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Why I Support ‘NOTA’ In Forthcoming Parliamentary Election In India – OpEd


The undersigned has been carrying out a campaign urging people in India to exercise their franchise in favour of NOTA (none of the above – not preferring any candidate), if they are not satisfied with any of the candidate contesting in the election in their constituency. My campaign has not received much publicity so far. However , number of people who have heard about my campaign in my blog and from other sources have disagreed with my view.

In the current political situation in India, most people suspect that many of the politicians contesting in the election are corrupt, dishonest and have made politics as their profession to seize power and accumulate wealth that are mostly ill gotten. Many of the politicians are wealthy with no known sources of income.

We find strange situation that apart from politicians, those who run lucrative educational institutions, money multiplying hospitals and business houses and even facing criminal charges also contest in elections by joining one political party or the other or even as independent candidate to make more money and “control” the national economy in their favour.It is also suspected that huge money is paid to the political parties to get nomination to contest in the party symbol or get nominated.

Further, most political parties except BJP and Marxists communist have virtually become family controlled property and family business. Even BJP and Marxist communists align themselves with family controlled and corrupt parties and politicians to form alliance before the election to corner the seats. It has now become too frequent for the leader of the family controlled political party to nominate son, daughter, nephew or niece or wife to contest in the election in the party symbol.

We often say that honest people should enter politics and that is the only way to cleanse politics in India. In today’s situation , without huge money and muscle power , which honest people do not possess ,it is not possible to win elections. Several honest and commited people have entered the electoral fray in the past and have failed miserably and could not get sizeable votes and have lost their deposits.

I myself contested in the South Chennai parliamentary constituency in 2009 parliament election and my vote share was extremely low. I decided to spend three lakhs of rupees towards my electoral campaign and that was all I spent which was largely from my pocket.

Now. the voice of the honest people are not heard at all in the election campaign and they vote silently to any one of the candidates even without full conviction and some of them refrain from voting due to the frustration with the standards of the candidates.

While not able to win election by honest and principled persons, how to make their voice heard?

Nobody knows how many people today resent the type of political climate prevailing in India. Election Commission has given an opportunity to citizens to vote under “NOTA” (none of the above) to express their dissent and why not utilize this opportunity?

Let the voice of the honest people be heard who disapprove the corrupt and dishonest politicians contesting in the election to seize power for their personal and family benefits and the benefits of their henchmen (party supporters).

Those who criticise my view supporting NOTA argue that voting under NOTA will not serve any useful purpose and corrupt politicians will still get elected. This is true in practical terms.

But, let the country men and corrupt politicians know that there is silent anti corruption revolution taking place in India and let them know the voice of the dissenters.

Not voting under NOTA giving the excuse that people have no alternative is a defeatist view.

When sizable number of votes are lost to the contesting candidates by exercising NOTA by the voters, it certainly will have a telling and positive impact on the long term prospect of democracy in India and will certainly create fear in the minds of corrupt politicians, who now take people for granted.

Those who vote for corrupt politicians knowing they are corrupt and saying that they have no alternative, have no right to complain later about the corrupt political system in the country.

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