Friday, January 24, 2020

NOTA and the death of democracy

72k and 6k promises and no talk on the real issues faced by a common man in their everyday life. While people are busy, celebrating scientists’ achievement of taking pictures of a black hole, I believe politicians are no less dangerous than black holes for our planet. Giving each other nicknames like chor, pappu, yuvraj ji and making taunting shayaris and songs on each other is the major concern for political parties.

When I saw a politician singing a song on cabinet minister Smriti  Irani’s education and giggling that too on ANI, my last hope to vote died. I decided that I would still exercise my right to vote but without choosing any election candidate by pressing NOTA.

I was so proud of my vote to NOTA and kept wondering why people chose to repeat the same mistakes over and over again in voting for the politicians who never did anything for them. I felt like voting for NOTA would give me the right to discard every single corrupt political party.

When I saw highlights of manifestos of major political parties and found Hindu-Muslim agendas instead of more prevalent topics of environment and education, it gravely disappointed me. Majority of India’s population, however, was not disappointed because who reads manifestos anyway?

We are too busy watching prime time shows where politicians and many other experts yell and decide each other’s nicknames and sometimes even slap each other to show that they are living in a healthy democracy. I thought NOTA was a good option to mock the politicians about their insufficiency. As if after realising that someone has voted for NOTA, all party candidates would apologize and beg for my vote. After all, I’m the common man who is king in a democracy.

When my neighbour asked me “Kisko vote dena hai iss bar”

I proudly answered “NOTA”.

Neighbour exclaimed “LOTA! What’s that?”

“Not LOTA, its NOTA. It means NONE OF THE ABOVE”

When you are not satisfied with any candidate you can exercise your right to vote by choosing NOTA. Now curious neighbour wanted to know more about it.

Even I didn’t know much about it so I protected my knowledgeable person’s image by saying “Getting late, will explain in the evening. You can google it too”.

Now, I knew that curious neighbour would anytime ask me about NOTA again. So, I googled and talked to some experts about it:

Here is a brief what I learned:

  • NOTA is just an option if you don’t like any candidate in the list of candidates in your constituency
  • NOTA has NO ELECTROL VALUE
  • NOTA would not impact elections results
  • If majority votes for NOTA still candidate who scores more than other candidates wins
  • In past, NOTA was pressed by the majority in many constituencies still undeserving candidates were declared winners on the basis of few votes.

If you analyse, Some constituencies which voted maximum number for NOTA are ruled by political candidates who are not the choice of the majority of the population of that constituency. It means that the candidate is not the public’s choice, indirectly it means, the death of democracy. After this information, my pride in choosing NOTA collapsed and I saw the faces of all the undeserving political leaders laughing and mocking me.

In the evening my neighbour asked again “What is NOTA, you were going to explain?”

I answered, “Never mind.”

The article is written by Renu Kotwal, a student at Central University. 

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