Here are some issues, not less significant, which an average Indian voter should also keep in his/her mind before arriving at a final decision on who to vote and why.
1. The Centre for Science and Environment, an independent research organisation with a good degree of credibility, has reported that 80 per cent of sewage in India goes untreated and flows into the river, polluting sources of our drinking water. Speaking about sewage treatment, major cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Patna and Hyderabad fall short in sewage treatment, which means the residents of these cities continue to live on polluted drinking water. Do we ever hear politicians talking on sewage treatment at their massive poll rallies?
2. India wastes 21 million tonnes of wheat every year because it doesn't have proper storage facilities! Forty per cent of the country's fruit and vegetable production is also wasted. Any heavyweight speaker ever speaks on this issue before the polls?
Do we hear anything from our politicians on sewage treatment during rallies?
3. In 2012, over 110 women were killed in India after being accused as witches. And we call ourselves a knowledge superpower. Unbelievable, isn't it? Don't these poor women deserve a protection from the law of the country of which they are citizens? Any poll-bound politician listening?
4. Only 15 per cent of the 40 million Indians who own guns have their weapons registered. Ninety per cent of the murders are done by using the private arms. We don't hear much about these arms and their proud owners but they do exist and make a mark during the polls. Isn't it?
5. India witnesses around 1,000 honour killings each year and is at par with Pakistan on this, the International Honour Based Violence Awareness Network has said. And our politicians dare little to annoy those community heads who proudly preach such practices in our society. The power mongers can't afford to annoy them and hence ignore them.
6. Around 2,000 Indians sell off their kidneys every year, the Voluntary Halth Association of India has reported. The organ transplant market in India is in a resurgent mode despite legal provisions but poor donors get a poor part of the monetary deal. Development, information technology, Mars mission... does this fact stand anywhere amid these tall stories?
[Inputs from 100 Things To Know And Debate Before You Vote written by Hindol Sengupta]