The hiatus of 2 years is too long. But there was never a blog post as important as this one.
I'm sure you know TN elections are going to happen, so let me get straight to the point.
Why you must vote(or must vote right):
1) If you think no party is worth it, hold that thought.
2) If you think they all are the same and corrupt, hold that thought.
3) If you think they all are uneducated, hold that thought.
4) If you think voting for a relatively less known party is a waste of a vote, hold that thought.
5) If you think voting for a party that may not win is a waste of vote, hold that thought
Clearly, you haven't heard of lok satta (makkal sakthi katchi in TN - check this for english), or, dont know why you have to vote right.
A party of the educated, started to root out corruption. Makkal Sakthi Katchi is the Tamil Nadu wing of the party. The core ideology is the 5th pillar.
What is the 5th pillar?
As you know, our democracy functions on 3 fundamental pillars - Legislature, Judiciary and Executive. The 4th pillar is the media, which keeps check on the 3 fundamental pillars. But they only have a voice. The people, the masses, the commons, the you and the I are the 5th pillar - the strongest of all. The 5th pillar movement aims to root out corruption. They have brought out zero rupee notes. We are lucky to have democracy. We get our voices to be heard. I can only hope that the situation doesn't go so bad that we have to revolt violently like the middle east. In case corrupt authorities ask you for a bribe at any point of time, you can show them the zero rupee note - be it land patta or phone connection. You WILL get the job done without corruption. If they continue to demand bribe, just inform the 5th pillar organization! (anecdotes in Vijay Anand's TEDx talk) - don't fear retaliation!
A note to skeptics:
No one answers it better than Dr. JP Narayan in this video (goes straight to that section - speech in Mumbai University). There is no substitute for politics. The only solution to bad politics is better and more politics. There is no use to hold candle light vigils, curse politicians, sit and brood over the scams for hours. Be an active part of the change.
Voting for a party that you think has a low chance:
A vote is sacred. You need to be proud of who you vote for. Tomorrow, do you want to look back in shame? It does not matter if the party you vote for is not going to win. It only matters what ideals you support, and faith in what you believe in. Don't sell yourself to people who buy voters with money. Don't sell your vote for short term gain. If you do, the same mentality will exist in all future elections too! Why vote for those you despise? Every vote counts. If you like none of the parties, opt for "no vote" - form 49-O. However, if you still decide "not to vote" for Lok Satta, and go with one of the regular parties, here is an important tidbit that may help you decide (Of course, the source of all the money for that is from scams and bribes. And giving them away would empty our state coffers):
No power cut? Seriously? Thats something money can't control bro!
3) Lok Satta TN
Some of the most interesting Videos(all english): (Some of these videos are only part 1. Follow through if you like !)
1) Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan's speech in Mumbai University ( 3rd part is good)
2) Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan's speech in the Parliament of India
3) Vijay Anand's TEDx talk
4) Launch of Makkal Aatchi(which later became Makkal Sakthi Katchi)
I have attended their meet in Coimbatore. I am an optimist. If the party did not exist I would have opted for Form 49-O, no vote. Or gone with jago party (but they arent in TN AFAIK). I hope MSK wins, but I wouldn't consider writing this blog a waste of time if it didn't, and similarly, don't consider your vote for MSK a waste even if they don't win.
By the way:
If you are in Coimbatore south, Vijay Anand is contesting here! :)