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Self is God. Self is Guru. Self is Everything.

This blessed mirror reflects nothing but the Self of my Beloved Brother, my Highest Gurudeva and my Spiritual Father. Whatever you see, read and experience in this blog are only from Him, through me, for you, my dear visitor.

This slave is taking immense pleasure in welcoming you to experience my Self in all its glories!

Shree Rama Jayam.



Saturday, May 9, 2009

VOTE! BUT VOTE FOR NOBODY!

A Confession:
PRACTISE WHAT YOU PREACH!


But sorry friends this time I am asking you all to do one thing which I myself am unable to do. But, trust me, if I had a chance, I would be doing exactly what I am going to tell you all. So, as of now, I am doing a 'pakka' politician's role :).

Why should we vote?
Vote is the breath of democracy. To keep it alive and vibrant, we must vote.


In India, every year, 45% of people (mostly, educated and wealthy) don't cast their vote. Just because of low poll rates, people who bag 25 % to 30% gain victory, which means a party getting 15% to 20% of the total electorate rules the entire country.


This clearly shows what politicians want. All they want is to gain just 20% vote from the whole population. All their dirty politics is only for that 20%.


But, they alone are not to be blamed. Since most of us, proud Indian citizens, only worry about our bread and butter, the politicians worry about theirs. If we don’t do our fundamental duty, how the damn we could expect them to do theirs? Like people, like politicians. It’s as simple as that.


Also, think of it this way. Only the vote in our hands makes politicians come to us; come to our doors, fall at our feet(if needed) and beg shamelessly (hey! politicians are begging!).


And if you still just can’t realize the POWER given to your finger, I am sorry, but I have to say, you are that perfect nincompoop that every politician wants.


Then, why am I not voting?

I don’t have a voter’s ID. Since my home was shifted in my native place, I was not able to enroll myself in the voter’s list. And I deeply regret for that.

But when I asked my friends, who are away from their home, “Are you going to vote?” They casually said, “Who will go all the way home to cast a vote.” What a ridiculous reply! It really got me on my nerves. If I had a voter’s ID, believe me, I wouldn’t mind traveling some 300Km, to cast my vote. Because I know, as a common man, it is the only power I have. And I will never let it go waste.

Whom should we vote?

Do you think no political candidate is worthy enough to vote? Do you think no party deserves to rule our country? Do you think all parties have only one common ideology (i.e., to rip off our penny, our unity, our peace, and what not?). Do you don't have hope, even as thin as hair, in them?

If these reasons stop you from casting your vote, then think again! Here is the powerful tool for you to wield - 49(0).


What is 49 (O)?
It is EXERCISING YOUR RIGHT TO NOT TO VOTE to any candidates. Our Indian constitution has provided
the legal right to the voters to reject all the contesting candidates. Section 49(O) of the Election rules-1961 has empowered us, the voter, with this right.

How to use it?
Go to the polling booth, confirm your identity, get your finger marked with ink, and s
ay to the presiding election officer that you don't want to vote to anyone! The officer will record your decision in a register and he will sign in it. Then, you also have to sign. That's it!

What about the secrecy?

Unfortunately, there is no secrecy. But don’t panic! Today morning I read in Times of India that only the statistics of those opting for 49(O) will be revealed to political parties. So there is no need to worry or fear. But if you’re reluctant about using 40(O) alone, gather your friends/family members from your locality and go together to the polling station and cast your votes.


What difference is it going to make?
Firstly, instead of sitting at home, watching TV and grumbling, you are acting! You're not supporting unworthy candidates (read scoundrels, hooligans). Also, since you're casting your vote, no one else will be doing that favour for you. It prevents impersonation!

And most importantly, if majority votes are registered under Section 49 (O), chances are, a re-poll can be called for. Yes! If majority doesn't trust the contesting candidates/parties, then we can make our appeal to the court that the candidate who has got the second majority is not eligible to rule. This may be a far cry, but 49 (O) has the potential to create a new political scenario, if more people come forward to cast their vote under this section.


(Note: Right now our constitutional rule doesn’t permit for a re-poll, even if 49(O) has a majority. But we can, certainly, make our appeal to court for re-poll.)


How did I come to know?
Sometime back a friend of mine said, "I had voted for all political parties, nothing has changed. So this time, I'm going to register under 49(O)." I retorted, "What is the use of that?" Though, he had made a good decision, unfortunately, he failed to give me a satisfactory reply. Because, I think, at that time he hadn't come across ‘O-Podu awareness campaign’, which is happening in Thamizh Nadu.

What is O-Podu?
O-Podu! This catchy phrase of once a super-hit Thamizh song is now used to mean CAST YOUR VOTE UNDER 49 - O! Political writer, critic, Gnani, who is known for his hard hitting criticisms against all political parties, has written excessively about this. I always respect him for his unbiased views. After reading his article, I came to know about 49-O. I really appreciate and sincerely thank him for enlightening many people about 49-O.


Hats off to you, Gnani Sir! If you hadn’t written it, like many, may be, even I would have never known about 49(O).

Also, I applaud our Chief Electoral Officer, Naresh Gupta, for creating awareness among the public and the polling officers. He says that he will be putting up posters that appeal public to vote and make them aware of the 49(O) option. More than 60,000 posters have been printed so far.


After spending thousands and thousands of rupees, after changing colours, after changing ideologies(I mean the path to make big bucks), after roaming like dogs on streets, after all the screaming, begging and bribing, if we vote for nobody, (i.e., vote for 49(O)), I think,pardon me, it would be like showing our middle finger right to the face of all politicians.


And I would definitely love to show. What about you?


To know about “O PODU” awareness campaign, click here.

To read Gnani's article about 49(O) in Thamizh, click here!

To read about 49(O) TOI article, click here!


A Plea
With just three more days to go for the final poll, I request you all, my dear blogger friends,
please help spread awareness of 49(O) to as many people possible in as many ways as you can.

Because every single vote makes a difference!

12 comments:

KParthasarathi said...

You have done a signal service in creating an awareness about the need to vote and the option available under 49(0).A very timely post

Sneha said...

Thoughtful post.

manivannan said...

# KParthasarathi #

Thank you sir. I hope and wish many people know about 49(O), which by itself may create a significant difference.

manivannan said...

# Sneha #

Thanks for the read friend :)

Take care!

A New Beginning said...

A thought provoking post!Great going!You could not vote but atleast you were aware of your responsibility...that matters a lot:)

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Mani :)

Very informative post. I was not aware of this 49(0).

However, I vote for only one party. My father was voting for that party. I just follow him.

I voted in the first phase. The ink is still on my finger.

I believe we have to vote in favor of the best among the available candidates. Not voting or using 49(0) will not serve any purpose.
This opinion is applicable only to me and not for any one else.

Others can do what they want. India is a free country and every one has a right to do what he or she wants.

I enjoyed reading your post.

Have a lovely day Mani:)
Joseph

manivannan said...

# A New Beginning #

Thanks a lot my friend for the kind appreciation :-)

manivannan said...

# Joseph Pulikotil #

Hi sir :)

Thanks a lot for your frank opinion. And I am really happy that you had casted your vote. I too agree, voting, is an individual's choice...no doubt or argument about that.

But my opinion is, sir, if you don't find anyone worthy enough(evaluating is completely the individual's choice, but FOR ME it's always better among the worst, right now there is NO BEST)
THEN GO FOR 49(O), instead of not voting...that's my point!

Whether it makes a difference or not depends on the awareness people have about 49(O)....so I just want to create awareness, and also I was and am angry at the ugly happenings in TN and Central politics...That's what made me to write this post :-)

Again thanks a lot for sharing your frank opinion, and appreciation. I always value your comment a lot.

You too, have a great day!

surjit said...

Yes, I fully agree with your views. Today,I have voted.
Thanks for sharing your insights.

manivannan said...

# surjit #

I'm glad that you agree with my views, and to know you that you have voted. Many many thanks for the comment surjit ji.

Keep coming back :)

Hema said...

Mani, While totally agreeing with your choicest abuses showered on the politicians , I thank you for creating an awareness about 49(0).
Thanks once again because I have been wanting to cast a negative vote invalidate my vote all these years.

manivannan said...

#Hema

I owe that to Gnani sir akka :-) Am really glad you found the post valuable.

Thanks a lot for the read :-)