Nation is a moral idea and sacred because they are God’s creation. In a nation, we are citizens with rights and responsibilities, with duties and opportunities. As the 18th Lok Sabha election in India is at the doorstep, the Ao Baptist Arogo Mungdang (ABAM) urges responsible citizens to exercise fundamental rights without losing credibility and without infringing the Secular fabric of the Nation.

One of the primary roles in any egalitarian society is fulfilled by the voters since regular and periodic elections are one of the features of a democratic polity. When there is free, fair, ethical participation of each citizen then we can expect the achievement of democracy. Therefore, it becomes pertinent for every responsible citizen to maximize their right to vote and assist one another towards conscientizing of the whole electoral process for qualitative participation. Informed participation has the potency of leading the country towards peaceful transformative journey as people experience inclusion, empowerment and translates people’s vision into a reality.

Very often, citizens have inquiries: Whom should we choose to vote or should we abstain because we are indifferent? In what ways we should vote? What should be the deciding factor for the voters? Should he/she be the one who share our Christian views across a range of moral issues even if he/she belongs to the political party which is not inconsistent with your choice? What counts as voting for the best candidate? Should we vote solely for our own interest or for the common good? Can we make a decision without knowing the parties’ and the candidates’ perspectives?

Right to vote by eligible citizens is the feature of every democratic system. Voting is a legal right granted to each citizen which India holds as the most precious attribute of the Indian Parliamentary democracy. Under Part XV (Elections) of Indian Constitution in Article 325 it is stated that No person to be ineligible for inclusion in, or to claim to be included in a special, electoral roll-on grounds of religion, race, caste or gender. And in Article 326 it is stated that Elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assemblies of States to be on the basis of Adult Suffrage.

Right to vote guarantees an equal status to all citizens where voting becomes so integral in democracy. When measures are undertaken to ensure fair election with registered voter ID card then it is necessary to ponder at whose interests the voter should take into account when casting a vote (community decision or the individual’s freedom of choice) or whether trading (selling and buying of votes) can be ethically justifiable. By voting, we fulfill the duty of responsible citizens to collectively drive our nation in a morally better direction.

If voting is the prime mode to influence the quality of government, then we have every right to follow by thoughtful reflection on matters of public concern. The right to vote becomes a civic duty, a moral duty within the package of many other responsibilities which can change the quality, scope and kind of government. Our choice to vote can determine the destiny of the government better or worse which in turn, can make people’s lives better or worse.

Wrong choice at the polls leads to disappearance or failure of economic opportunities. Therefore, each citizen has a civic duty to vote, not merely to vote but to vote wisely on the basis of sound indication for what is likely to promote the common good.

The reasons for voting should be morally and epistemically justified Voting is a tangible exercise whereby we participate to promote a just and growing society. The greater witness, the greater achievement in the public square. Voting as political participation is a way of influencing our neighbors Christians and people of other faiths alike that we too are committed to a vision of the good life. We care about their well-being not only about life hereafter but here and now.

Our decision in politics should contribute to a free society in which people can worship and evangelize, provide food for the destitute and hungry and clothing to the naked, schools for learning and justice and equality for all.

Our action in the voting booth must prepare the ways to experience a just world in reality. As long as the ideals of democratic electioneering process are abused, the result becomes devastating.

As Christians, if we want to experience good public policies that reflect biblical values, then we are challenged to elect principled leaders. And in order to see upright leaders elected, we as Christians must make our voice heard by voting. Voters can shape the future of our nation.

Casting one’s vote is an incredibly powerful way to make our voice heard and take a stand for righteousness. It is not only one of our great Indian rights but it is also our responsibility as Christians. Voting is part of our stewardship to use all the resources we have been given in ways that honor God; to waste a vote is to squander a gift.

The civic practice of voting must judge what should be promoted or preserved as we elect, respect, and empower those public servants who give their full attention to governing. As Christians we must execute one of the most solemn duties in human society as accountable to God and to our country.

As responsible citizens of India, we must guide our nation towards responsible action, which is both a moral and spiritual investment. We must inform and continue to be informed about the vices and issues of the day. We must be bold and forthright, constructive and innovative.

As citizens of India, having abiding faith in democracy, ABAM continue to encourage every citizen to uphold the democratic traditions of our country.


Rev. Dr. Mar Pongener
Executive Secretary, ABAM

Rev. Dr. L. Lima Jamir
President, ABAM

2 thoughts on “ABAM for Qualitative Participation in the 18th Lok Sabha Election”
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