Gurudwaras and Swaminarayan temples are now among the list of religious institutions that will be prodding voters to vote during the elections. Catholics have already urged in their community magazines that people vote in larger numbers. A section in Jain clergy had earlier asked their community members to take a pledge of voting in the elections.
“Till now we were not so much into this kind of awareness drive. But this time we are asking members of the community to vote in large numbers. It is people’s right and they should be exercising it,” said Kulwant Singh, Vice President of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Dadar, the headquarter of all Gurudwaras in the city and Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
In Mumbai Metropolitan Region, there are approximately 100 big Gurudwaras. “There are some small ones inside colonies too. We will relay the message in all of them so that people vote in large numbers,” said Manmoham Singh, Secretary of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha.
“While doing so, we will not be troubling people by telling them who to vote for. That is up to them and their right. But we will ask them that if they are eligible, they certainly go and vote now instead of crying later. It is important for minorities that they vote in large numbers,” said Singh who added that a similar announcement will also be made in their fortnightly newspapers, too.
That the civic elections affect people’s day-to-day life the most will be told to them. “We will try and put a message on WhatsApp group too. Major decisions and life are affected by this election much more as compared to other elections. As such, the voting percentage never crosses 50%. If it is more, it will help,” said Singh.
“In our temples we also create a bit of awareness about which election is happening. This is normally done on one of the Sundays before the festival. Then we tell people that voting is their prime duty and important towards the nation’s development. We tell them that we should certainly give our vote,” said Rohit Naik, Public Relations Volunteer of Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS) Swaminarayan Mandir, Dadar.