Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Section 49-O....Voting provision only for accounting

Here's some bad news for people who were counting on the Section 49-O provision to voice their unhappiness towards incapable / criminal / corrupt candidates contesting for election in any constituency.
Got to know that the entire provision is only for accounting purpose in case a person doesn't want to vote nor wants any bogus voting to be done on his behalf. So if you opt for this provision, your vote is as good as waste or as not having voted at all!
But can't we have a laws or provisions which the majority of the people in India support? We can have a movement and bring a change. After all we are a democracy and any party elected by the people is actually representing us and our needs. If we were happy to even read about such a law/ provision, can't we all work towards having it in place?
We all blame the government, the political parties and the ministers, but fail to exercise our rights as citizens of the nation. There are so many things we can change ourselves. We can bring changes by working towards it. We elect the government and relax and abuse them till they are in power. Instead, we should make them accountable. Groups / organisations / party offices, which inspect the progress/ change brought about by an MLA / MP should be set up. Citizens of the area should have representives in the group and make a list of demands or changes required in the area and put it up to the MLA and keep ensuring that some action is being taken on the same. This is the way corruption can be fought. It reminds me of Chandrababu Naidu's policy, where he called his party, 'the Company' and himself the CEO. The MLAs were the Managers and the party workers, the staff. And just like every employee is accountable to the company for his actions, the Managers and workers should be made accountable. After all they are getting paid for it.
Even after the 1993 riots in Mumbai, the situation was really bad. People were scared and had started distrusting each other. I remember suddenly having some Hindu friends ignoring or avoiding me then. But immediately afterwards, the police with the help of the locals in highly volatile areas set up the 'Mohalla committees', with members of Hindu-Muslim and other community representatives of a locality affliated to the local police station of the area. These committees started celebrating all festivals of all religions together. Most of the times, the Officer-in-charge of the police station was the chief guest. These Mohalla Committees were a hit and they also brought back faith in the police and trust within the different religions in the area. And to date, in those areas there have not been any major communal violence. The Mohalla committees still function in many 'once' communal violence-prone areas.
Its pathetic when even the youth of the country just sit and voice their concerns and then go casually about their lives. The 26/11 incident was an eye opener for us all. It woke up the nation. People started making themselves aware of the laws, provisions. In short people wanted a change. But just shouting and making speeches and having gatherings and rallies is not the only solution. We should ask for positive changes. And work in groups towards achieving it.
We need new laws wherever old ones are hampering our progress and acting as deterrents towards the country's security, economy and future.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Let there be Normalcy

Everyone wants a better and safe life. Who doesn't? But will ridiculing all politicians and refusing to vote and hoping for Army Rule/ President's Rule help the country? It will create more chaos and make us more vulnerable to outside attacks and terrorism. It will also lead to Civil Unrest. Many countries have been destroyed in such Civil Disorders. It means spoiling our economy, projecting a poor international image of ourselves and causing more harm to our own people. It will lead to unending war within the country, with our own people. Indirectly, we will be doing what our enemies want to happen to us. We will be helping them (the terrorists) in spreading terror. And what they've failed to achieve till now (spreading terror in our hearts), they seem to be achieving slowly with such foolish and panic reactions of some people.
I've been receiving many mails and smses encouraging people not to light candles nor see victory in capturing the terrorists. They talk of the country not being safe to live in and not trusting government to save us. They're spreading the trend of not voting, fully untrusting the politicians and let Army Rule. Such mails and 'sms'es are spreading unrest in people and encouraging them to be angry and fight back our own government ! This is ridiculous! Are we becoming our own enemies? Have we started resenting 'Democracy' to such an extent? Don't we love our freedom? If President's Rule/ Army Rule comes, we will speak the language of hatred and bullets. Have we started detesting normalcy? Or we want a 'Saddam' or 'Zia' kinda rule in India? Army Rule is equal to Military Dictatorship. And President's Rule is enabled as a means for the central government to assert authority over a state if civil unrest (such as riots) occurred and the state government didn't have the means to end the unrest. Critics of president's rule argue that most of the time, it has been used as a pretext to dissolve state governments ruled by political opponents. Thus, it is seen by many as a threat to the federal state system.

We, Indians, are not so weak that we have started to believe Military Dictatorship or President's Rule is better than Democracy. We will all lose our rights of freedom. The same people who are freely talking all this, will not be allowed to open their mouths later if their wish comes true! Or are these mails being spread by Communist supporters or those who want to see India fail ? So exercise caution before forwarding such mails. Anger for what happened is understandable. But when anger exceeds limits, it leads to madness and chaos. And we do not want chaos in India. If you do not like the election candidates in the area, use the 49-O option. Speak to the election offices or the proper authorities and find out about your rights in this regard.

Our fight is against Terrorism. Not against any particular country only. Terrorism within the country as well as people from outside who are causing harm to our country, both should be destroyed and dealt with severely. The candlelight march on 4th Dec, 2008 turned out to be more of anti-Pakistan instead of anti-Terrorism. What about 'terrorism' hidden within the country? What about the terrorists who have been spreading terror in North East for so many years? Also, there have been many organisations within the country who have been spreading terror. Why are we suddenly awake and instead of uniting to fight terrorism, reacting like crazy people out to destroy our own country? We should've united and started revolting against this menace long back. But were we quiet because earlier only the common man was being a target of blasts and terror ? And we're awake only after realising that even the affluent aren't safe! In such times we need to relax and react coolly. We should not panic. Letting panic prevail is as good as letting terror prevail. And we're not terrorists! We want Peace and Normalcy.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Let's fight Corruption by Exercising our Voting Rights Properly

49-O in Constitution of India

I came across this information from a friend and found it very informative. Please read and find out what special rights you have as a voter.

