The world's largest democary goes to the polls today onwards ...to renew its tryst with destiny, to reinculcate its faith in the power of its people, to shape its destiny, to give it leaders who will dare to think, to implement and empower a nation where its intrinsic diversity shapes its unity!
When an astounding 750 million voters are eligible to exercise this right of democracy, an evolved infrastructure and fool-proof system need to be in place. The voting machines we use are indeed an evolution from the days of manual vote counting..but are they enough?
As the city which has been my home for the past year or so goes to vote today, here I am sitting in front of my computer 'enjoying' a holiday...a passive participant in a dynamic process! I am not alone....there are thousands like me, who are unable to vote due to their frequently changing co-ordinates! Who are away from the city where they are registered in the electoral rolls! So dont people like us have the right to vote and be a part of the elaborate exercise of choosing the mandate?
In a country touted as a software superpower, churning out lakhs of engineers every year, cant we expect introduction and implementation of a new technology to address this handicap of a nation of mobile citizens?
If money transfer, bill payments, and many other exercises in which unique identity is not only crucial, but also essential, through mobiles and internet can become part and parcel of our lives, why cant the voting system be made online? An unique identity number or smart card (containing relevant details about a particular citizen) generated by the Office of the Electoral Commission can be used to cast our votes through SMS or the internet.
True, I'm simpilfying a complicated and a mammoth process involving years of micro and macro tasking. But with our giant force of technocrats, highly qualified technical experts, world reknowned and reputed software giants and a comfortable gap of five years between two consecutive elections, is it really an impossible task?
I doubt..... though such a system should have been in place during this year's much publicised, much maligned and much hyped General Elections, I sincerely hope, the forthcoming government will put this system in place in 2014 in joint collaboration with the best brains in the world!
So that wherever I am, I can exercise my democratic rights! Am I asking for too much too soon??