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Illiterate bluffing representation
6/23/2019 11:41:27 PM

Mahadeep Singh Jamwal

Illiteracy in India is a crunch which has mosaic proportions hooked to it. Illiteracy in India is more or less concerned with different profiles of surrogating that prevail in the country. According to socio-economic & caste census (2011), over one-third populace in rural India is illiterate. India has the highest citizenry of illiterate adults, 37% of the total dwellers of such people across the world, according to UNESCO's education for all (EFA) global monitoring report. Illiterates are a big share of the body politic in India. The election trends also echo that rural voter's vote percentage is higher as compared to urban percentage. So we can safely arrive at that the 'Ruralites' has edge over 'Urbanites' in deciding the formation of the government both at the center as well as in states. The mind boggling inquisitiveness whether the illiterate are more responsible for inclusion of incapable, illiterate, bluffing, and corrupt representation that has caused significant harm to the country and the society in general is a million dollar question to be explored from different angles. When we discuss value of literacy in society and for development of the country our focus shift to the incapable representatives voted in by the people. Had we ever analyzed why illiterate, incapable, criminal, and non-deserving people get voted to power, whom to be blamed for it? We attribute following major factors for this paradox such as; non- existence of qualification standards, no law to debar the people of criminal record from contesting elections, weak law on capping of expenses by contestants, creating of caste-based vote banks, politicizing social and religious grouping, emotional blackmailing on religious and other concerns, selling out of personal interests by voters, falling easy prey to booby traps of wicked persons, ignorance about voting rights owing to illiteracy, hollow slogans, flashy commitments, appealingly stimulating election agendas, flexed muscles are some of the main reasons. If we prioritize the logic, the top-drawer is the illiteracy. The only field of power window and most important responsibilities is the voting which rests with most illiterate section of society. The weakness lies as illiterate people are uninformed about the issues that face their communities; as a result, they may not view voting as a civic duty. The right to vote is worship and supreme hence knowledgeable voters are necessary for enlightened and delightful polls.
One need not to be a political scientist as to arrive at the culmination that how the politicians succeed in befooling the voters during election time and there after the common man is taken for granted. Illiterates are incapable of casting an intelligent vote and usually vote in general. They identify their choices by party symbols and without any know how of candidates' background and are more likely to be persuaded to sell their votes, or tricked or intimidated into voting for crooks and cheaters and that is one of the great reasons that they easily give their vote to selfish, illiterate, visionless, and incompetent leaders over a small fry. It is not enough to be eighteen years and eligible to vote. A democratic society requires educated electorate who is both indispensable and adequate to support wise voting. Axiomatically uttermost critical aspect of the "Voting Festival" is that we cannot isolate the illiterate majority from the voting right as exercising of franchise by eligible citizens is the pulse of every democracy. And India, the largest democracy of the world, holds this right as the most precious attribute of the Indian Parliamentary democracy. Article 326 envisages elections on the basis of adult suffrage, a right to vote given to every adult citizen of India, who is above 18 years of age, with the vision of maximum participation and providing an opportunity to the youth to select their leaders. Exultation of democracy depends on the replica of public will and that is what the Constitution of India supports. When illiterate can contest elections the illiterate voters are well within position to exercise their franchise. But what qualification they require to vote? At least they should be well aware about their rights and informative on political gimmicks. We cannot exclusively blame the electorate for being under informed and lacking intellectual ability. It is a long-standing feature in our society. Public ignorance is the politician's best friend. Every politician on earth wants the public to be certain as to make them dormant in thoughts, and creativity and to block, expose of their wisdom, so that they remain ignorant as public ignorance is the politicians best friend who transgress from their rights and become helpless as to raise their finger towards the bad working, anti-people policies and corrupt practices of the vested interests in the power boom. Majority of the electorate in our country are ignorant of politically symbolic information.
If we are impassioned in nurturing democracy, we have to put resources to good use by educating the illiterate voters. In view of this, government, opposition parties, non-governmental organizations, and many others that work as consciences of our society must invest in the general education of the electorate. The awareness campaigns found to be limited only during election time, whereas it should be a continuous process to ensure that voter understand their rights, their political system. Voter education provides potential voters with the necessary information to make an informed choice in the voting booth. Voter education involves providing information on who is eligible to vote; how electors can check the voter lists to ensure they have been duly included; what type of elections are being held; who the candidates are; and how to file complaints. To do this effectively requires reaching out to disadvantaged groups as well as mainstream voters. Minority groups, internally displaced persons and other marginalized segments of society should be specially targeted. Young adults eligible to vote for the first time need special attention. Voter education should also include information on when, where and how to register and vote. Voter education through televised messages, in addition to using radio and print in a language understandable to voters is most effective. The interaction should aim to provide all voters with the information they need. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.
Concluding we must introspect whether we stick to the definition of democracy as "Government of the people, by the people, for the people" set forth by Abraham Lincoln or are we have transformed to concept of Benjamin Lichtenberg defining democracy as "The state of affairs in which you consent to having your pocket picked, and elect the best man to do it".
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