All posts by Munish Raizada

Dr Munish Raizada is a Board-certified Neonatologist practicing in Chicago. Is a socio-political activist.

Republic Day Musings

On the eve of Republic Day (January 26), as I read the latest article in India Today (Feb 4 issue) titled “Mood of the Nation“, I feel a bit somber.


The major current political parties have been taking us for a ride. It is indeed a matter of concern that the ruling Congress party has increasingly become dictatorial in nature, thus showing utter disregard to the matter of governance. The current regimen has seen plethora of corruption scams, the ministries milking the country. The Prime Minister MMS is subservient to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul. His silence matches that of sphinx. The regimen has also not hesitated a bit to curb the freedom of expression. Law and order situation does not instill confidence. Economic conditions in the country are characterized by high inflation rate, growing  urban-rural divide, ever-thriving black market (as much as 50 % of our economy is black) and failure to carry on promised reforms.  And, pandering to the minorities has been one consistent plank for them. The opposition is also in shambles, thus ruling out an effective check on the government.

The glaring lack of focus on bringing in reforms in the governance shows apathy of our political classes.

The anger frustration in the public and particularly the youth is palpable.  Thanks to the unifying force called Internet, the people rather than depending upon the conventional media, have started changing the discourse of politics. Facebook and Twitter shows aspirations, frustration and ideas being churned out by the people 24×7. And there are growing voices- never heard before through the usual media- over the Republic Day. Some have not felt inhibited in saying that ours is a banana Republic.

Should we feel pessimistic? No, not at all! But unless we the citizens make active efforts to rejuvenate our society and the nation, things can not change. And this starts with a simple mantra: “Understanding our rights as well as duties”. I hope that sums up all.

These are some of the sentiments that come to me spontaneously on the eve of Republic Day. I will end the piece by emphasizing the importance of public participation in a “re-PUBLIC” via this quote: “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers alone. The people themselves, therefore are its only safe depositories.”- Thomas Jefferson ((1743- 1826).

I vote Nobody: 0- 49

My friend -Sachin Kamra from New Delhi- has sent the following article for publication on this blog. The last phase of the current Lok Sabha elections is due in next 3 days.

Did you know that there is a system in our constitution, as per the 1969 act, in section ” 49-O” that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding election officer that he/she doesn’t want to vote anyone! Yes such a feature is available, but obviously past + present leaders have never disclosed it.

This is called “49-O”.

Why should You go and say ” I VOTE NOBODY”. Because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received “49-O” votes more than 123, then that polling will be canceled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them.

This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way; of our whole political system. It is seemingly surprising why the election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public.

Please spread this news to as many as You know.

Seems to be a wonderful weapon against corrupt parties in India . Show Your power, expressing Your desire not to vote for anybody, is even more powerful than voting. So don’t miss Your chance. So either vote, or vote not to vote (vote 49-O) and pass this information to all.

Use your voting right for a better INDIA . Share this with as many as You can. Because sharing is caring. It is caring about our dear Mother India.