India is all set and heading for yet another general election to choose a democratically elected government. Dates for the election, though, are yet to be announced. It is a good time to do your homework and be all sure when you get your finger inked as a sign of a conscious voter of a healthy democracy. Youth of any democratic society are considered to be the backbone of its economic growth in a highly competitive global economy. The youth of our nation need to understand the importance of their vote. A vote will define your future in terms of the kind of roads, infrastructure, education, and healthcare you will have in times to come. Manual to check before you vote-
- Remember that we are a Parliamentary democracy. We elect our members of parliament from our respective consistency. Always check the list of candidates contesting from your constituency. Check for their past track record in terms of the kind of work they have done in past. Check if they have or had any criminal cases against them. According to a report published by the Association of democratic reform, our 17th Lok Sabha had the highest number of MPs facing criminal charges. A total of 43% of MPs are facing criminal charges in the 17th Lok Sabha.
- Before going to vote, read the manifesto of all political parties and ask pointed questions to your respective candidates through different social media platforms. Question regarding development, employment, healthcare infrastructure or whatever you expect from your MP to deliver for your constituency.
- We need to get over our fantasy for a particular leader or political party. We need to look at every political party and leader’s work while casting our vote. Do check how active your candidates have been in the parliament regarding raising relevant societal issues.
- Remember, voting in the name of religion, caste, or culture takes us right away to ask questions to our government regarding development, good & affordable educational institutions, reasonable healthcare system, etc. Remember, there is an old saying, ‘ We get what we ask for’.
- Political awareness and staying conscious of your socio-political surrounding is very crucial regardless of your profession or field of career path, Remember every aspect of our life is directly or indirectly touched upon by routine local, national and global politics. We can see the effects of the practices of politics on a daily basis
A vibrant constitutional democratic nation is always defined by a vigilant, conscious, curious citizen. Voting in an election is not a privilege or a matter of choice, but it is our responsibility and top priority. In the words of M.K Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. If we as citizens genuinely expect our nation to progress in the truest sense of the practices of democracy, then we have to take that bold step toward change by imbibing the same in ourselves.
The Author is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Shoolini University, Solan, Himachal Pradesh.
(Views Expressed Are Personal)
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