Tuesday 20 April 2021

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

Society | Opinion

Kiran Bedi for compulsory voting


Dr Kiran Bedi, a retired highest ranking toughest woman police officer in the country, has supported Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s proposal of compulsory voting.

"But I am not for punitive action," she clarified while speaking at the 3rd Festival of Ideas, organised by Department of Art & Culture. She spoke on "Leadership: Does Gender Matter."

She however suggested disciplinary action for not voting. According to her, any election should be held on a weekday, without declaring it as a holiday. The employee voters, government or private, should be marked absent if he or she does not have voting ink on their finger.

To get non-employees to the voting booth, she said, similar creative means should be thought of.

She was replying to a question asked about how to make people responsible in our democratic set up, after her lecture. However, she also pointed out that the responsibility of a any citizen does not get over after voting.

"We have made it a voting democracy. It should be day-to-day democracy with vigilance, monitoring and use of democratic means like Right to Information etc", she added.

Dr Bedi also supported the proposal of reserving  33 per cent seats for women in the Parliament and Assembly, arguing that hardly 11 % women represent us in the Parliament.

Rather than taking pro-woman stance in her talk, Dr Bedi preferred to leave it to the audience. However, she stressed upon certain qualities of women - being a mother of a child - which men cannot do.

"It is not important to be a woman to behave in a much more organized and systematic manner. Even man could be like that if he adopts all these special qualities of a woman", she opines.

To justify her point, Dr Bedi said Mahatma Gandhi had all such qualities which woman has. That is why he became Mahatma. "Good Gandhi was a man. It could prove that even men can do it", she quipped.

While listing out several qualities of leadership, which any management guru also does, she stressed upon developing feedback system and ‘walking the work' by going to the people.

"To be a good leader, you require courage and to get the courage, you require integrity", she said while giving series of examples in her personal life of the confrontations she faced with her superiors and ruling politicians.

Dr Bedi also went down the memory lane of her posting in Goa as the first SP (Traffic) during CHOGM Retreat in ‘80s.

"I was not posted to Goa to manage CHOGM retreat but it was a punishment posting because I issued challan to the then prime minister Indira Gandhi's official car", she said.

She also remembered how she refused to apologise to the Goan minister, who was forced to walk down from his car at the St Xavier's Feast at Old Goa.

"I am sorry, I cannot say sorry, I told the chief minister in front of all the ministers", she said amidst applause.



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Total Comments :4

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Dr. Kiran Bedi is a living example of inspiration to all the young women to do well in their profession and come up in life.

Any other police officer would have said sorry to the Goan Minister who had to walk down from his car in Old Goa but not Dr. Kiran. Ministers, most of the times think they are above law and rules do not apply to them. They need to be reminded that rules apply to all equally.

Never say sorry if you are not wrong. We need to learn this from Dr. Kiran. Because she rightfully issued challan to the official car of the then PM, Indira Gandhi, they posted her to Goa as punishment but it was a blessing in disguise for us, Goans. We were lucky to have such a woman police officer who is still remembered for being bold and doing her duty without bending any rules.

Voting should be made compulsory because some persons who think they are very wise do not vote and as a result some nuts and idiots sometimes find their way to the Assemblies and Parliament by default.

There should have been more women in the Goa assembly. When their ratio is half of the population, I do not understand why political parties do not give their tickets to more women.

Why 33%? Let it be 50%

Francisco G. Lourenco , England

This is an excellent idea! We Indians have taken our country and freedom for granted. We have forgotten our fundamental responsibilities towards its democracy which ensures our freedom and voting is one of them. Every vote plays a role in deciding who gets to rule our country and hence our collective destinies. So if it requires us to be pinched to get us to vote then so be it. However the penalty shouldn’t be such that it leads to new avenues of corruption and harassment. Besides voter education is equally important. May my Goa and India prosper and be a leading light to the world. Jai Hind!

Vincent Tpscano , Chorao, Goa / Pune

Dr kiran Bedi should be congratulated for supportiing compulsory voting concept. India will prosper only when its citizens will realise fundamental duties along with fundamental rights.

Shekhar Gaitonde , Panaji Goa

I think a Lady of the Stature of Mrs. Kiran Bedi should talk about forcing people to vote and that too in a democratic institution. It looks like punishing a child for not doing homework. Basically every human being has been given a brain by God to think for himself/herself. Every citizen of India has his/her own rights to decide certain things. If somebody feels that he should not be voting it is within his rights to do so. No one can force constitutional rights which can be exercised by choice. It would be totally absurd and contradictory to the norms of democracy and the Indian Constitution. - Menino

Menino G.P.T. Fernandes(Valpoi/UK) , United Kingdom



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