Election day is, probably, the greatest day for any democracy when people unite for one cause. Be it political parties, administrators or citizens, we all want only one thing: electing candidates that represent choice of people of India in best possible way.
The elected person at the end of the day may or may not be of your choice, but all of us want that he/she is elected through opinion of as many Indians as possible, making it a collective responsibility for all of us to help election take place in a way that truly reflect choice of the collective.
I am tempted to share my experience of voting as it has made me become aware of how we all look at our roles in this pious process.
When I went for voting, I had not done my own homework properly as a voter. Only after noticing four buttons against each of the major parties, it dawned upon me that I must be expected to cast four votes. When I asked the officer present, he confirmed the same and I cast my four votes. But, it made me realise that I had failed as a citizen to be informed. My own error made me check with others and I realised that there were people equally uninformed who had ended up casting only one vote.
This made me reach out to the administration conducting the elections, as I am absolutely confident that all of us want to do this one job right. Be it citizens or administration, we all are on one side in this matter.
For me, our elections are The cardinal achievement of our nation. The administration works hard and tirelessly in this one domain because they also feel need of maintaining sanctity of this special event in a democratic nation. This election is even more special because it allowed least amount of time for the administration to do its job and yet, I can see that they have pulled up their socks to give us as fair an election it gets. So, I had reached out only because I saw a problem and I wanted to provide a feedback so something can be done by all of us to correct it.
Unfortunately, every arm of administration that I reached out to had only one assumption that I am blaming them for something. So, the communication was undermined even before it can start having any transfer of information.
While I had no blame game in my mind, for administration it appeared to be an accusation that they needed to defend against. This presumption made them fail to notice that a suggestion is not a verdict of their failure but just a feedback for their review and action if they saw merit in it.
As someone with fair bit of idea about the challenges faced by administration in India, I am fully sympathetic to this knee-jerk reaction that most administrators develop after interacting with agenda-driven individuals they encounter by dozens every day.
But, this trust-deficit is most detrimental for us all, as it is preventing feedback to be used in correcting systems that are in place, making our systems cumbersome and non-achieving. We need to bridge this gap immediately before it leads us to dysfunctional society and state.
Hopefully, at the end of the day, voters better informed than me would have elected us our true representatives; but, till the feedback loop between state and citizens is not made functional, we are not going to get the governance that delivers.
Elections are one way to have people’s voice heard; but, with modern communication mediums, and with a little bit of trust, information can and must move freely between state and people.
I, as citizen, think that administration of my country is concerned about my good. I hope that administration also develops similar trust for the citizens that reach out to it.