that!

Rajeev did give us a ray of hope, but how many MP’s feel this way? Can we ever get out on the streets (not one or two, but many of us, if not all) and educate the ones who constitute a major Indian vote bank? And, if the political parties ever take charge to visit them in order to educate them, what is the guarantee that they will share the correct knowledge and not only about their party? Every answer leads to a question

We are aware, but its high time we got together to make others who constitute a majority of the vote bank, aware and help them take correct decisions.

We ask you to participate in this discussion and suggest ways by which we can cast an impact and make sure that the leader who is selected is the correct one.