This post comes as a reaction to the article that I read by Mr.Sushant Singh. This is the second article of the author that I have read about the voter turnout.
My experience of being part of two voter awareness/registration campaigns (Jaago Re! and Jaagte Raho!) over the past 2.5 years and more importantly of being a citizen of India for 3 decades have shaped my thoughts.
I strongly believe that for a vibrant democracy, every citizen has to participate whatever the level of awareness. We cannot alienate certain citizens for their lack of knowledge of public policy et al. The onus is on government, civil society organisations and citizens to create a more aware demographic but should not be a hindrance to participation.
And for this participation VOTING is the first step.
A call for higher voter participation is the first step to generate an interest in governance and public affairs which is definitely missing in the urban citizen for many a reason. If a democracy has to thrive it cannot be because a few citizens take up the burden of participation while others whine. It has to be collective.
I do not buy the argument about not voting due to the bad choices on the candidate list. There are bad choices because political parties know that no one is questioning them. If citizens begin to participate, beginning with voting, political parties will also be vigilant in their 'ticket' giving process. To give a very simplistic argument, if the least 'bad choice' is voted-in each time, over a few elections the 'bad choice' will transform to be a 'good choice' by the process of weeding out. The political parties will start giving tickets to people who have a chance to get elected and who are worthy.
You get what you deserve, if you think you deserve better then ask for it.
Napoleon said - The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, But because of the silence of good people.
So stop being silent....elect, engage....