Mizoram a tiny state to the North East went polls yesterday to record a turnout of over 74%.
In Delhi which went to polls on saturday over 60% turned out to vote, a record turnout in stark contrast to the dismal turnout in earlier local body elections and the 2003 assembly elections.
Madhya Pradesh which went to polls as news of the terrorist attack on Mumbai trickled registered a record 69.3% turnout.
Jammu & Kashmir which just concluded the 3rd phase of polling recorded 62% turnout.
Irrespective of their political affiliations Indians across the country have sent one message to the terrorists who struck Mumbai and to their sponsors in undemocratic Pakistan a resounding message by reposing their faith in India’s Democracy.
Now it appears that a small but vocal minority from the usually non-voting upper middle class with its conscience perked over the failure of the State in response to the War on Mumbai have come up with a quixotic campaign called “Don’t Vote 2009“.
So the brightest idea these dim-wits could come up with to fix accountability of the political leadership is to basically leave the contest to lobbies and pressure groups to elect their favorites while the common man in their opinion should just sit out.
The utter naivety of this campaign apart, it raises serious constitutional questions of voter intimidation.
It is this defeatist mindset of the upper middle class which as at the heart of the current political culture.
Having sat out of previous elections with similar attitude this section of the urban middle class has done precious little to exercise its influence over the political process. When it did choose to engage the politicians it was to patronise a political culture that curries political favor through connections and nepotism.
Having never seriously engaged the mainstream political parties by making their votes count, these dim-wits now want to mislead the Youth of India and First Time Voters into believing that the smartest thing to do to clean up the political system is to somehow turn your back on the very process that makes politicians accountable.
But here is what makes this so called Dont Vote Campaign an act of treason.
It basically sends a message to the Terrorists who struck Mumbai and to their sponsors in Pakistan that they were right to strike at our democracy and our way of life for that Democracy is not worth fighting for and defending. They want to send the message to the Terrorists that this democracy is so dispirting that one is better off sitting out of the very process of elections that makes it work rather than get engaged to make it accountable and effective.
A Vote not Cast is a Vote in support of the Terrorists
In a year when evern Kashmiris have opted for the Ballot over Bullets, a Dont Vote Campaign championed by educated upper middle class voters of Mumbai is not just foolish and misguided but actually dangerous.
India’s War on Terror is not merely a fight against terrorists but it is a fight to defend our democracy and our way of life. That War cannot be won by sitting out of elections.
If you are disappointed with the current class of politicians then get engaged in the political process. If you dont have it in you to participate in the political process then atleast rally behind those who can.
But for godssake dont allow your defeatist mindset to prejudice the youth and first time voters against exercising their franchise.