On 26th January, 1950 the constitution of India came into force. It provided us our rights as citizens of a powerful democracy and emerging nation. 67 years later we are campaigning and urging citizens to come forward to exercise their vote and truly be the change. On the occasion of National Voters’ Day, the PM said that elections are celebrations of democracy, which communicate the will of the people.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) yesterday celebrated the seventh National Voters’ Day across the country to enhance the participation of the citizens in the electoral process. The objective was to increase enrollment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones. Also to spread awareness amongst voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process.
Seven states of India are going to polls in 2017. Presently, five of them of them are going in the first half of the year. The Uttar Pradesh polls on, which most political observers are keeping a keen eye, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur will elect new governments too. Towards the latter half of 2017, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh will be witness to keen electoral battles.
It is our responsibility as citizens to come forward and be part of the change that we want to see around us. Parts of Maharashtra too are having local elections where candidates are contesting; promises are being made and released in manifestos and collaborations or divisions are being seen amongst parties and individuals. The State Election Commission has adopted a variety of technological innovations. ‘ Cop ‘ mobile app ( Citizens On Patrol) can be used for Municipal, District Panchayat Samiti elections. General election voters can keep an eye out and complain of violations of the Code of Conduct. If irregularities are found in the election campaign period, it can be pointed out by sending a photograph. Therafter, the election monitoring committee will meet and decide on the course of action.
After demonetisation, it looks quite possible that the political rhetoric in the country would revolve around the monetary reform, its impact, and its intentions, through the first few months of 2017. As an ever evolving and adaptive society, we need to change with changing times. Using the power of the common man’s voice and exercising social media as a powerful pillar in our democracy.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp,etc can largely aid in the social movement to transform, make amendments and revolutionise the way forward. The responsibility for change in society mindset, the perception in which we treat and approach individuals is truly on every citizen, which can use their rights and speak up to give rise to a social movement.
Political parties are provided with a sumptuous budget to do well through social work and pay attention to issues at the micro level. There has to be realisation to start out at the ground level and apply sustainable models in place. More than quantity is the qualitative value, which needs to translate. When concentrating on output, one has to go beyond the number game and personally be involved in the process. Big talks and speeches need to convert and connect with citizen’s social responsibility.
The elections in 2017 will indicate which way the winds are blowing. State politics are largely governed by caste and community equations and the political campaigns are centered on state-level issues. We as responsible citizens need not be swayed by charismatic appeal and propelling figures. It is on us to consider the pros and cons of the candidate we elect. To see recent history and truly be able to know who is sincere about addressing civic issues for the welfare and betterment of the people at large. Patriotism is not only about standing up during the National Anthem, but also earnestly implementing change for the vote earned and not bought.
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The CSR Journal Team