Tuesday, December 30, 2008

First Vote

The national election that took place yesterday, was the most anticipated event in the history of Bangladesh in many years. I'm not a columnist or a political analyst so I'm not going to write anything about it. If you're a Bangladeshi, you already know too much. But what I'm writing about here is my first voting experience. Several months back the work started to create the country's first national ID cards and the national voter list. From that point on right to the moment I casted my vote yesterday, the whole process seemed so systematic that it was almost unbelievable to many that it was happening in Bangladesh. Particularly yesterday, from going to the vote center and casting my vote, it didn't take me any more than 10 minutes, amazing huh? I went there, the whole center, which was a local school, was divided into several booths and lines so that the process gets faster. I only had to stand in my line for a couple of minutes or so. Then when I was called in, they asked me my voter serial number, which was provided earlier, they matched the number with my name, I went on to the second desk, a guy there checked my name against my photo which they had in their books, and another guy took my signature, marked my finger with an ink and handed me the all important ballot paper. I took it, went behind a curtain, took no time and cast my vote, folded the paper, got out, put it in the transparent ballot box, and there you go, it was done. No confusion whatsoever. Felt great to have exercised my right without any problem at all.
As for the results of this election, it definitely has been a silent revolution, against corruption, against crime, against economic unstability, against the war criminals and so on. Now all we hope is the winning party keeps up to the huge expectations of the people, that they learn something from the events that took place during the last two years, that they respond to the call for change that's being echoed throughout the country. May Allah help us all.