“To be or not to be, that is the question,” says Hamlet in a soliloquy. In my opinion, each and every Indian has the right to ask themselves “to vote or not to vote” when the question of electing the ruling party of the nation arises.
In a democratic nation like India, I believe every individual should have his or her own judgment when comes to voting. Many arguments exist to prove or disprove the importance of compulsory voting. The arguments for compulsory voting state that there cannot be a fair election if groups of people fail to cast their ballots. The arguments against claim that forcing individuals to cast ballots against their will can lead to empty votes, or donkey votes. Both sides strive for acceptance, each claiming to outweigh the other, but before casting judgment on either side of the argument, it is important to understand the most prominent pros and cons of each to decide why compulsory voting would do more harm than good. Making voting mandatory will only make matters worse. Looking at the present scenario of other countries where compulsory voting is a part of the Constitution, my opinion stands reinforced.
Compulsory voting has been a part of Belgium's Constitution since 1892. Not turning up for voting without a valid reason is a punishable offense. The offenders have to give a valid explanation for not voting and probable excuses like a “medical certificate,” or being out of the country are the only escape routes. Otherwise, heavy fines can be imposed on violators or they can even be “banned from the electoral list for 10 years.” This means the resident of the country loses the right to vote for the next decade. This surely serves as a deterrent. In such situation people my produce illegal or fake excuses nd the country will lead to corruption.
Drawing an inference from the situation above, one wonders if the bill aimed at compulsory voting will ever be passed given the demography and literacy...