'Non Above' Category in EVM
Recent proceedings of Rajyasabha are viewed by millions of Indians. Happenings in lower house, Lokasabha or State houses are not different. We shout from our roof tops about our vibrant democracy. Democracy is an alternative to autocracy or mobocracy. What we saw in Rajyasabha can hardly make anybody proud. But can we blame the members of these august houses for what is happening in these sacred places? They are the outcome of a democratic system i.e. they all are elected members. Can we shun or exonerate ourselves from these happenings?
Democracy does not function in vacume. Roof of democracy stands on the pillars of political parties. In this case roof is a sheer reflection of functioning of the political parties. In most of the political parties from national to regional, democracy exists in letter but not in spirit. There is no real intra-party democracy. We also have seen recently that no party is serious about corruption. Selection of candidates is based on caste or money or muscle power. No wonder then that we have dynasties ruling most of our national or regional parties with an endorsement of democracy for their election in the party to which they belong. Our democracy is a number game and thus the first casualty in this game is meritocracy. 25% of our members of Parliament have criminal record from dacoity to rape. Situation in state assemblies is not different. The tragedy is that they all are democratically elected members. Can we change this scenario?
Yes, we can.
We have witnessed what competent people can do in case of Shri Shesan and Shri Shridharan. But our members of Parliament or Assembly are not appointed but are elected by you and me. So let’s accept that we and only we are responsible for present situation and only we can bring in change. Many people do not vote on the pretext that none of the candidates deserve their approval and only way out is to abstain from voting. Unfortunately that is 100% endorsing the election of an undeserving candidate.
The only way out from this dilemma is to get an option in our voting system of ‘none above ‘category built in our Electronic Voting Machines (EVM). We do have this option available to use even today. We have to ask for a separate form to register our vote in this category. The secrecy, which is most important in case of voting, is lost in this procedure.
I have filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Mumbai High Court in this regard and in recent hearing Hon. Judges have instructed the National and State Election Commissions to come out with possibility of a practical solution for inclusion of ‘none above’ option in EVM in forth coming elections in the State of Maharashtra. Your opinion is going to help to bring in this change.
You are requested thus to sign this petition as a support to my PIL.
Mahesh Vijay Bedekar,