Post Mortem

Your right to vote & you

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 4/10/2019 12:52:57 PM IST

 Every day you wake up, yawn and stretch to your glory, live your regular days as if nothing special happen. Then seasons change and you find yourself with running nose and stuffed throat. That’s when you realize to value the gift of breathing. Yes, breathing- the ultimate parameter to differentiate the dead from the living- yet is one of the only few things that we overlook the most. It’s human nature to overlook the importance of something until it is taken away from you. But sometimes, some things once lost are never found.

Let’s relate that with the Universal Adult Franchise (UAF). What’s common between the example of breathing and UAF? It is that the ability and inability to breathe determines living and death; and the availability and unavailability of UAF determines living and surviving.

How many of us actually notice the importance of India being a republic and democratic nation, let alone being thankful for it? I bet it’s just a handful of us. I don’t blame it entirely on you though. It’s as normal as breathing is to us now- it has been there with us since birth and we think and hope it will remain with us forever. But all of us should know that we are the luckiest people on Earth. Our ancestors had toiled really hard, giving their ultimate sacrifices, so we can avail these cherished values today in the form of a right given under Article 326 of the Indian Constitution since its very genesis.

The power to elect our government and to have ownership of their very existence is a line that any definition of real freedom and liberty begins with. Social media, mass communication platforms and the general social discourses are overflowing with open criticisms, suggestions, instructions, abuses, protests and condemnation against the actions of our government and our administrative processes. One can utter these criticisms out of their mouth, literally and figuratively, even just as the opinions form in their minds. And if enough of a certain like-minded people gather, they can overthrow the government and replace it with anyone they like. This, what you have just read, is nothing short of a blessing, people. Be thankful we are lucky to have it given to us as an inherent right.

Imagine waking up one morning and finding yourself in a regime where every bit of your thought and actions are monitored, and one word against your ruler gets you in prison and tortured, while also imprisoning your children and your grandchildren for their entire lives for your mistake. This is not a fiction. It is called the “Three generations rule” and you can find yourself being sentenced to this punishment for reasons as petty as forgetting to dust off your ruler’s portrait. This is what the citizens of North Korea wake up to every morning. They don’t have access to internet, no contact with the outside world, no choices even in personal matters like hair-style or clothing and food, no say in their own living standards, and cannot leave this kind of existence without being killed by their own soldiers. On the outside they pray to their dictator (just as they are instructed to), but on the inside I bet every single one of these people pray and wish they could live in a place like ours at least once before they die. A place like ours where we have decided to downplay our role in elections; where we are “too busy” to go and stand in that little queue; a place like ours where we are afraid the heat of the sun might tan our skin; where it is more important to play games at home than elect our leaders. Our disregard of these values make us say, “Moi najai lebi tai khan jaile kafi ase!”. It is this very place that other people are willing to give their lives for.

We overlook these values because our lives have been made easy. But trust me when I say this: these values exist not because our lives were already easy. Our lives are easy because these values exist. And if you don’t start to treat it with prudence and cherish it, we never know if it would remain with us forever.

Go out there on 11th this month and exercise your valuable right to vote. If you think it is trouble, even just for a little bit, know that nothing but nothing on this Earth is for free. And for something as colossal of a blessing as democracy, it is definitely the least of a price you can bargain for.

Motsuthung Yanthan

 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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