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I Am 18 And I Can Vote, But Do I Have Control Over Decisions That Shape My Future

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As I turned 18 years old, people told me I was being given the most important Fundamental Right, the 'Right to vote'. But I simply thought that in a country with a population of more than a billion will one vote really make a difference? The immediate answer would be 'No, of course'. In a billion how much weight can one vote hold? The answer: as much as one ant affects the environment it lives in. The chances were that minuscule. But voting is a special right.

Even now People of many countries do not have the right to vote, to choose their leader. In the United States of America, women did not have the right to vote till 1920. People who vote, indirectly help make decision which will not only affect them but others around them. Thus voting helps shape the world around us. The right to vote is a duty as well as a privilege. It is important for all citizens to vote in every election to make sure that the democratic, representative system of government is maintained. Persons who do not vote lose their voice in the government.

With 60 years of Independence behind us, our Country suffers from Economic and Social backwardness. One often hears people complaining about Governance of a vast, multi-lingual, multi-lateral and diversified country like India. The report based on a National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) study shows that Indian metros may be shining, but rural India is still fumbling about in the dark for the four crucial sectors of telecommunications, power, water and roads. Different sections of society are affected by a hike in prices. They also handle this rise in different ways. Most people also tend to complain about the way the Government is running the country.

But if you ask the same people if they voted for that Government to come to power, they would deny it and say that they never voted at all. Then why are you cribbing? is my question. It's not as though you voted against that political party in power. After all our future does largely depend on what policies are implemented by the reigning Government in the Indian Democracy.

Policies that are made today will last another few years, and could severely affect ones future. Any legislation that is passed by the Government in power will be put into use, not only altering our future but also that of future generations. A piece of legislation was passed recently protecting the rights of the underprivileged. It reserved the rights for admission for the underprivileged in universities. But is it truly correct? Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against giving people a fair chance. But does that not mean that those who have the ability, or have done better than those of the reserved section, are getting denied the opportunity which could shape their entire future as well as that of the people connected to them. In this case no, we did not have the power to vote against the said legislation. But there were protests to show rage and disappointment.

It is often seen that it is the poor class consisting of farmers, workers and labourers, who vote for ministers hoping for better lives through implementation of better policies, while the rich class consisting of businessmen are the ones who finance campaigns for these ministers. But the working class or the middle class, who don't contribute to either simply feel it better that they nag the workings of the Government. Unlike peasants, they do not feel it their duty to evict a political party from power, for something that they deem wrong.

Today it is seen that the Government, though promoting Globalization and large scale industries, is not promoting education and health to a wider field of people. Though the poor classes of society vote for their Government, they do this voting based largely on the facts of class, ethnicity and religion, instead of doing this on the basis of policies and resourcefulness. Due to this there has been an increase in Brain-Drain to the Western Countries. Potential Doctors, Engineers and lawyers are seen as going abroad to study and then later settle down in various



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