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The Right to Vote and NE-India – Neil M. Goswami

Democracy in the words of Abraham Lincoln is a government ”by the people, of the people and for the people” and hence the participation of the masses is essential to the idea of democracy.

India is the world’s largest democracy and its vigilant citizens are the driving force which is required to make India the most efficient democracy as well and this shall be possible only when every Indian chooses to exercise the most powerful right he or she has – the right to vote.

Elections in India are akin to festivals. The rallies, the promises, the speeches but with all that pomp and even the aftermath during results, we choose to ignore the most important part in between, the day which actually decides the winner and also gives an inkling of the number of people concerned about India and its democracy.

Politics does not interest many, it is seen as a medium of deception and merely something politicians do but people must be reminded that it is them, the people who take the most important decisions in a democratic country regardless of what they are. We donot hesitate to criticise the government for things but it is us who bring it into power either by voting or by choosing not to.

Sadly in a democracy, majority counts and when people in other countries are waging wars just to get a right to vote we are but merely wasting it. Indians must be reminded that we are fortunate to have the power to choose our own rulers when many donot have that luxury. It’s not a mere vote but the biggest contribution you can make to your country. We want our voices to be heard, opinions to be considered yet we abstain from doing the one thing that affords us that power. We choose to raise our voices on unfair acts, decisions of the government but donot do anything when the right time comes. Democracy gives us the power to bring in changes and even to correct past mistakes by having regular elections. Second chances are rare and yet we are afforded that only to be ignored.

The ballot box not only represents the name of candidates but it also holds the aspirations, dreams of million citizens. It’s time that rather than complaining we took the best shot we have of making our voices heard and choose to vote.

For North-Eastern people voting day is quite a drab affair, people are fear-stricken due to unrest and choose not to turn up in huge numbers but they should be reminded that the war against issues like Armed Forces Special Powers Act and reinstalling the Special Status of North-Eastern States will remain mere protests and never take a desired direction until and unless it is backed up by the people of North East turning up on voting day to choose the right kind of representatives. Maybe we need to remember that there is a fine line between what we aspire to be and what we are and electing the right people can change that disparity.

Let’s all take a pledge to turn up on voting day and make it the actual festival. Let’s turn up to celebrate the fact that our opinion matters in the world’s largest democracy and let the ballot box be our answer to unfulfilled promises and new aspirations. Let us vote for change and betterment and take second chances if we are wrong.

Let’s vote for a government which favours Lincoln’s words -”By the people, of the people, for the people”

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