Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vibrant India: Mumbai and Bangalore does not vote enough - the feeblest voices

While we all want India to be a vibrant and prosperous country, what is our contribution towards achieving it?
I am sure many of us are involved in social activities to bring a change but how seriously do we consider exercising a franchise right to be a “sacred” citizen responsibility? Yes, to me, it is more sacred than lighting the lamp in the temple in the evening. In Ms Zinta’s words, this is more important than lighting candles in different protest marches. Mrs. Balan went one step further to mention that we need to have the mark on our fingers before raising it towards anyone else.

With so much activism on the part of election commission and celebrities to motivate people to go out to vote, Bangalore South and Mumbai turned out to be the two duds while almost all other states, union territories have shown huge improvements in voter turnout.  Why?

In the context, it is worthwhile to mention that Bangalore South – the IT capital of India and Mumbai – the financial capital of India are the home of most educated and elitist people of India.

I am appalled to fathom the reasons for so much apathy from this subset of population towards participating in the democratic process.  For the case of Bangalore South, few flimsy reasons – voter list not updated and worse, that the date coincided with long weekend, look too inconsequential to me for justifying low voter turnout. This, despite the repeated requests from the media, that ‘V’ stands for vote and not for Vacation.

In this context, I would like to share few statistical data in relation to this 16th Parliament election.
  • ·         Electorate of 81.5 core (0.8 Billion) is 4 times the next largest-US with 21.9 crore as of 2012 presidential poll.
  • ·         It is bigger than the next 5 added together- US, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia and Bangladesh @74.9 crore  
  • ·         Highest number of first time voters – estimated @15 crore (0.15 billion).
  • ·         Highest spend – pegged at Rs 30,000 crore or USD 5 Billion – all time high against all democracies in the world.
  • ·         The transgender community will vote for Lok Sabha for the first time-registered with 28,341 numbers.
  • ·         Electorate has male- female ratio @52.3%:47.6%

At the cost of being repetitive and after the 6 phases of altogether 9 phases got over today, I am using this platform to make another fervent plea to go out to vote for you and motivate others to do the same in the remaining 3 phases in case your constituencies are still not covered yet.

The dismissive thought of “one vote not being exercised won’t matter” at the individual level is creating a big crack for the country cumulatively as a whole. We, the educated lot, for sure, need to be giving a good healthy competition to our friends from other parts of the country for India to shine and be vibrant. 


  1. Ah! I saw on television more than 40 year old Juhi Chawla said she had caste her vote in general Elections for the first time. The rich never exercise their rights. They feel they have no responsibility as they don't need power or money like common man!

    I have never missed a chance to vote. I with my friends (who had holiday on the day of election) made sure to leave the town for our long planned trip after casting our votes! One of my cousin traveled to his home-town especially to vote. Middle class seems to be educated and responsible and poor marred by circumstances are the regular voters!

  2. People have fought in wars and given their lives for the right to cast their own vote. Your post couldn't be more accurate and on point. Well done, Jayanta! :)

    As for your book request, here are series that my oldest daughter has really enjoyed. They appear in no particular order:

    - Anything by Canadian author, Gordon Korman; particularly his Titanic trilogy.
    - The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. Historical adventures by a brother and sister. Not too heavy reading.
    - The How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell.
    - The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee. ***I thought these were awesome, myself! :)
    - Chasing Vermeer, The Calder Game and The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett *I thought these were excellent books, too. Mathematical and art-related mysteries.
    - LIttle House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
    **Right now, as you read this, we are starting the Chronicles of Narnia series. Leah saw one of the movies on the weekend and is excited to go down that road so, tonight we chart a new literary path.

    I hope this helps, even a little bit. Maybe my Leah and your daughter should compare book ideas?

  3. Yes! I was hoping you would come up with a V for vote or voting from some angle today! A very interesting post to read the day after... Thanks:-)

  4. The more "elite" people become, the more indifferent they become...I live in rural TN, just outside of Puducherry, and you should have seen the way people were excited to vote here. Well, India's hope lies in small towns and villages, I am becoming more certain of that everyday. Good post on an important issue. Thanks Jayanta (and yes, i voted :)

  5. Jayant, this is a very timely post. I hope your post evokes some sense of responsibility in the people, who think that it is for the masses and not the classes to cast their vote.

  6. Another factor is the fact that it was kept on a Thursday which was a holiday and a day before Good Friday.. First of all not many are interested in voting and this reason was an icing since the arrangement gave everyone a chance to take off for trips and what not. Wednesday should have been the ideal day for voting I think


  7. Unfortunately, we believe only in talking. When it comes to walking the talk, we suddenly disappear into thin air.

    There have been many suggestions on how to make people vote. I think the best one is to have an Income Tax surcharge on people who do not vote or on the parents of students who do not vote. If that is done, everybody will ensure they get their Voter ID Cards, and will come out to vote.

  8. I understand what you mean here...We complain but don't vote!

    V for Violated-Random Thoughts Naba

  9. It is amazing stupidity and so frustrating.

  10. I imagine it is all very frustrating. Many people would rather complain than take the action needed to affect change.

  11. I am very particular about voting, and ensure that I vote ! I Know many others who don't bother and yet keep complaining... sometimes I feel it is very important to vote, otherwise there are chances that someone else may vote on your behalf.... thank you for sharing, good post ! at the right time...

  12. I always like learning how things work in other countries. Thank you for sharing. New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge, and I look forward to visiting again.