Voting:Is It Worth?
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Voting:Is it worth?

Hey, are you going to kerala for casting your vote? I asked a friend of mine. He gave me a cynical smile and said “Are you crazy? This is a crucial time for the company as we are fighting recession and I cannot afford to lose one day of business. I was stunned. His answer made me pose this question to many others and this time was less surprised to get similar answers. One of them said “who cares. Whoever rules, rules for his sake and not for the country’s sake.” I pondered inside. I found similar voices inside. Is it worth? Will it make a difference? From the age of 18, I have voted. Perhaps the journalist in me made more conscious that it is both my right and my duty. But in the last ten years, has it really been worthwhile? Thousands of them like me have exercised the right to vote with the same consciousness. My friend mentioned in the beginning has also done it. But in the last ten years we have not seen the value of doing it. Especially in my own state-Kerala.

Once upon a time the state was fast ahead in its pace of development and growth. Industrialisation and trade flourished. But today it can perhaps be counted among the state which has made very little progress. This thought was reinforced when I read the recent issue of Dhanam Business Magazine of kerala. Dhanam is a regional business magazine of kerala which has always stood for the economic development and growth of the state. It has voiced various concerns and brought out the loopholes in the system in a fearless manner. As elections are round the corner, in the last issue Dhanam did a cover story on various development activities which was proposed and granted fund. The smart city project, vallarpadam container terminal project, express highway project, metro rail project and many others.

None of these projects have taken off yet. Many of them have not even reached completed the initial stages. Thanks to the ever increasing fight and splits between political parties and politicians. All these projects were introduced with much fanfare. Many state owned industries which had flourished in the state once upon a time has closed down due to continous strikes, hartal and lack of a visionary political will. My dad is moving his coir factory to Tamilnadu like many others in the industry. He is sick and tired of the atrocities of the political parties and its allies. He faces difficulty in finishing his orders on time because workers resort to unnecessary demands and political parties resort to strike. He says in Tamilnadu, workers are more accommodative and Government more receptive. In no time this traditional industry will find new roots in other states.

Like me, many others have left the state, due to lack of opportunities. If you look at the graduates from colleges in kerala moving to other states and cities, the number will astonish you. I also meet a lot of them who have done really well here but are not sure whether to go back or not. They ask me where the opportunity in kerala is. As a journalist, I can go on and on with facts to tell you what all are going wrong there. But each time I note down the facts, I feel sick. I feel sad at the state of affairs of the state. So where lies the solution? The solution lies in the minds of each and everyone of us. Instead of shrugging our shoulders and condemning, we should shed our apathy and complacent nature and work proactively. And the first step in this regard comes in the form of casting our votes.

Elections are just round the corner. This time it is a crucial one not only because of the recession and terrorism which is looming large but also because our country is in the crossroads of change and development. India is the largest democracy in the world which gives absolute power in the hands of its people. All we need to do is to exercise our rights, express our opinion and stand strongly for development and growth and there by build a legacy for our children. As I signoff my mind is no more confused. The voice is clear and it tells me “It is worth, valuable and precious”. I too have a role in making Kerala God’s own country in every sense of the word.