Five reasons to not vote.

28 04 2009

My concept of democracy is an environment wherein each and every individual gets to exercise his/her free will.

Birth and Death are the two accidents of life; but what defines life is the choices we make during the time period in between this two accidents. And in order to make satisfaction generating decisions we need to be ‘aware’. I mean awareness of self. Most of the time we just follow some rules, ideals and constitution just because we are programmed to do so in our formative years. We start believing those ‘thoughts’ of ours and ‘us’. But that is not true. Else there wouldn’t be so much of frustration, so much of homicides, so much of fear lurking all around. ‘Free Will’ doesn’t mean behaving haphazardly, being careless and clue less. ‘Free will’ means an ability to choose the belief system which would help you lead a satisfying life (in your own understanding); the choice making ability for you to achieve your goal of your life. ( one may choose to not have any goals; given this is a satisfaction generating decision and not mere escapism)

The whole of earth is one and so is the whole of humanity. I believe in a boundary less world. Boundaries can be there; but for the sole purpose of governing concern.   A millenium back some control freak with the support of muscle power would have been able to control a particular population residing in a particular geographical area. To sustain the control on the population the ruler would have to come up with rules, constitution, laws etc. Infact to me it seems that the invention of army as a force would have been to restrict this population within this geographical area; rather than the current known function of it providing security. Soon many such groups would have formed leading to a complex world structure as we see today. The need to control took over the minds of  ‘rulers’ rather than the object to provide an environment where ‘free will’ can pervade. These groups of people is what evolved into NATIONS. With nations came the new moralities and values like PATRIOTISM, MOTHERLAND, dying for my nation etc.  For intellectually inclined came the concepts like Anarchy, Communism, Republican, Theoism, Socialism and DEMOCRACY. What I am saying here is that all of these morals or concepts or systems are at root restrictive; and hence can never encourage ‘Free will’.

Having said that, we are today living in a world order where each NATION is competing, fearing, depending on other NATION for its survival. From all the available and evolved concepts let us accept for now that DEMOCRACY if practiced by all NATIONS, can lead to a progressive world order of peace and satisfaction for all. So the objective of the Democratic system is to create an environment which encourages ‘free will’.

Now let me try and explain  the manner in which democracy is practiced in today’s time.

  1. Partisan politics or PARTY  based democratic system at its root is divisive. It can never bring people together and hence it would never make people ‘aware’. Infact it is marred by propoganda and divisive strategies which only corrupts the environment. Moresover it is driven by lust of POWER and not for anything that we discussed above.
  2. “VOTING as the ultimate expression of democracy” is nothing but a myth.  Voting only allows me to choose one from a lot; who are fundamentally all same. It is like  whom shall i choose to exploit me this time? This in my understanding is not an exercise in Democracy.
  3. Lets for one minute believe that voting is great and it bring revolutions and all. In post modern history, since the dawn of democracy, no revolution has occured due to an election. That’s just one. Now sample this : A, B and C are the three contesting party’s in a particular area. A plays the majority caste game, B plays the minority religion card and C is someone who is using the Socio-economic segment as its propoganda. Now B trades with C to create an atmosphere so that their propoganda breaks the votes of A. This inturn would help reduce the marging between A and B. So C exists only as a tool to manufacture votes. This is a very common strategy, much more complex tools are deployed in the real world. The whole campaign of ‘PLEASE VOTE’ is/can be a strategy to shift the numbers equation.
  4. The so called accomplishments of any elected government are not leading us to a safe, secure or equitable society. The most dreading fact is all of the educated and literate and well read you dont want to make yourself aware of the real statistics. And for believers in vote ; antiincumbancy(existing candidate losing out) has been a major phenomenon in most constituences in most elections over past 6 decades.
  5. Most importantly Voting, by no means leads to the exercise of my ‘free will’. I deny to subscribe to this hollow morals bombarded on me which tells me that “IF YOU DO NOT VOTE YOU ARE NOT AN INDIAN” and on the other end it allows me to litter on road  remain an Indian.

These are the Five reasons for me to NOT VOTE.

All the intelligent ones would already have their comments ready;  the remaining ones in any case wouldn’t have reached till here. However let me make it clear that I am not being a cynic nor I am being regressive. I believe in change, I believe in chaos and a I also believe in accepting new order.

