India is known as the largest democracy in the world. Metropolitan education and to some extent rural education too has made us aware of our fundamental rights, the most important of which is our right to elect our government judiciously.
But what if all the candidates have a dubious background, corrupt or who have proved themselves to be incompetent and irresponsible in discharging their duties during a previous term. There is no choice but to choose a goon among list of goons.
Ignorance of this thing resulted in an electorate casting votes for dubious people or a cabinet of inept, inefficient or corrupt ministers.The year 2011 witnessed a national revolution against the corrupt forces which are ruining the country and demoralizing the population. A resigned attitude changed to one of hope and optimism thanks to the dauntless Gandhian Anna Hazare who began a revolution against the iniquitous and ineffective individuals in the Government who forget their responsibility towards the entire nation.
One of the revolutionary steps proposed by Mr. Hazare has been about bringing “Right to Reject” and “Right to Recall” candidates officially in the course of an election. These two bills will enable you to reject candidates if you do not find them capable for the job at the time of elections and recalling MPs if they are not performing their duties after elections, so you will not have to wait for 5 yrs to change your representatives.
The last few parliamentary and legislative elections have witnessed a deteriorating turn out of voters at the polls. However, if the Election Commission includes the Right to Reject in the electronic voting machines, the people who are disillusioned with any or all of the candidates would be most glad to express their dissatisfaction and ire by exercising this right.
Right to Reject :
In the event of this option being included in the electronic voting machines, the biggest benefit would be:
1) Opinions of frustrated citizens would be known publicly as practically the entire electorate would vote and if the rejections exceeded the votes cast in favor of candidates, all the candidates would be rejected and fresh elections with new candidates would be scheduled. There would be initial inconveniences and setbacks like huge extra expenses on promoting the new candidates, an additional burden on the national exchequer and the taxpayers and the cost of manpower used on the Election Day itself but a new era of integrity would begin.
2) Every political party would regard the electorate as a formidable force to reckon with and would ensure that only honest representatives of integrity were admitted to their party. Hence the representatives would be careful and prudent in their conduct.
3) The Right to Reject would ensure that people with criminal records would never be able to enter politics. Scams and scandals would decrease immensely.
Right to Recall:
India has not yet extended this invaluable right to its citizens but Anna Hazare is battling to have it introduced. This will help Indian citizens to monitor the activities of their elected representatives and recall them or have them dismissed with a public outcry if the representatives stoop to corruption or indulge in illegal activities.
An ex- minister of Civil Aviation would never have been able to systematically ruin the national airline if his actions had been monitored by people of integrity.
The encouragement to exercise Right to Reject unfit candidates seems to be the ultimate solution to rejuvenating an atmosphere of clean and progressive governance and national security.