Elections give people the opportunity to elect their leaders. We should be able to look at the range of parties and make an informed decision as to which most closely matches our own views, and elect leaders who we trust to make choices on our behalf. However judging from the 34.2% turnout in the recent European elections, people in the UK don’t see that as an opportunity that they want to take. It is a much lower turnout than the recent Indian election, which had a turnout of 66.4%.
However the differences in these two elections do not stop there. The Indian election was the biggest ever democratic election, with over 800 million people eligible to vote. The scale of this is just huge, with around 5 million people needed to just conduct the election and another 5 million to police it. I find this staggering in terms of the numbers involved.
There is another story in this election, and that is the story behind the man elected to be Prime Minister, and the man not elected to be Prime Minister. Not elected was Rahul Gandhi, the son of Rajiv Gandhi (assassinated former Prime minister) and Sonia Gandhi (President of congress), grandson of Indira Gandhi (assassinated former Prime Minister) and Great Grandson of Jawaharlal Nerhu (the first Prime Minister of India). Coming from a long line of family in politics, there is a bit of a shock in Rahul Gandhi not being elected.
This is completely in contrast to the man who was elected, Narendra Modi. The short version goes from very humble start in life, selling tea at a railway station with his father he is now the Prime Minister of the biggest democracy in the world. The leader of the second biggest country in the world, one of the biggest and growing economies. It is a story like “slumdog millionaire”, with success coming from an unexpected place.
A huge factor in any story of success against the odds is self belief and commitment. Without the belief in yourself, you cannot expect others to believe. Commitment is needed to see something through until the end. Many people do not have this self belief, and many of those are in under privileged situations. As soon as you are in a place where you seem unimportant, you can start to feel unimportant. Part of the work of Chennai Challenge is trying to make people realize that they are important. That they have potential. That they could achieve and are valuable members of society. This could be done as we visit India and spend time with disadvantaged people, playing games, singing songs and spending time. Letting them feel valued because someone does care about them. Or it could be that by taking someone to India we can show them what they are capable of, and how they can make a difference.
We may or may not have a future Prime Minister that we are working with, but hopefully we can make everyone we work with realize that they are valuable, and should take the time to vote in elections. Thanks for reading, feel free to help us by donating: