I am a part of the jaago re campaign for 1 billion votes for the next 5 yrs
I am writing this blog because i felt a need to create awareness among people about the myths of voting. Before that i want to address something. I am sure atleast 75% of the people have responses to voting like:
1. Why should i vote, my vote doesn' t count.
2. There is no person who deserves to be voted, all politicians are same. They are corrupt, and good for nothing.
3. Even if i vote nothing will happen to this country, so why care
4. I dont have the time to get my voter id card or even vote on the election day.
5. What benefit will i derive by voting?
6. Even if i dont vote its ok because there are so many people who will vote.
If you look at all these questions dont you think these are the most weird responses anyone can give inspite of knowing that ours is a democratic country and we ARE the people who form the government, we have the right to choose our leaders and this can be achieved only by voting.We have forgotten democracy means BY the people , FOR the people and OF the people.
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors" - PLATO
That is the fundamental thing we as indians can do. We might say that there is no one who deserves to be voted but we all know our politicians were not like this in our earlier generations. So, what made the politicians so corrupt and what made the general public so disinterested in politics?/??? If i could say this i would say earlier we would Elect and Engage ourself in the politics and the government but now it has only become elect and forget... The people who come into power started misusing it for their personal gain and forgot that they represent our country and are responsible for taking our country forward.
We have a typical mindset and we think that nothing will ever change in this country , the politicians remain same, the corruption, the poverty, unemployment, disaster management,the traffic, the terrorism ..etc etc everything will remain the same. But have u ever thought why that is so? It is because you are sleeping..
Do you think the politicians know less than you on how to run this nation?You are sleeping if you are not casting your vote and if you sleep how on earth will anything ever change? Now is the time when the idea of bringing a change into our country has come.
"There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world and that is an idea whose time has come".
The idea of changing our existing system has come. So wake up to the Jaago re 1 billion votes which is a non partisan nationwide movement launched by Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy. Jaago re - The mission is to empower and enable the citizens of india especially the youth to register to vote. And the goal is to target the 1 billion people of india to register to vote in the next 5 years , in order to better the indian democracy. We might not succeed immediately but if we do take the initiave now maybe the change will come in the next 5 or 10 or 20 or even 50 yrs. BUT what is more important is he change will come where we will have a government which is filled with youth who are very well educated and have a clean background .
It is really sad but true that out of 30% of youth which constitute the population of india , statistics show that only 6% of the youth actually vote. What about the rest of the 24% ,a percentage close to quarter of india's population? It makes a huge difference if this percent of youth actually vote. isn't it?
The last three Lok Sabha elections [2004, 1999 and 1998 have witnessed a constant decline in voter turnout. The national elections in 2004 recorded a turnout of only 57% of the entire mass of Indian voters. A further insight into these statistics reveal that out of the entire Indian demography, 61% of the men and 53% of the women cast their votes. Gender inequality rearing its ugly head here too! The recent state assembly elections did not fare much better either and chances of greater citizen involvement and participation in the future seem bleak. A case in this point is the abysmal urban area turnout in the recent Karnataka elections where only 45% of the electorate turned out to vote.
So, how is 2009 going to be any different? Enter Tata Tea and Janaagraha.
Tata Tea and Janaagraha, a non partisan organisation have joined hands to launch the "Jaago Re! One Billion Votes" campaign. The campaign was launched in September and aims at registering one billion voters, with more than 3.5 lakh denizens already on its rolls. It is a clarion call, especially to the youth, to jettison the cynicism and take the first step towards citizenship - it unleashes the power of one billion voices in nation building. Operating in 35 cities the campaign will allow citizens to register as voters and thus be eligible to cast their votes in the next elections.
The campaign revolves around its website http://www.jaagore.com/. For the first time in India, a website will host an online voter registration engine to allow citizens across the country to fill their voter registration forms in 5 minutes and also get driving directions to submit this form in their city. Hence, the Jaago Re One! Billion Votes campaign is not only a call to action but a platform which provides any potential voter all the information and facilitation he or she needs to become part of the electoral process.
