325. To vote is the first step to question government
In my 25 years of being exposed to electoral politics I have come to realise how important it is for every eligible citizen to vote. Unless one votes he or she has no business questioning the leadership that governs. An argument that I supported for a while was why vote when the options are a saffron devil and a blue devil but I found out I was wrong about that in more ways than one.
There are three duties that make adult citizens a fundamental part of the democratic process – voting, paying taxes and voicing an opinion in that order. Unless one does all these three we have no right to participate in a fruitful discourse. I regret not being able to vote in two central (2004 and 2009) and two state (2004 and 2008) elections because I was away from the city where I’m a registered voter and could not afford to travel for the elections.
But this time I will not let affordability come in the way as I have saved flying miles to be in my hometown on Election Day*. People may laugh at this proposition or question if I am being funded by a party or blowing up money meaninglessly. Incidentally, I will also get to see my family during this visit which is an added bonus and gives the trip an added reason to be worthwhile.
Maybe if there were no elections I would have had to wait till September to see my loved ones. But most importantly, I would have done my duty, enjoyed the joy of voting and be in a better position to question the leadership that will govern. Somethings are precious – democracy, family+friends and freedom and we take all these for granted.
May 5th is election day in Karnataka and I will be there in person to exercise my franchise.