Electoral literacy is vital to strengthening democracy, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has said.
Inaugurating the State-level celebrations marking National Voters’ Day on Wednesday, Mr. Khan said it was our duty as citizens to exercise the right to vote. Democracy had survived in India due to the belief in ‘spiritual democracy’ right from the beginning of India’s civilisational journey.
India was the sole exception, outside the western world, where democracy had progressed without any interruption, he said. If we did not take part in the election process, then we were ignoring the importance of democracy. Eternal vigilance was not only the price of liberty, but that of democracy as well, Mr. Khan said.
Democracy, envisioned by civilised minds as a system where transfer of power took place without bloodshed, had no room for rancour, he said.
Sense of equality
The ‘‘robust sense’‘ of equality and dignity which prevailed in Kerala was something that should be emulated, Mr. Khan said. The social reformation in Kerala was a powerful example of bringing about social transformation without causing social tension, he said.
Chief Electoral Officer (Kerala) Sanjay Kaul, who presided, said 1.75 crore of the total 2.67 crore voters in the State had so far linked their Aadhaar number with the Elector’s Photo Identification Cards (EPIC). Mr. Kaul said he expected full Aadhaar linkage by the end of the year.
State Election Commissioner A. Shajahan sought steps for a common electoral roll for the Parliament and Assembly elections and the elections to the local bodies.
The Governor gave away prizes to Alappuzha District Collector V.R. Krishna Teja, selected the best District Election Officer, and the Thiruvananthapuram district for its performance related to the special summary revision of the electoral roll.
State election ‘icons’ singer Nanjiyamma, Tiffany Brar and Renju Renjimar were felicitated at the event. District Collector Geromic George and Subcollector Aswathy Srinivas also spoke.