Did you know that there is a system in our constitution, as per the 1969 act, in section " 49-O" that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding election officer that he doesn't want to vote anyone?!

Yes such a feature is available, but obviously these leaders have never disclosed it.
This is called "49-O".
Why should you go and say " I VOTE NOBODY" ?

Because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received "49-O" votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them.

This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way of our whole political system.... it is seemingly surprising why the election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public.

This seems to be a wonderful weapon against corrupt parties in India . Show your power, expressing your desire not to vote for anybody, is even more powerful than voting. So don't miss your chance. So either vote, or vote not to vote (vote 49-O) and pass this info on.

It is seen in the past few years that even many of the educated masses take elections as just another holiday to relax and give it a miss. Some feel that all politicians are corrupt, so why vote? And the result is that voting percentage falling especially in cities. And we have alarming percentage of votes, around 40% or so in some places. If someone feels that the candidates in the area are not upto the mark, its better to go to the polling booth and exercise your 49-O rights and let the government know about it. Just choosing to ignore the elections will not get your opinion across.

Use your voting right for a better INDIA.

The exact extracts from the Constitution (THE CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS RULES, 1961), are as under :

49-O. Elector deciding not to vote.-If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.

Pls click below link for more details

Monday, December 01, 2008

28th November 2008.... Reactions

The day after i.e. 27th Nov 2008, many people preferred to stay home. Some companies were officially closed while many companies were open with less attendence. Most banks were open all days, including the Fort branches.

But on 28th Nov, 2008 when I stood at the station to board the train to office, there was crowd as usual. Most people were expecting a less crowd. But it was no so. And everyone was talking, commenting about the previous two days events. The operation at Taj was still on.

One man to another : ''Kuch bhi kaho... woh logon ne perfect planning ki thi. Maanna padega. Ab pakadkar kar kya fayda. Unhonhe toh apna target complete kar liya". (They had done perfect planning. What's the use of catching them now. They've completed their target.)

Other man : "Heard that one of the terrorists worked at the Taj for a few months. That's why they knew the place so well."

First man : "Tu kal office gaya tha? Main toh jaata. Lekin mera office Opera House side hai. Isliye ghar waale jaane nahin diye" (Did you go to office? I would've gone, but my office is near Opera House, so family members didn't allow me to go.)

After getting into Ladies compartment, more comments were heard within... more daring and questionable.
One lady : Its really sad. But how come there was no security at the sea?
Second lady : Now they've increased security.
First lady : Now what's the use? Always they do afterwards. Even after blasts. They'll become strict for 15 days or so, then back to usual.
Second lady : Yeah. And they came from Gujarat. What was Modi doing?

Other set of females discussing.
One lady : Now where is MNS? Why didn't they come forward to save their land?
Other lady: Yes, when Mumbai needed them, they were nowhere to be seen.
First lady: In fact, today we ladies are going to office. But one boy, who supports MNS, said he can't come. I told him problem is in South Mumbai and now its nearly over. But he replied that how could he take risk. And his family is also not allowing.
Another lady: Now they had to call people from outside to save Mumbai. It was sad how they beat up the candidates who came for Railway Exam.
One more lady joins in : Now if they really do something to save Mumbai or show how much they care, we'll all join MNS. And giggles
Another lady : How they took all that stuff inside Taj and Oberoi? Some insider might be involved

Another two ladies were discussing behind me.
One Lady: Now they'll blame Congress
Second Lady : As if nothing would've happened if anyone else was there.

There were emails and smses floating around -
''Where are the Sainiks? The NSG commandoes who came to save Mumbai were all Non Maharashtrians'' and it went on...
Some were blaming the present government for their failure. And urging people to vote them out.
Some urged people to protest on 29th Nov (Sat) by wearing black bands on wrist or forehead.
I chose not to forward such mails/ smses, which were more in political interests and more of a mockery of the entire situation. We could deal with them later, when the entire operation was over.

In Office.
We were reeling under work pressure. So no time to discuss much except how we reached home. In between there was an alarm regarding some fresh firing followed by news of all TV channels being asked to shut down.
One of my colleagues : Jeeturaaj knows better. I've been following his program throughout the incident yesterday. Today he's going to be on air full day.
Another female colleague : Yeah, I also hear his program for updates. I'd called him yesterday to tell him our office was working, but told him women were excused.
Just then first colleague takes out his FM receiver and tunes in. He hears for few minutes and declares that fresh firing thing was a rumour.
I was surprised to hear about Jeeturaaj's popularity.
He calls his home also and then says some channel spread the rumour and thats why they were asked to shut down.
And everyone seemed angry after they heard this.

After a while, they was more news (a rumour) that the terrorists were moving towards RBI. And suddenly many offices/ branches of companies / banks were asked to exercise caution and leave early. Since we were in the suburbs, it didn't affect us much. We continued with our work.

After that there wasn't much news except some news updates from people's homes. We got information that the attackers were watching TV inside and using satellite phones and were fully updated on what's happening outside. They were said to be muching tandoori chicken.

Someone wondered how they got all that stuff inside. I reminded them that Taj also has a kitchen and might have a storage there. Some agreed. Some didn't and insisted they carried it inside.

Then we were all engrossed in our work and the day passed on as usual.