The festival of democracy

The festival of democracy
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First Published: Thu, Apr 16 2009. 12 54 AM IST
Updated: Thu, Apr 16 2009. 12 54 AM IST
Thursday will mark another round in India’s 57 years of engagement with elections. Indians should come out in strength and vote for whichever candidate they like.
The event seems routine in that it is repeated at least every five years. In addition, it is interspersed with all manner of local and state legislative assembly elections.
Probably Indians are inured to elections. They should, however, know that it is a privilege not many have in South Asia and the wider world. The kind and number of changes effected by the ballot in India are perhaps unique for a developing country: In most settings of poverty and backwardness, it takes a revolution to do what is done normally in this country.
That is what makes the calls for not voting or boycotting the elections seem so out of place. Such calls, including those for not paying taxes, were voiced in the wake of the Mumbai 26/11 attacks. Clearly they were misplaced, even if the anger that led to them was understandable. There is no better option than balloting to get rid of that anger.
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First Published: Thu, Apr 16 2009. 12 54 AM IST