Do Overseas Indians Know About Elections in India?

Every Indian Vote Counts
Every Indian Vote Counts

By Rakesh Raman

As India continues to be an underdeveloped country, it is observed that people who vote in Indian elections are mostly poor and uneducated.

As a result, illiterate politicians or those with serious criminal records (history-sheeters) get elected and act as dictators in a democracy. People of India are almost dying under the misrule of such politicians.

To overcome this persisting problem, the Election Commission of India (ECI) is taking various steps.

Recently, the first ever global conference on voter education was organized by ECI in association with UNDP. It took place in New Delhi last month.

According to a government statement, the main purpose of the conference was to learn from the experiences of government and non-government Election Management Bodies (EMBs) by sharing the best practices, policies, and initiatives of voter education.

[ आओ मिल कर करें एक नये और समृद्ध भारत का निर्माण ]

Now in order to assess the level of awareness about the registration and voting process, ECI has initiated an online survey for overseas Indian citizens.

The objective of the survey is to study and determine the registration and participation rates among overseas electors.

The survey, launched by ECI in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), will help in gathering opinions and voting preferences of overseas Indians.

According to ECI, the survey will help in not only identifying information gaps but also in finding the preferred methods of voting which can subsequently be shared with the Government and Legislators.

[ Also Visit: Real Voter – Politics in India for Complete Voter Education ]

“I invite you to join this historic initiative of the Election Commission of India for expanding the frontiers of electoral participation,” said Nasim Zaidi, chief election commissioner in his message to overseas Indians.

Apart from the survey, ECI also has launched an online competition, as a part of the initiative, to engage with the target population and seek their contribution to the cause – ‘Every Indian Vote Counts’.

[ India Takes Major Steps to Educate Voters ]

Under the competition, participants can upload their original entries in categories like Slogans, Songs, Posters, Photographs, Essays and Short Film and Audio Visual formats.

The winning entries will get round trip to India and a lifetime chance to be honoured by the Election Commission of India on National Voters’ Day, 25th January 2017 in New Delhi.

The survey will run through the month of November-December 2016 while the online competition will run through the month of November.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a government award-winning journalist and social scientist. You also can visit the REAL VOTER – Politics in India Information Center that he manages.

Photo courtesy: ECI

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Rakesh Raman