Saturday, September 28, 2013


An young man who was appearing for the Bank entrance test told me that if a question contained 4 options in which the last option is "None of the above", there is every probability that the fourth option is the correct one. The question is thought-provoking. The basic idea for a Multiple choice question is to give the examinee an immediate clue to recollect the relevant content from a number of topics which he had learnt. 
But I am sure that this will not work the way it is expected to, at least, in the case of an election polling. NOTA... today's addition to the endless world of abbreviations is perhaps the hot topic in India. The NONE OF THE ABOVE option will be added to the Electronic Voting Machine/ the manual ballot paper . As Supreme Court has decided to add the button in the Electronic voting machine , the option given to the voter is that he can send the message to the contestants that none of them are fit to enter the corridors of State Assembly / Parliament. In a country, where a major junk of the electorate  is lacking basic literacy, how they will understand the implication of choosing NOTA option, is still a question mark. Even, assuming that they know the implications, why should a person who will stand in the long queue, in hot sun, will opt to waste his vote by choosing the NOTA option. Or what purpose it is going to serve after emptying the huge heap of already lingering Indian Rupee in the mammoth election process, is anyone's guess!
In India, hardly about 50 per cent of the eligible voters use the voting rights. Out of these, majority of the electorate is going to be misled on the poll promises, as is seen in the past. A candidate, can win the election even if he or she could bag just one third of the polled votes, given the large number of political parties and ideologies. This being the case, I am afraid whether the NOTA option is going to improve the ethical standards of the candidates as well as the voters.
When Smoking is injurious to health, then just printing the slogan on the wrapper of a cigarette box will serve no purpose. When adult content is screened in TVs, advising children not to see the same will be a futile exercise. When the rapists are not severely punished, the crime rate will never diminish. 
Any lofty thinking, without the will to put a check on the evils in a civic society,  will bear no impact. I am pessimistic and the Honourable court's wisdom can not be questioned. As a law abiding citizens , it is just an apprehension. Let's see how this will have a mark on the thinking of the electorate. Assuming that the entire electorate rejects all candidates and choose NOTA option, what are we going to do? Or we going to conduct the election once again or President rule will be promulgated in the said constituency...Or a candidate who got just 0.05% of the polled votes but the rest opted for NOTA, what then are we going to do? Let's wait to see the Dance of Democracy! 

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