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Educating voters

June 08, 2013

THE elections brought hopes, apprehensions, disappointments and allegations. One of the changes worth noting is the emergence of yet another division in our highly stratified society, based on party, one is vouching for, namely, ‘burgers’ and ‘illiterates’.

We often hear name calling of PTI supporters as ‘burgers’ and that of PML-N supporters as ‘illiterates’. Although these titles are disturbing, they point to a very cogent flaw that needs immediate attention.

The voter turnout analysis for each party in this election shows that the PML-N finds its greatest support from rural and mainly less educated section of society. The PML-N coming to power has created a serious rift among the youths, evident on social media, especially the repercussions of which might be grave.

What I wanted to highlight is that the Election Commission of Pakistan and the new government should try and change the voting criteria. I am not taking any sides but the so-called ‘burgers’ are right to the extent that people who do not know the dynamics of politics and true significance of leadership are in the majority.

In the present voting system an educated articulate professor has the same say as anyone else who cannot even write his own name and is asked to decide the leadership of the country.

This system needs to be changed if good leadership is to be brought into power, the masses need to be educated. The solution to the problem exists in setting the minimum criteria based on education level for the voters like a person being at least a high school graduate should be allowed to vote.

As 59 per cent of the people are under 24, the educational policy will have a strong impact in the short term. Thus the Election Commission of Pakistan or the federal government should bring in such a law as would have a positive trickle-down effect on the educational level and general living standard of the people at large.

In order to gain maximum votes in future elections, our politicians should pay attention to the education sector, which has remained neglected throughout as is evident from its pitiable condition in the country. As now they would have personal stakes in educating the people who will be able to take rational decisions which are essential for the development and progress of Pakistan.

I hope some decisive policies would be stipulated in this regard for the betterment of Pakistan as a whole.