Voter holds key to a successful Democracy
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Voter holds key to a successful Democracy

April 22, 2024

Democracy stands as the cornerstone of modern governance systems, with India recognised as one of the largest and most successful democracies, despite encountering challenges in the post-independence period.

The essence of this success lies in the unwavering faith of the people, with voters playing a pivotal role in the democratic process. Through periodic reforms and awakening, the effective administration of democracy remains achievable.

In view of the upcoming elections to Lok Sabha-2024, Star of Mysore spoke to some religious leaders, who have shared their perspectives on the importance of voting and the practice of a successful democracy.

Do not yield to allurements

Voting is universally regarded as a sacred right, and its sanctity must remain untarnished. Citizens should resist any temptations, such as those stemming from caste affiliations or monetary inducements, that may compromise this sacred process. India, the world’s second-largest democratic nation, achieved independence    in 1947.

The Constitution, meticulously crafted by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, and adopted in 1950, enshrines fundamental rights and duties. Every individual, upon reaching the age of 18, is bestowed with the              privilege to exercise their franchise. Voting is synonymous with ‘expressing opinion’, and through it, decisions are made regarding the leadership of the country for the next five years.

The essence of democracy thrives on the election of deserving candidates. Therefore, on election day (Friday, Apr. 26), every citizen should cherish the freedom to democratically elect the individual they believe will best serve the nation’s interests. It should be viewed as the purest form of national service, and every eligible voter should fulfil this duty without fail.

—Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji, Suttur Mutt Seer

It’s time to exercise our franchise

Once again, the time has arrived for us to exercise our civil rights through voting in the elections. We must seize this opportunity and make voting a compulsory duty. It is only when we fulfil our responsibilities that our civil rights hold value. By voting consistently, we contribute to steering the country in the right direction.

To facilitate the voting process, the Election Commission has introduced the ‘home voting’ facility for senior citizens. Additionally, polling booths have been strategically located nearby, eliminating the need for lengthy journeys to cast our votes.

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Regardless of our location, I am committed to voting within the stipulated time and urge others to do the same. Let us endorse this civic duty without fail, ensuring our collective voice is heard in shaping the future  of our nation.

— Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji,  Avadhoota Datta Peetham

Selling votes akin to child trafficking

It is paramount that nobody succumbs to inducements during elections. Selling our votes equates to a betrayal of our democratic principles and can be likened to a form of trafficking, particularly akin to child trafficking. Voters must approach their civic duty with utmost seriousness.

Voting serves as a crucial tool in safeguarding the social and collective interests of the nation. The democratic government, guided by the principle ‘Of The People, By The People, and For The People’, is established through the  act of voting.

Every voter holds the responsibility of upholding the value of their right, as it is through the exercise of franchise that the pillars of our system — Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary — take shape.

Significant changes within the country and its systems can only occur through voting, which should be regarded as a potent weapon of democracy, laying a sturdy foundation for the nation’s progress. As advocated by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Indians should vote to cultivate lives filled with self-respect and pride.

Voting is not just a right; it is the ‘ultimate right’ enshrined in the Constitution. Therefore, we must remain vigilant against falling into traps based on caste, religion, colour or class. Every citizen who upholds secular principles should view voting as a compulsory duty for securing the prosperous future of our country.

— Sri Jnana Prakash Swamiji, Urilinga Peddi Mutt

Be a part of festival of democracy

On the day of voting, it’s crucial to prioritise our civic duty over leisure activities like touring or going to the cinema. Regardless of our commitments, we must ensure to vote without fail and actively participate in the festival of democracy that occurs once every five years.

Voting isn’t merely a right bestowed upon us; it’s also a solemn duty that we owe to our nation. It’s imperative that we fulfil this responsibility through our participation in the electoral process.

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While I refrain from endorsing any particular candidate, I urge everyone not to abstain from voting. With compulsory voting, we can collectively contribute to forming a better government and electing more capable candidates.

It’s essential to recognise the value of our vote and resist the temptation to sell it for personal gain. Let us elect candidates based on their merits, irrespective of their religion, caste, or class affiliations. By doing so, we can ensure a more inclusive and equitable representation in our governance structures.

— Hazrath Maulana Mohammed Usman Shariff, Sir Khazi of Mysuru

Let’s shape a brighter tomorrow

As the general elections draw near in our country, let’s remind ourselves of the immense power we hold in our hands — the power to shape the future of our nation and to give the right direction to our motherland — based on the Constitutional values aimed at the prosperity and happiness of each citizen.

Our vote isn’t just a press on machine; it’s a voice that echoes the hopes and dreams of millions. This is our opportunity to elect leaders who will lead with integrity and vision; they will be the architects of policies that impact every aspect of our lives — from education to healthcare, infrastructure to economy.

Voting is not just a right; it’s a responsibility, a privilege earned through the sacrifices of many. Every vote counts, and every voice matters. By exercising our franchise, we honour those who fought for our democratic rights and ensure a government that truly represents the will of the people.

Let’s stand together, let’s make our voices heard, and let’s shape a brighter tomorrow for India.

Remaining silent spectators is dangerous for democracy; let’s become active participants in shaping our collective destiny. Let us unite in our resolve, let us amplify our voices, and let us forge a path toward a brighter and more prosperous future for India.

Amidst a huge financial commitment, extensive logistical arrangements, humongous administrative task and dedicated efforts of thousands for a fair and smooth electoral process, voting emerges as our moment to wield influence.

The polling stations await our conscientious choices. Let our vote make a significant difference as every vote counts.

It is our sacred duty.

—Rev. Fr. Vijay Kumar, Secretary, Mysore Diocesan Educational Society

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