Having a front camera enabled smartphone in your hands doesn’t mean you can apply Selfie logic anywhere. NOT mandatory for parents to cast a vote.
In a bid to ensure better voter turnout, a school in Dehradun came out with a very strange idea. The school told its students (they might have written in the diaries of of their younger students) that they will get an additional 5 marks in final exams if their parents cast vote in the upcoming Uttarakhand Assembly elections.
To get the additional 5 marks, the parents have to share a picture of their inked finger on a special WhatsApp group of the school. The school authorities said that the move has been taken to encourage active participation of people in the state assembly polls on February 15.
The idea is not only strange but it’s also infringing on the parents’ discretion to vote by offering a bait (in Hindi ‘Lalach’). It’s also an infringement of parental control over children by the use of bait. Further, it’s also a move to discourage parents voice on the quality of services offered by the School.
Infringing on the parents’ discretion to vote by offering a bait
It’s alright for a school to inform students about the election process, the procedure of casting vote and the various options available. Such has NOTA ( If you’re not satisfied with the candidates, then you can choose ‘None Of The Above or NOTA’.
The school can also tell students to encourage their parents to cast vote.
But the school cannot take away parent’s discretion to vote or NOT vote, by using a bait of marks.
It important to understand that after a certain age, a person becomes eligible to vote. But casting a vote is not a right. Hence every voter has a choice to vote to NOT to vote.
Anyone offering any lure ( in Hindi, ‘Lalach’) or applying pressure on a person to vote may be doing something illegal. It’s not lesser a crime than putting all people of voting age in a vehicle and taking them to a polling booth.
Infringement of parental control over children by the use of bait
If you’re a parent of toddler, then you very well know how your 5 year old throws tantrums to pressurize you to buy a Rs. 35 egg with two teaspoons of cream and a small chocolate ball. You have to buy the kid the egg. Although you’re fully away that more than the eatable, the kid is interested in the toy which comes within the shell. You know the demand is ridiculous, but you become helpless. Here, you as a parent must understand that the culprit is not your child, but the Company selling the egg. It’s offering the toy as a bait and hence surpassing your parental control.
The conduct of the school in telling its Students to tell their parents to vote, else they will not get 5 marks, is the same as that of the Company selling a Rs. 35 Egg.
Discourage parents voice on the quality of services offered by the School
If a school uses students to put pressure on parents to do something, then it discourages parents to voice their disappointment on the quality of services offered by the School. Although a child’s welfare is co-owned by both school and the parents; still the communication must be two way.
It must not be a one way communication. The school cannot put pressure on parents in the pretext of holistic learning, citizen’s rights etc.
To conclude, these days people float and accept ideas without giving them a sound thinking. Having a front camera enabled smartphone in your hands doesn’t mean you can apply Selfie logic anywhere. Hence, it’s neither mandatory for parents to cast a vote nor it’s compulsory for them to share a selfie or a picture with the indelible ink on their finger on any WhatsApp group!especially created by the school for the purpose.