Recently, I watched an interesting movie named ‘Newton’ which is also India’s official nomination for Oscars 2017. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. India is the largest democracy in the world and we must be proud to be so by sustaining it through free and fair elections and absence of any military coup till date. However, my feelings that we have not done enough to deepen our democracy have come true after watching this movie. Good work by the team on this movie. Kudos to them.
We have started using ‘Electronic Voting Machines’ but the film rightly portrays that many of them do not know anything about the leaders contesting the elections. They are being told to press some ‘symbol’ in exchange for some petty cash or some liquor. The film has portrayed tribals who are unaware of the electoral process and they still look at their own laws as supreme. However, this ‘deepening’ of democracy is not required just for tribals and illiterates, it is also badly needed for the literates many of whom do not even exercise their right to vote or follow up with their elected leader for the betterment of their constituency. In fact, due to employment based migration, many of the voters do not even reside in the constituency.
Some organisations like Association for Democratic Reforms are doing a wonderful job by making necessary information available to the voters. They have also influenced and led many public interest litigations that have brought some welcome judgements from Supreme Court. But due to the sheer size of our democracy, we need more such organisations to work at all levels of our government to make our democracy more lively. One idea that I want to implement is make all the citizens aware of the major provisions of the Constitution of India through street plays and videos enacted in local languages. Another one relates to a web/mobile app for addressing public grievances.