Four Requests For Democracy

Published By : Admin | March 13, 2019 | 09:28 IST

In less than a month, the voting for the first phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha election will commence.

Voting is among our prime duties.

A vote signifies the willingness to contribute to the development trajectory of the nation. By voting, people connect themselves with the country’s dreams and aspirations.

Let us create an environment where getting one’s voter card and casting a vote, especially for the first time, become occasions for celebration.

There should also be an environment where not voting causes great anguish.

Would you want a situation where something happens in the country that you disapprove of and you are forced to think - because I did not go vote that day, this unfortunate situation has arisen and the nation is suffering.

Spare yourself from that regret and go vote!

Today, I have the following requests to you all-

(1) Register now:

Give your voter card a place of pride in your life.

Get registered as voters, (if you have not already) at the earliest.

You can apply either online, on www.nvsp.in, or through the BLOs of your respective polling stations or at the electoral registration office.

The 2019 elections are special because for the first time those born in the 21st century will be able to cast their votes. I hope all eligible youngsters who have not registered to vote will do so and enrich our democracy by voting.

(2) Check thoroughly:

Revisit the electoral rolls and check whether your name is there.

Visit the websites of your respective state election offices and check the electoral rolls.

If your name is missing, raise it with the relevant authorities and if you have shifted residence, ensure that your name shifts to the voter rolls of your new place of stay.

Updating of rolls will continue till the last day of filing of nominations in your particular constituency. However, do not wait for the last moments and so, the earlier, the better.

(3) Plan well:

The poll schedule is already out, giving you ample time to plan your summer schedule. Try to be there on the day of voting. If you are planning a summer holiday, plan it before or after the polling date.

If for some reason, your place of work and place of vote differ, make the effort to go and vote. Take that one day off for the future of our  nation!

(4) Mobilise others:

Call upon your family, friends and colleagues to vote.

Motivate and, if need be, force them to venture out  and exercise their franchise on polling day.

Higher voting means a stronger democracy and a stronger democracy means a developed India!

The last few elections, in various states and at the Centre, have witnessed record turnout.

Continuing this encouraging trend, I urge my fellow Indians to vote in record numbers in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

I particularly call upon influencers from all fields, including politics, industry, sports, films and other walks of life to take the lead in spreading voter awareness and value of high voting.

May these elections witness the highest ever turnout in the history of Indian elections!

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Ramoji Rao Garu - a multifaceted persona
June 09, 2024

The last several days have been very busy for those in the world of politics and media…the Lok Sabha elections have just concluded and now we are in the midst of preparations of Government formation for the third consecutive term. At such a time, I received the painful news of the passing away of Ramoji Rao Garu. This loss feels extremely personal, considering the close nature of our interactions.

When I think of Ramoji Rao Garu, I recall a multifaceted luminary whose brilliance had no parallel. He hailed from an agrarian family and went on to make a mark in diverse worlds- cinema, entertainment, media, agriculture, education and governance. But what remained common during his entire life journey was his humility and connect with the grassroots. These traits endeared him to a broad spectrum of people.

Ramoji Rao Garu revolutionised the media space. He set new standards for integrity, innovation and excellence. He moved with the times and he moved ahead of the times too. At a time when newspapers were the most prevalent source of news he started Eenadu. In the 1990s, when India embraced the world of TV, he got off the mark with ETV. By venturing into channels in non-Telugu languages as well, he showed remarkable commitment to boosting the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’.

Beyond his professional achievements, Ramoji Rao Garu was passionate about India's development. His efforts extended beyond the newsroom, impacting educational, business and social causes. He was a firm believer in democratic principles and this fighting spirit was best seen when the Congress Party harassed the great NTR and unceremoniously dismissed his Government in the 1980s. At that time the Congress was in power in the Centre and in Andhra Pradesh, but he was not someone to be scared…he resisted these undemocratic attempts tooth and nail.

I am fortunate to have had several opportunities to interact with him and benefit from his wisdom. I deeply valued his views on diverse issues. Since my days as Chief Minister, I have received valuable insights and feedback from him. He was always keen to know about good governance efforts especially in agriculture and education in Gujarat. Sometime in 2010, he invited me to Ramoji Film City. During that interaction, he was curious to know more about Gujarat’s efforts to establish a Children’s University, as he felt that such a concept was unheard of previously. His encouragement and support were always unwavering. He would always make it a point to ask about my wellbeing. In 2012, when I had the opportunity to become the Chief Minister for the 4th time, he sent me a very touching letter, expressing joy.

When we began the Swachh Bharat Mission, he was one of the strongest votaries of this effort, supporting it personally and through his media network. It is stalwarts like Ramoji Rao Garu who ensured that we are able to fulfil Mahatma Gandhi’s dream in record time and also ensure dignity to crores of fellow Indians.

I consider it a matter of great pride that it was our Government which had the honour of conferring the Padma Vibhushan upon him. His courage, resilience and dedication will continue to inspire generations. From his life, the younger generation can learn how to turn obstacles into opportunities, transform challenges into triumphs, and convert setbacks into stepping stones for success.

Since the last few days, Ramoji Rao Garu was ailing and even in the midst of the election related activities, I used to enquire about his health. I am sure he would have been very happy to see our Governments take oath and hit the ground running, be it at the Centre, or in Andhra Pradesh under the leadership of my friend, Chandrababu Naidu Garu. We will keep working to fulfil his vision for our nation and society. As we mourn Ramoji Rao Garu’s passing, my heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and countless admirers. Ramoji Rao Garu will forever remain a beacon of inspiration.

This is a translation of the original piece published in Eenadu: