Why I will not vote this Lok Sabha Elections

Yes I will not vote this Lok Sabha election. I understand that this one of the most powerful right available to me as a citizen of the world’s largest democracy. But I will not vote.

It is the right of every citizen of India to cast their vote. That’s what my civics textbook told me all those years ago in Standard 8. But I will not vote.

I am as proud a citizen of my country as anyone has ever been. I truly believe that through the power of the vote we can somehow change the destiny of our country. Idealistic as that may sound, it needs a very large number of us to exercise our vote to make the change happen. But I will not vote.

I have had the opportunity to see how smart sensible people can decide to make a change and cast their vote for what they believe is right, and in doing so create history. I saw it on November 04, 2008. But I will still not vote.

I will not vote because as a Non-Resident Indian, I cannot vote. In India, one can vote in person only. No chance of postal absentee ballots, because the concept does not even exist in India.

Would I have voted if it was. Hell, yes I would. You can say that me being away from the country on election day is something thats under my power. And yes I agree, that if I chose, I could have made sure I was in India on that day. And I won’t be.

That however does not change the fact that we as a democracy do not allow absentee ballots. India goes out of its way to welcome back the NRI financial repatriations and even the NRI’s themselves at all the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. We even have a minister for overseas Indians. Why then have we not implemented a mechanism to allow people to vote via the post.

Hopefully this is the last Lok Sabha elections when I will not cast a vote. And in 2014, at the next logical election cycle, absentee ballots may be a reality, or I might be in India.

5 Comments

  1. Patrix April 25, 2009

    Absentee ballots exist for bureaucrats stationed abroad but not for non-resident citizens. So the mechanism exists. I wonder why we are being discriminated against.

  2. Karthik B.S. April 29, 2009

    But the very reason one becomes an NRI is the lucre of money. “Love for the country” goes for a toss there. Then how can India give a chance for them to vote? Stay with us with the suffering, terrorist threats, intolerable climate, bad roads, poor water facilites AND THEN maybe you can vote.

  3. arZan April 29, 2009

    Patrix, I did not know this interesting fact. Why cant they do it for all Indians is beyond me.

    Karthik…..is the B.S. in your name….. for Bullshit….because thats what your comment says. Nowhere in the Indian constitution does it say that Indians have to reside in their own country only.

    And what excuse will you make for the IPL cricketers who will not vote….people like Sachin Tendulkar….who is in SA today when Mumbai votes.

    Seriously no B.S. here.

  4. Arby K April 30, 2009

    Though I do agree with the necessity of postal absentee ballots, I can understand why there is a differentiation between bureaucrats who get to vote from abroad and others. The former has been sent by the state, while the others voluntarily. The logic probably at the time of independence to deny NRIs the right to vote may be with the intent to see that people stay in India and invest their skills in building it. But 60 years on, I doubt that logic can still be defended.

  5. Revathi May 9, 2009

    People go to other countries for a variety of reason- mainly for business. A lot of poor indians working in the gulf lead even more miserable lives just for the sake of bringing some money to their families. Also, most indians work in parts of india where they are not registered- absentee ballots will take care of all this- it is high time.

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