The world’s biggest democracy is going to vote in less than a month! Indian elections are often more entertaining than actual! The campaigning reminds me of a typical bollywood movie. There’s drama, lots of campaign songs, a few fights, riots, poll booth capturing, etc. All in all, its' a pretty sad state of affairs.
Until this year, when technology is playing a mainstream role in the Election Campaigns. I’m noticing more and more politicians are hiring people to get their Online persona’s up to date. They are now realizing that information is readily available to the masses. More and more Psephologist’s are using technology to broaden the electoral candidates perceptions and winning chances.
I believe this will really help weed out the bad from the good. In a country like India, it is really difficult to spread the word. The problems are multifold. We have a ‘Communication’ problem as there is no ONE single language that is understood or spoken throughout the country. I’d say, English and Hindi are two most widely spoken languages across the country. The second biggest problem we have is Literacy – With literacy levels abysmally low in rural India it is very difficult to get the ‘Right Message’ to rural India. And AFAIK, there are not many NGOs addressing this problem or getting the information to the ‘last man’. They are more involved in solving other bigger problems like hunger and famine (rightfully so!). The third biggest problem we have is Mass Corruption. It’s very easy for politicians to ‘buy’ the vote. There’s always been a rural and urban divide in India. It’s so difficult to get the two to hear the same story as each needs vary so significantly! One’s betterment is always not good for the other. And, finding a common ground is extremely difficult but definitely not impossible.
Due to all these factors and more, we’ve never had a good set of politicians who have a unified agenda to ‘Improve’ the health of the state. Instead, we have a bunch of corrupt politicians who are only interested in their ‘self advancements’!
I strongly believe that the internet is going to change game a bit! A significant portion of the Indian population now has access to the internet. What this means is, instant access to information. Which translates into a better, more informed judgment.
Google has done an amazing job partnering with the local agencies and communities to deliver that information to the common man. It’s up to us now to stay informed, and do the right thing. We can definitely help spread the word to the masses.
Remember, a billion (1,000,000,000,000) is not a billion without 1. 1 is all it takes to change!
Be the one – Rock the Vote!
Here’s how Google is helping (along with local partners and communities): http://www.google.co.in/intl/en/landing/loksabha2009/
- Familiarize yourself with your candidates
- Search for your Constituency
- Search for you Polling booth details
- Get up to date Election News/Coverage
This site helps if you need information about missing names, people in your household, etc in the electoral list: http://www.jaagore.com/faq_corrections.html
If you are a First Time Voter, here’ more information: http://www.jaagore.com/faq_firsttimevoter.html#1
Finally, the most important question that I keep hearing from friends here…
No. Only a person who is residing in India and who is an ordinary resident at a place is entitled to vote.
There is no provision for NRI citizens to vote. However, non-resident Indian citizens who are Government of India employees, in a post outside India are eligible to be registered as voters, as per the Representation of People's Act 1950.
Schedule (Only for Bangalore):
Karnataka Constituencies going to vote on 23 April
1. Bangalore Rural
2. Bangalore North
3. Bangalore Central
4. Bangalore South
For the Rest of Karnataka – Karnataka Voting Schedule
For the Rest of India – Indian Election Schedule
Listing of parliament members - Karnataka