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The inked finger makes me a liberated soul
Deepika Bhan
Last Updated : 13 Feb 2017 04:03:41 PM IST
The inked finger makes me a liberated soul
Happiness after casting votes


The heaviness of the weighty democracy is such that the finger ought to change its colour. Blue, the mark of an expression of freedom and democracy does give an odd look to the finger but then it is a ‘democratic’ tattoo that nobody really minds. This blue gives the ultimate power to make the choice which lay there in the EVM buttons.

The choice has always been there and it is being made every five years. Democracy and our Constitution have guaranteed us the right. We, the people make the candidates our leaders who then in return decide what we should get and how we should get or what should be there for future, whether there should be peace or war, whether there should be harmony or animosity, whether there should be growth or decline or whether there should be secure or insecure atmosphere. Apart from natural calamities or accidents, these leaders get to decide almost everything for us because we give them the power through the blued finger. 
While standing in the queue for the holy interface with the holier EVM, each one of us feels a moment of dominance to get even with the candidate or the political party, however, the bitter truth is that we hardly get to make an independent choice. There are always factors which not only influence our decision making capability but lead us to a certain judgment. And in most of these decades, religion, caste, community and creed have been the deciding factors ultimately rather than the issues of education, health, employment, security, food, etc. The situation has come to this extent that leaders openly play religion and caste card to influence the voters emotionally. Candidates are selected on the basis of religion and caste effectiveness.
Despite all this, the finger is willingly blued as the belief in “this-one moment-of-mine” is paramount.  The inking exercise is totally painless. Seeing the aged polling officer gently blowing air from his mouth on my finger after putting the ink amused everyone in the polling room. Perhaps, it was an involuntary action which he soon realized after noticing amused faces. He could not have repeated this with the hundreds that followed me during the day unless and until he had 56 inch lungs! After locking my selection in that electronic device, I left with a strange feeling of whether I made the right choice. Questions like, will this candidate be available in case he or she wins the poll, will he/she listen to our woes, will he rectify the electricity and the water woes in the colony, will he help to get prompt health facility, and will he help to get the faulty sanitary system rectified, will he help to check the ever rising prices of everything in the local market and will be able to keep the area safe and secure, etc. All these and several other questions do rock the minds of almost every Indian voter. The answers may not be very encouraging. There have been bad selections but not many can fit the bracket of a satisfying or productive leader. 
The political class has always been doubted and it is regarded as one of the least trusting jobs in the world. Still we follow the same set pattern, every five years we must fall in line to vote again and then wait for another five years. In all the intervening years, hardly anything changes for the voter but the ‘voted’ prospers by multitudes.
Seventy years down the line, today population is bursting, food security is threatened, jobs are squeezing, health care is exploitative, education is frustrating, pollution is touching dangerous levels, rivers are drying, drinking water is getting scarce, farmlands are depleting as concrete is coming up all around, and insecurity of all sorts is increasing. There is no end to the woes.
 My finger is throbbing after bluing it with the ink of democracy. It is not a painless mark but a stark reminder of our choices. Still we cherish our democracy and will never ever trade it for anything else.

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