Honda Activa launches a one of its kind, #ActivIndia campaign during the election season to encourage more and more people to cast their votes to make a difference. It prompts the citizens to realize that they are the ones who can give the “desh chalane ka license” - the license to run the country.
Republic TV and Honda presents #ActivIndia - A movement by Activa in its special edition will have a panel of experts who will be talking about the most burning issue of democracy – Is NOTA a measure to ensure maximum participation or a negative impact on democracy at large. The panel of experts consists of Poonam Sharma (SVEEP Coordinator, Ghaziabad), Chakshu Roy (PRS Legislative) and Saurabh Gupta (Advocate, Supreme Court).
NOTA (None of The Above), is a ballot option in jurisdictions or organizations, allowing the voter to indicate that the voter is not in terms with the candidates or parties in a voting system. It is based on the principle that consent requires the ability to withhold consent in an election, just as they can by voting “No”. NOTA was first used in the 2014 General Elections after the Supreme Court of India declared that the right to register a “none of the above” vote should be applied in the elections, and the Election Commission of India should immediately provide a “NOTA” buttons in the EVM. The SC believed that this step could help in increasing participation.
The panel discussed if the step has helped in increasing participation. There were around 6 million votes that were casted under NOTA in the general elections of 2014. There might be an increase in the voter participation as the citizens use their right to vote. However, it might be considered a negative impact as the votes that are casted as “NOTA” are counted but as invalid votes, hence, they do not have an impact on the outcome of the election process.
The experts also discussed that it is necessary that there is maximum interaction between the candidates and the public to encourage the people to take a leap of faith in the candidate and be more active in elections. The candidates should be able to connect well with the people, so that the citizenry realizes which candidate can help in the development of the area and contribute to the betterment of the society. Also, the manifestoes should be given by the voters, so that they get a chance to talk about their problems and decide which one of the candidates can give a better solution.
The panel talked about the need of educational qualification in a candidate and all of them can agree that more than educational qualification, it is necessary for the candidate to know the people he is to work for and come up with innovative and efficient ideas to uplift the conditions of the country.
There is also a noticeable lack in voter participation from females and transgenders, although there are areas with more than average participation from these genders, the numbers are quite small, when compared to men at large. The panel also discussed that to overcome issues like this there should be initiatives that are taken to ask the women voters themselves as to what their problems are and what can be done to ensure maximum participation from them. Transgenders face issues like othering and improper behavior, restricting them from going out and casting their votes, there should be initiatives to ensure that these practices are punished and there is a safe place for all people irrespective of gender to cast their vote.
The panel talked about how much technology has impacted and benefited the political gamete of the country as it has in some ways brought the candidates and representatives close to general public. It also provides a platform for the candidates to talk about issues with a larger than life audience. This also ensures that there is a general awareness among the citizens about the works and ideologies of the candidate which affect their decisions, as this is more than the election manifesto. Technology also helps an individual in being more aware of the entire electoral process.
The panel also discussed the channels faced by administration to ensure that more people are aware of the electoral process and come out to cast their votes. At some level, the responsibility lies on the authorities to ensure maximum participation. This can be done by updating the voter list regularly so that no eligible voter finds himself/ herself with the will to vote yet no voter ID. The administration can also incentivize voters who have been actively participating in all the elections in his area, be it the Lok Sabha or the municipal corporation.
Initiatives like #ActivIndia becomes more important because it spreads awareness about the right and responsibility to vote in all parts of the country. It is a call to every young individual out there to realize how important each vote is and urges them to contribute to the reshaping of the nation’s government.
#ActivIndia - Proactive citizens make a progressive nation
Pledge to vote: Visit www.hondaactivindia.com and join the #ActivIndia movement.
Set SMS reminder: Select your polling date on the website and get reminded a day before.
Join the movement through missed call: Just give a missed call on 9870500111 and support the #ActivIndia movement by taking a pledge to vote
Frame your pledge: Show the world your customized pledge frame and spread awareness.
Spread the cause: Upload your pledge certificate on social media and ask your friends and family to take the pledge too!
Every vote counts: Ensure two votes are cast for every two-wheeler. Ride to the polling booth with a pillion.