Saturday 26 November 2011

‘Voter turnout results through magic were higher’: Chief Election Commissioner

New Delhi: “In Kerala, Election commission involved the State’s most celebrated magician Gopinath Muthukad to package our education in his greatly entertaining format. I am happy to inform you that the results were even higher in terms of Voter participation, as evident from the historical voter turnout witnessed” the chief election commissioner of India S Y Quraishi stated in his valedictory address here at 5th International Entertainment Conference. He was referring to the election awareness magical programme of Magic Academy titled as “We the People”.

Organized by the Kerala State Election Commission, Muthukad's performance titled ‘We the People' was in a bid to educate voters and increase their participation in the process of democracy.

According to the CEC, "Edutainment" is the best response of present times for making cognitive, physical, emotional and social development faster and smoother.

“Entertainers hold sway over people’s minds, whether one admits or not. Encouraged by our previous achievements, entertainers in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala to advance voters education, not only for turnout, but also for ethical voting, that is to reject inducements and bribes as a consideration” he added.

The first Entertainment Conference was held in 1989 in California; since then international conferences have taken place in the US, Holland and South Africa. This year India- with its kaleidoscope of arts, cutting edge technology and dynamic movie industry – was the host of the 5th international EE Conference. The theme this year was to address social and health issues highlighting the world’s most vulnerable - women and children and expected to establish a vibrant platform for post conference networking and action, according to the organizers.

According to S Y Quraishi, Election Commission has had its lessons. Having taken up the goal of Greater Participation of Citizens for a Stronger Democracy, entertainment based education is going to be a definite component of our strategies under the newly created SVEEP Division. In the coming series of state elections, they will engage this method to the hilt for enhancing voters’ turnout. EC will use this every time for achieving registration of all eligible citizens on the rolls.

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