By Shashwat Raj
The biggest festival of democracy is in progress and we can see the excitement amongst the citizens, especially the tech savvy, through their social media updates. A lot of selfies with the ‘inked finger’ were being updated inspiring other fellow citizens to go out and do their bit. I could see the enthusiasm among my friends, some of them even travelled to their respective hometowns to cast their vote- Hats off to them.
I, however, could not participate in this festival for I am not yet registered as a voter. Yes, I did not get myself registered and so far have not exercised my right to elect our government. One of my friends mocked at me saying since I have not voted I lose the right to protest, oppose or complain if the government is not able to perform. I wanted to retort, but then I found no ground for that. The most clichéd argument I could have put forth was so many people vote and has it been able to bring about any change? Did the voters elect a sound government in so many years? What great options do we have? Why should I vote when I know that nothing much will change? The argument could have continued without coming to a conclusive end.
Now what exactly made me introspect was, the thought that do I lose the right to complain and protest if the government does not fulfill its duties. The arguments went on and on inside my head but in the end I could convince myself with what I wanted to. I still have the right to complain if I see that the government is doing something wrong. How well I exercise this right, is debatable. The government is supposed to look after the welfare of its people. If it fails to do so, we do have the right to remind it of its duties.
All said I still get that feeling of being left out in this marathon. With the social media, the pressure increases multi-fold. Even though, as mentioned above I did manage to convince myself that it was okay if I did not vote, I could feel the pinch inside. As the elections are progressing I get this feeling of losing out on an incredible opportunity,the feeling of missing the opportunity of being part of something as big as voting our next government. And as we say better late than never, the process of registering myself as a voter has already been started.
Hopefully, I will be able to participate in this magnificent festival the next time. Till then there is hope that the chosen leaders will be able to steer our nation to an inclusive growth and welfare of its citizens.