Renowned journalist and retired journalism faculty of Himachal Pradesh University Prof. Vepa Rao emphasised to evolve a system of creating awareness amongst the masses about the importance of vote in democratic system of governance.
Rao was speaking at the National Public Relations Day observed by Himachal Pradesh Chapter of Public Relations Society of India. Chapter holds a symposium on ‘Importance of Exercising Franchise in Democracy’.
Rao said that legal provisions were required to be strengthened to deal with vote seekers making false promises to their electors. He said that the NOTA option introduced for the first time in the ongoing Parliamentary Elections was bound to bring about some astonishing outcomes. It was the duty of the electors to participate in the elections and exercise their franchise to elect a true democratic government. He laid emphasis upon the quality of votes for healthy democracy.
Prof. Kamal Manohar Sharma, of Himachal Pradesh University delivered key note address and said that there was need to inculcate democratic values and aptitude amongst the electors of the country and for replacing feudalistic institutions with democratic ones. Maximum participation was pre-requisite for strong democratic system and special attention was required to be paid towards motivating women voters to participate in the electoral process. Voting happens to be the simplest form of participation in democratic system. Low polling was worrisome in democracy and since beginning of the election process overall voting percentage was yet to cross the figure of 65 percent. Modern system was required to motivate neo-electors to involve them in electoral process.
Priyanka Ohri, a young social activist, said that India was spending more than the Presidential election process in the United States on elections. She said that constitution framers had envisioned grass root level participation in the electoral process for a healthy democracy.
B.D.Sharma, Chairman of Himachal Pradesh Chapter welcomed the guests and participants and delved upon the historical aspect of the Public Relations Society of India besides its aims and objectives. Vijay Verma, General Secretary, proposed vote of thanks. Arun Johar, a veteran journalist from Haryana also addressed.
An interactive session was also organized wherein all participants involved themselves actively and suggested different modes to increase voting percentage. Besides B.M.Nanta, retired IAS Officer and Member, HP State Electricity Consumers’ Redressal Forum, Rajeev Khosla, Additional Director of IPR from Haryana, people from different walks of life participated in the symposium.