I am excited and not without a reason. In my life extended over 5 decades and at least 3 decades of having attained majority, I will be voting for the first time. It’s not as if I have been a careless, irresponsible citizen, who never used his franchise. First it was my nomadic life, as my transferable job kept me shifting from place to place. Of course, for last 2 decades or so, I have settled down in Mumbai, but getting a document – be it passport, ration card or voter ID card has never been easy in India. But India is changing. A neighbour told us that getting enrolment into electoral roll was not all that tough and we were surprised at the treatment extended by the officer in the election Commission’s office. He was most helpful and courteous and stated that though getting ID card before elections wouldn’t be possible, but based on the SMS to be received by us, we could go to the polling booth along with personal ID and vote. And indeed we received the SMS and further inquiry revealed that we could go the the designated polling booth and vote.
The political parties should also feel excited as their chances are going to get brightened by addition to the voter strength in their constituency. Whom shall we vote for? I think electoral preference, like religion, should be a strict personal affair and although people do participate in exit polls, to my mind this should be a well maintained secret. That’s why it’s called secret ballot! I might not have ever stamped the symbol of my choice and deposited my vote into the ballot box, but unlike a few idiosyncratic fellows, I don’t doubt the integrity of EVM and I shall press the button to cast my vote to the most deserving candidate who is worthy of something as rare as pearl – I have heard it takes decades for a pearl to form inside nacre, like my vote (actually our and not only my as my wife is also voting for the first time though I can’t reveal after how many decades as far she is concerned as ladies don’t want to talk about such stupid numbers), which has fructified after 5 decades! Let the representatives of various symbols – hand, lotus, bow and arrow, lamp etc. sit on the edge- wait for the result, which will be delivered when the counting of votes commence after elections. Long live democracy in India!!!