Today is the first time I am missing to vote in an election even when I am at home. With Assembly Elections in Karnataka today, I am sitting at home and watching people come to the nearby booth to cast their votes, unable to vote as my name has not been added to the electoral rolls inspite of applying well in advance. My mistake – not following up properly to get it added.
The only previous elections where I couldn’t vote was in 2006 in Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections when I was away in Mumbai on office work, ironically for the 10 days around the poll date… In a country like India where voting is see as a useless exercise, refusal to travel citing polls will be laughed at.
I hope when I move back to Chennai, I will be able to get my name added in the Electoral Rolls much before next year’s General Elections…
Most of the people working in IT industry seem to take voting very casually, probably it is high time they are made aware of their duties as a citizen the primary among which is to exercise your voting rights and a little nudge from the Govt. will help in this direction – either punish educated people who do not cast votes or promote voting by providing incentives like tax rebate or something like expedited delivery of any Govt. services. Let’s say when I vote, I get an acknowledgement from the booth officer which has a unique number. I can use this unique number and get any one service done from any Govt. Department – local body, State or Central. Applications for which I can submit to a central body who will follow it up and ensure time-bound service delivery. Another option is to use this acknowledgement to claim rebate in tax – be it Service Tax or VAT or even Income Tax of say Rs.500 or Rs.1000. Yes, this will mean reduced income to the Govt. in the election year but better participation will probably result in active participation and probably that will result in Political Parties being forced to begin implementing things they promise… Dreams???? time will tell….