TODAY -

It's your suffrage; vote ethically

Andrew Heanngam Pamei *

Polling at Sandang Senba Maring, Sadar Hills for ADC  election  :: June 1 2015
Polling at Sandang Senba Maring, Sadar Hills for ADC election on June 1 2015 :: Pix - Bishwarjit Taorem



Unlike numerous other nations that chalked up independence from colonial rule, our nation India prides on being a democratic republic country regardless of its size and diversity. As a nation which upholds representative democracy, Indian constitution under article 326 gages the citizens who are not less than 18 years of age to be eligible as a voter in legislative assembly election.

Owing to this fact, citizens of India on the basis of adult suffrage elect representatives quinquennially. And as our state Manipur brace up for yet another legislative assembly election, time has come for us to buckle up our aura of political caliber as we cherry-pick the best and esteemable candidate who can frame laws and policies on our behalf.

At the outset, before i get bogged down in details, succinctly let me delineate the political scenario of our state Manipur, where vote-buying by the candidate is so limpid that the electoral process in Manipur unfolds to be more of 'Money power' of a candidate than 'vote power' of an electorate.

There's no bolt from the blue to convey that candidates bribe voters with money. Vote buying is so prevalent that it has become a normal state of affairs and this is without doubt a ghastly reality of electoral process in our state Manipur.

Added to this, one can't deny the fact that the preponderance of ignorant citizens get political stimulation quinquennially just to trade their vote for a petty sum of money, henceforth, subsequent to election both the elected and the electorate remain stagnant, thereby hindering the pace of development. In a situation such as this, there pops up the need for citizens to vote ethically and accountably during election.

When voting, it is good to make sure that one is voting ethically, because it is this vote that the future of the government lies. With your vote you can shape the destiny of the government to be either good or bad and sequentially make people's lives better or worse.

Wrong choice at the polls can pulverize economic opportunities and beget crises that degrade everyone's standard of living. perhaps, it'll even lead to unjust and unnecessary problems such as bundhs, blockades and communal conflicts.

Voting isn't like cherry-picking what to eat off a restaurant's menu. If a person makes wrong choices at restaurant, at least the person alone toughs it out the aftermath of its own choices, but when voters make wrong choice at the polls, it's everyone subsuming innocent who'll have to suffer.

So, when voting one should be bounded by a strong moral obligation. He/she should be willing to vote for an issue that promotes common good rather than narrow self-interest.

By common good I mean voting for policies that will promote a well-functioning social order. By common good, I mean voting for an issue that will promote greater wealth, longer and healthier lives with cultural, social and economic opportunities which serves everyone's advantage.

Albeit you may vote alone for an issue that will ameliorate the common good, yet at the end of the day you'll cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. It is better to vote for common good and not get it than vote for what is bad for everyone and get it. Vote accountably, because irresponsible voting can afflict innocent people.

Time has come for the people of Manipur to make democracy work through ethical voting. If change is the need of the hour, citizens should be participants in this electoral process and not just remain as observers. This election is yet another chance to recommit oneself a deeper and more participatory democracy.

If you don't vote for a change; you'll see no change, if you don't vote; you lose the right to complain. As you participate in this electoral process, be aware of the fact that you own the most powerful thing in this world- your vote.

It's your suffrage, value it and never trade your vote with money, because your vote is a trust more delicate than any other, for it involves not just your interest, but your life, your honor and your future. Remember, bad politicians are elected by good citizens who resist to vote.

So, go out, vote for a policy that serves common good, vote for a change that we all seek. God bless ....


* Andrew Heanngam Pamei wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is a student of Delhi University. He can be reached at heangam(DOT)pamei(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on March 06, 2017.


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