NOTA small thing

A revolution will always start silently, just like stillness in air before a storm. Indian politics is in such a bewildered hush now as a storm is on its way, however we are yet to witness whether it’s gonna be really a storm or a simple “storm in a cup”.

First, Supreme Court gave judgement that a convicted legislator will be disqualified immediately and unlike before, he cannot continue in post even if his appeal is pending in higher court. The party in power tried to bring an Ordinance (it’s a Presidential order which comes in effect immediately) to override the decision and in turn protect the convicted lawmakers. But thanks to the comment of “tear it into pieces” by one of the known faces of Indian Politics, this ordinance was taken back. As a result what we witness is, for the first time in the history of independent India, some of the ex-Chief Ministers, who are MPs at present, got disqualified when they were convicted in cases related to some scams in past few weeks. It is first step towards political decriminalization in India.


In another famous case of People’s Union for Civil Liberties vs Union of India, Supreme Court has given a landmark judgement to make NOTA (None Of The Above) button mandatory in EVMs (Electronic Voting Machine) in elections from now on. This decision might seems pretty small because

  • NOTA votes count will be made public but they do not have any significance as of now,
  • Even if NOTA gets maximum votes, the person with next maximum number of votes will be declared as winner

For Ex:- If a constituency has 1000 votes and three candidates A, B, C are contesting elections. Now the voting results are something like this,

Candidate A –   150

Candidate B –   200

Candidate C –   250

                NOTA votes –   400

Total Votes                =  1000

In this case, though majority voted for NOTA, Candidate C will be declared winner.

As explained above, when there is no credible impact of NOTA on electing the right candidate, is it not a futile exercise to provide NOTA button in elections? Actually it’s not that simple. Though it seems like NOTA might not have much impact, its reverberations are yet to be experienced, like

  • As NOTA vote count is made public, Political parties will be cautious in selecting their candidate, because it will be embarrassing if NOTA votes are more than winning votes, which means majority people actually rejected all the candidates.
  • Though as of now it is not conceivable that re-elections be held in case of majority voting NOTA but may be in near future, when technological advancements make holding elections a quick and low-cost activity, we may see re-elections with fresh candidates by disqualifying all the candidates who lost to NOTA J
  • This provision of NOTA can slowly take us towards the significant “Right to Recall”. This is a right of voters using which they can disqualify a legislator (before his term is expired) by conducting election.
    • Actually this “Right to recall” has been implemented for Panchayati Raj system in Madhya Pradesh where in a village of Anuppur district the Gram Chairperson, a lady, was voted out. The ballot paper included two symbols, one chair occupied by a woman and another chair empty. As majority voters stamped over empty chair, the gram chairperson was voted out.

Now you believe, after seeing the prospective changes this NOTA button can bring, that its NOTA small change. Actually this button has a personal significance in my life. In 2009, I was excited about using electoral franchise for the first time in life and was discussing about it with a friend, he surprisingly said “I don’t want to take part in any kind of political activity in this country, it’s better to keep away from such $$^^%#”, and he was strongly supporting his argument saying, when all the politicians are criminals why should he vote to one of them and become a party of the criminalization, instead he sought to keep away from elections process. I had no way to convince him then, but with the advent of NOTA such an argument has lost its meaning now. It is time we, being responsible citizens of this world’s largest democracy, must actively participate in democratic process as “Voting is not just our Right but it is our moral duty to choose the right representative”. What say? Please share your thoughts…



Filed under Politics & Society

6 responses to “NOTA small thing

  1. uttam

    Lets hope more such laws will be implemented…lets vote :)……..

  2. Luckey4097

    We are living in a country, where we idolize the criminals more than anything. Where greatness of a person is measured by the crimes he has on his name, but not his good deeds. And we have witnessed time and again that, these demi Gods when they came out if this cases (not with clean image though) has a large gathering of followers to greet them as if they achieved something,

    Where large section of people are accepting that corruption is not a crime, it is part of life And One who does corruption and escape is an intelligent and a role model to many. Where living with rules and truth is attributed as weakness and foolishness.

    And a section of people, who blessed with some brains are addicted to the feeling that no one can change the society and lets enjoy what is there, praise US, but when it comes to implementing the changes lets cry in Facebook or twitter everything will be taken care. These people doesnt take responsibility in doing change, just pay the tax and cry in social networking sitting at home or office, but when it comes to electing a right candidate, they wont have time to come out of home they are busy. And they have the excuse that no one is right candidate. But missing the logic that their right is misused and a wrong person is being elected, if they had tried, they could have better elected a lesser criminal (though doesnt bring much change).

    Lets hope this NOTA option motivates this intelligent netizens to come out of their comfort zone and participate in electing the right candidate.

    Yes, we are busy in life, but we do have time to electing the person who decides the future.

    • Very well said.. When the intellect is being used for illegal practices, its a harsher crime beyond murder…
      And if someone keeps aloof blaming it dirty, it means he is unwilling to take responsibility to clean it up even if it stinks..
      What we need is men n women who are ready to take responsibility n act, rest will be history..

  3. Lucid explanation to an awesome initiative…. Hope it will be carried forward in right spirit and in the same form.


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