“We all have to vote like our lives and the world depend on it, because they do. The only way to be certain of the future is to make it ourselves.”
— Billie Eilish
The answer to this seemingly simple question by all Indians living in India or abroad would be a resounding yes. What is a great nation may mean different things to different people but feeling to be a part of a great nation would be a gross emotion that cannot be described easily- and yet it is palpable in every citizen’s heart. The idea of greatness may seem convoluted to many. Yet, regardless of your Patriotic Quotient on a scale of 1 to 10, even if you are as low as 1 you want your nation to prosper. There is self interest in this regardless of your status in the society. Everyone wants security and safety for himself/ herself and for the close family and friends. Level two of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs spells it out very well.
Safety needs – once an individual’s physiological needs are satisfied, the needs for security and safety become salient. People want to experience order, predictability and control in their lives. These needs can be fulfilled by the society or the nation state with effective law and order, safety from external aggression, education and medical care.
What good is your property, gold and savings if your country itself is not secure? Look at what is happening in Ukraine? Look at Sri Lanka or Pakistan, Afghanistan, their people have very little safety and security, bad governance has made the richest very poor.
Today the entire Europe is at Risk. The simple reason for all these is bad leadership, bad governance by bad people.
In the armed forces they have a very detailed appraisal methodology which is called an ACR- Annual Confidential Report. There are several parameters on which an officer is judged, assessed by his superior officer. For each of these qualities the officer reporting on you has to give a figurative assessment on a scale of 9. Four out of Nine is supposed to be the worst and a nine point report is the best one could get. In between there are shades of grey 5, 6, 7 and 8. It becomes pretty comprehensive, in a way complex and complicated. At the end of it, the system has to decide in binary- do you want a guy to be promoted or not on to his next rank? I had a boss who was very clear and his take was that you should be clear while writing a report and giving points. If you want him to be promoted then give a report in such a way that no one can stop him from promotion. If you do not want him to be promoted then your reporting should be clear so that no one can promote him. If the result has to be in binary then reporting must be binary too! Don’t give gradations to confuse the system and the person you are assessing too. This is the most logical way to look at a situation. Some may not agree with this method and take a moral high ground of not being fair to all. Alternately, you may tell the guy about his strengths and weaknesses according to your assessment verbally but put things in writing to make things happen- fail or pass- that is it.
A court gives a clear mandate or a judgement as far as aggrieved parties are concerned. Either the verdict is for you or against you. There could be detailed reasoning but it does not keep the entire judgement hanging in abeyance. It gives a judgement for or against a situation.
Now a citizen is a judge to elect his government at the time of voting. That is why it is called ‘aapka keemti vote’, or your valuable vote.
You are writing an ACR of your government. Make sure you do not confuse the election commission. Your vote is in binary- for one or the other.
“Casting a ballot isn’t just something you do for yourself — it’s for our collective future.”
— Oprah Winfrey
If you want your nation to do well then you got to have a right type of governance. No government can be perfect and it can never make everyone happy. Certain policies may be good for most but may not be good for a few.
Therefore when you vote next time you should vote for the nation and collective good and not to be only a fair voter technically.
In India every voter is a ‘Rai Sahaab’, because everyone has a Rai (Opinion). Right from a guy sitting in a nukkad to a CEO of a company there are opinions- fair enough. A Guy may be ‘pareshan’ with petrol price, the other guy with income tax, someone with GST and another with corporate tax.
So you say ‘I am OK with everything, but I am not happy with just two things X and Y and that is why I want this government to go.’
Another thing that is a common parlance is ‘public hai, saab jantee hai’ (Public knows everything). OK you may know everything, you may convey weaknesses that according to you are a problem for you by venting your dissatisfaction in discussions but write the national ACR correctly. If you feel that by and large things are going right then vote for that government. Don’t do nit-picking. But pick the right one on a gross feeling of nation first.
Today India is at a cusp, to become a great nation, we are on track, we have a strong leadership, a committed government. We are seeing a lot happening within the country and we are now seen as a powerful nation on the international arena. Remember ‘no pain, no gain’ each one of us- All Indians regardless of our personal preferences must vote with our eyes Wide open. Vote with a collective conscience for collective good. This period may never come again. We are sitting on the 75th year of our Independence. It is like Haley’s comet- a “periodic” comet that returns to Earth’s vicinity about every 75 years, making it possible for a person to see it twice in their lifetime. It was last here in 1986, and it is projected to return in 2061.
In 2024 we need to look at another spark- four decades later. For that you need to write the National Report very carefully by voting the right way.
“Your voices are being heard and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain. Now we have one more thing we need to do to walk in our true power, and that is to vote.”
— Beyoncé, Grammy Award-winning singer