Indian Democracy — the SMS way

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There is a phenomenon taking place and we all are part of it — whether we realize it or not. The phenomenon has been happening for the past 2 years and gaining ground every day.

There is a news channel that is asking people to send ‘SMS’ for supporting ‘Fight for Jessica’. It seems that more than 200 thousand people have sent their SMS.

These days end user participation in form of SMS is present in every form of media communication — FM Radio, Talent hunt contests, Indian Idol, Reality TV shows etc. and now we are using SMS as a form of judicial pressure.

I don’t know if this is good or bad — but the fact is there is no running away from this instant SMS era.

Maybe users find it a very easy and ‘democratic’ approach to participation and making their voice heard. Maybe we are stepping into the SMS Democracy era?

I don’t know if the people who are so passionate about Jessica, indian idol, etc. have ever voted in a local council election, parliamentary election? Why is it that people spend money to ‘VOTE’ for someone who will have absolutely ‘NO IMPACT’ on their life but are hesitant to vote in a process that would impact their life? Is it a feeling of the ‘VOTE’ being heard, being important in the former case but the belief of vote being irrelevant, the cynicism that nothing will change in spite of my vote in the latter?

Taking the SMS democracy concept further; should we introduce SMS voting in the next general/local elections — just as we have postal ballots? (Assuming that we have appropriate technology in place)

Maybe then the people who don’t vote in the current process would vote and the best thing: Government instead of spending money on elections could acutally turn them into a money making venture. Each SMS vote would bring the govt money :-). Then we would not have to worry about the frequent elections costing money and raising inflation and being a burden on the economy.

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