Every year, many students like me turn 18 and cast their vote on the Election Day, fulfilling the most basic action in a democratic society. Voting is a fundamental process that keeps our system of government working. Through elections, citizens have the ability to decide on who represents them in the government, be it a local official, a state or national minister, or the Prime Minister.
On the election day, voters get the chance to not only select their representatives in the government for the next term, but they also often have the ability to decide on measures like bond issues that grant the government permission to borrow money for construction projects and other developments in the country. And sometimes voters cast their votes on social issues such as banning smoking in restaurants and bars, etc.
Hence, it is the responsibility and duty of every citizen of age 18 or above to vote, as it is their voice, with many others, in unison, that can change the direction of a community, state, nation, and even the world! With a government elected by it’s citizens and that effects every aspect of our lives from schools to health care, voting is an important right in our society. By voting citizens are making their voice heard and registering their opinions on how they think the government should operate, and in such a diverse country like ours, I’m sure that people would have many different opinions on how the government should function. Given the importance of elections in our country India, I wonder why do so many people choose not to vote? Why do some refuse to participate in the elections, when the ministers and issues voted on have such a strong influence on nearly every aspect of their lives?
There are numerous reasons, some feel that in a country so populous, their vote doesn’t really count and doesn’t make any difference. However, the balance tilts when this becomes a national attitude and lakhs- perhaps crores- of voters are not cast. By casting their vote, citizens may not necessarily be able to get the best candidate elected- politics being what it is- but by avoiding casting their vote, they improve the chances of unsuitable ones winning the polls. At the end, it is only the voter who has to suffer through poor governance.
There have also been many instances in history where everything came down to that ONE VOTE! For instance, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had lost the no- confidence motion and his Prime Ministership in the parliament by a single vote, but interestingly it didn’t discourage him to make a dramatic return as the Prime Minister within a few months! Some people also say that they don’t know enough about the issues going on in the country and think they shouldn’t vote, but I consider that as a silly excuse. Who doesn’t know what’s going on in the country currently? It just takes a short glimpse of the newspaper or a news channel to know what all is going on in our country..
The citizens should understand that the whole edifice of the Indian Democracy is built on the foundation of voting. If citizens aren’t careful about casting their vote- or worse, skip their vote altogether- it will jeopardize the existence of our democratic Republic. I believe that voting is an honor conferred on the citizens by the founding fathers. By exercising their right to vote, citizens demonstrate their respect for the history of the country. As I stated before, Voting is the voice of the citizens and they should understand it. Voting offers every citizen a medium of expression. In a country as vast and diverse as ours, different regions have different concerns and priorities.
The process of voting allows every citizen to have a say in what should constitute the matters of importance by voting for the candidate, he or she deems fir for the purpose. While it is true that the outcome of elections is seldom predictable, by not casting one’s vote, the citizen is giving up on the chance of getting heard. People should understand that voting is like farming. Wouldn’t it be catastrophic if nobody farmed? The same applies to voting. In a democracy, elections are the biggest opportunity to bring about changes, and VOTE is the biggest weapon for this change, and we are lucky to have a democracy in our country in which every adult no matter what religion, gender, race, etc they belong to, have a right to cast their vote. Voting is not only our “right” but also our responsibility as a citizen of our country and we must fulfill this responsibility with uttermost seriousness. We all must caste our vote and must also inspire others to cast their votes because this is the strongest weapon in our hands with the help of which we can solve our problems and can bring great revolution in the country! Also, those who don’t fulfill their responsibility towards the country, have no right to ask for their “rights”. I would like to quote John F Kennedy here: “Ask not what the country has done for you. Ask what you have done for the country”. So, if we can’t do anything else for our country, let’s at least caste our vote with responsibility and unite to bring positive changes in our life and to make our own future better!