The Jaago Re! Campaign will collaborate and work closely with educational institutions, business houses and non-governmental organizations across the nation to fructify the largest initiative on voter registration ever. The programme is guided by a team of eminent personalities comprising of Narayan Murthy, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, T.S. Krishnamurthy, ex-chief election commissioner and Tariq Ansari, the managing director at Midday Multimedia.
The campaign will eliminate sundry excuses the average citizen usually resorts to, to espouse their abstinence from voting. The Election Commission's helping hand will make sure the process is simple, convenient and easy this time around.The campaign website http://www.jaagore.com/ is a ONE STOP SHOP for all your voting needs. Following are the benefits of registering:
1. For the first time in India, you can fill out your voter registration form online , within 5 mins!
2.You will also get regular updates on your registration ststus.
3.Get answers to all your voting related queries
4.Get SMS reminders before the election day, along with your polling booth addresses.
You can make a difference by getting everybody around you to register for voting and like Mahatma Gandhi rightly said " Be the change you want to see'
All said and done there are many myths / misconceptions people still carry because of lack of knowledge .After reading all this some of the responses can be:
I got that i need to vote but:
1. Registering to vote is a cumbersome process
2.If i register to vote i will get my VOTER ID card without which i cannot vote.
3. I can only vote from my birth /permanant residence
4. I do not have a valid address proff document to register for voting.
5. As a voter , i can vote in only 2 kinds of elections - state assembly elections and General elections.
To answer each of these :
1. registration was a cumbersome process but not any more! At http://www.jaagore.com/, you can register to vote easily by following the steps below:
a. Fill out voter registration form online, in just 5 mins!
b. Take a print out and submit your registration form with the help of driving directions and city map
c.Confirm your form submission with us , and then relax. yes, Thats's right! we will keep track of your registration status and send you email and SMS confirmation whenever the voter lists of your city gets revised.
2. If you register to vote with us, you will not get a voter ID card unless you fill another form called 001a which also you can download at our website. If you register with us , you are only registering to get your name included in the electoral rolls or voter lists ( even if you have election card and your name is not on election list you cannot vote).
Remember, on election day, only 2 things are mandatory for you to be allowed to vote:
a. Your name should be present on electoral rolls.
b. You should have a valid IDENTITY PROOF . Voter ID card is only one of the valid proos. You can also use PAN card, driving license, ration card etc as identity proof.
3. Its a huge misconception that you can vote from the place of birth/ permanant residence.
As a citizen of india greater than 18 yrs of age , you are eleigible to vote from any place in india , provided you have been an ORDINARY resident i.e you have been staying at your current address for atleast 6 months or more.
4. Another common thing which people ask is " I do not have a valid address proof document to register for voting". It is not essential for the address proof document to have your name ! It needs to have only the address of the place where you are staying.
You can use address proof document on the name of your parents, relatives, friends etc with whom you are staying. This document is required by the Booth Level Officer to come and verify your residence Status.
The documents which hold valid for address proof are : any document which has your current like your Passport, DL, Ration Card, Phone Bills, LPG receipts, Rental Agreements etc.
5. Another myth is " As a voter you can vote only in 2 kinds of elections - state assembly Elections and general elections" As a registered voter you can vote in the following 3 kinds of election:
a.General Elections or parliamentary Elections or Lok Sabha Elections - To elect your MP( Member of Parliament)
b.State Elections or Legislative Assembly Elections or Vidhan sabha Elections - To elect your MLA
c.Local Body Elections or Municipal Corporation elections( in cities) , to elect your ward corporator/ councillor
For all your Queries, http://www.jaagore.com/ is the solution. Also for any of the FAQs about voting the link is http://www.jaagore.com/faq.html and the link to the answer all your queries, how to register etc, registration page is http://www.jaagore.com/main.php#
To name, some of the corporates that we have covered so far for our campaign are Wipro, Infosys, TCS, ANZ, St. , HP, Accenture, Oracle, Webex, Bosch. The institutions we have covered are:Josephs's College, Mount Carmel College, BMSCE, Christ College..
So guys WAKE UP AND BRING IN THE CHANGE