But all of those who wish to give me a dose on pop-morals like “dont just speak,  do something”, “get into the system to clean the system” etc etc…..I would just say that even I have watched and enjoyed “Rang De basanti’ and ‘Yuva’.  That’s just about it.

But yes, a democracy can be encouraging, it can make the individuals of society ‘aware’ and that would happen when Votes are not begged for, but are offered. I would quote OSHO here : My concept of democracy is people deciding on their own, without any political propaganda from anybody. Choose the candidates you like. In fact, the candidate approaching the people and asking,“Please choose me,” is ugly. If he is of any worth, people should reach him and ask him, “Please take this responsibility for us. We want you to be in Parliament.” “

I take this opportunity to persuade Dr. Kalam, Mr. Narayanmurthy, Mr. Sam Pitroda, Mr. N Vittal, Mr. VG Patel to get into governments, to get into active public administration. (there are many more capable individuals, but i would name only whom I have read or known) It is not this mythical ‘vote’ but the choice to persuade those whom I consider appropriate a greater exercise in BEHAVING DEMOCRATICALLY. All of us know some such capable individuals around us. They need not be known and popular figures. Find them and persuade them to get into the assembly. Some of you who think themselves to be capable of governing a society, persuade yourselves. I truly believe that this ACT OF PERSUADING the candidates we collectively see capable of is a greater democratic expression than a mere black dot on the index finger.

I like to call such a world order as ‘COLLABORATIVE DEMOCRACY’. Where the individuals of the society find their MP’s & PM’s and Presidents rather than the Prime Ministers and Presidents searching for votes.

Thats all. Period.

PS : I may still go to vote. The voter this time around has the choice to ‘not choose anyone; and this choice will still be counted.

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5 responses

28 04 2009
Nitu

I agree – no point voting unless u don’t believe/see that the person you gonna vote for is the “deserving one”. No point wasting vote just to pick the “best of the worst lot”.

29 04 2009
Tejas

Why does it sound like you are just trying to be different? I agree in part about chosing from the lesser evil thing but then there are independent candidates who if given the opportunity can do some good, you could vote for them na. About pursuading people, i like the idea but if say Sam Pitroda stood for the election (sadly he can’t because he is not an Indian citizen) wouldn’t he have to go out and declare to people that he is a candidate, wouldn’t he have to go and “ask” for votes? In a country of a 100 crores, how can you work out your option of democracy? Even if you don’t “do something or act” at least give us a flowchart of how it can work? Till you figure that out, go and VOTE.

29 04 2009
mihirgajrawala

y dont u start by giving me a flowchart on how ‘voting’ would work? (objective is a cohesive and equitable society)

secondly about persuasion :
tejas, u remember our edi days, cultural committee….v guys were good enough initiative takers and did reasonable job as committee. but i always acknowledge the fact that most events that we took up…. we were persuaded to initiate it either by colleagues or say by dr. krishna. And we were persuaded because they saw potential in us. If u remember we were involved in so many issues and events which were not in the cultural committee jurisdiction.
How do u think that happened?
Do you want to think that this phenomenon can be extrapolated?

lastly,
in my blog i have not expressed that i am for or against an individual. I am against the propoganda that backs every individual, whether good or bad becomes secondary for me.

29 04 2009
Nibha

I think you yourself have given the answer of the question that you have raised..u have given a nice thought in the 2nd para abt how civilizations would have grown and how the form of governance would have cum..

Asking for votes is not wrong…the way it is asked may or may not be correct…
if a party is saying that they will give free food to poor is wrong…but if someone saying that he will launch new projects which will generate employment and hence reduce poverty is quite thoughtful…until and unless candidates won’t tell about themselves to junta, how will junta recognize them?
Doesn’t matter how capable a person is, if he is not recognized by junta, he will not be elected…and his potential will not be harnessed…marketing rules are applicable here also…only thing is, it should be honest….

29 04 2009
mihirgajrawala

honest??!!!!…..marketing?!!?…..haha

i shall take Bapu’s help here :

“For me it is enough to know the means. Means and end are convertible terms in my philosophy of life.”

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?”

~Mahatma Gandhi, “Non-Violence in Peace and War”

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