Wednesday, May 17, 2006

E-Petition : Democracy Tool for Indian Netizens

Do you feel injustice is being meted out to you? Do you feel there is no one to hear your voice in the government? Do you feel the need for a platform where you can not only make yourself heard, but also garner support for your cause ? Do you need to bring the nation's attention to the polluting unit near your locality? Whatever be the reason, in case you need to be heard in a democracy, Internet has given a voice to the voiceless millions.

The chief drivers in this direction new age e-media, the quick fire SMS mode and the blogs and discussion forums where people can vent their suppressed emotions and provide justifications to their perspective on a subject. There is one other system that is slowly gaining popularity in India and the West too. The e-petition system, a electronic makeover of the regular petition system that has been a key pillar of any democracy. It serves as a direct vehicle that puts the strength of thousands its supporters behind it when it is being handed over to the government.

I found several sites that offer free e-petition services on the Net. The Petition Site, Petition Online, e-Petition are some of the international sites. Jantaraj is a Indian petition site that offers free services for the Indian netizen. The site is intuitively designed and allows free registered users to kick start a petition. An online petition has several advantages
  1. The online petition has the same credibility as a offline petition. Governments across the world are recognizing the power of e-petitions
  2. An e-petition will reach out to like minded people not just in your locality but every nook and cranny of the globe. It is a smart case of "Think Local, Act Global".
  3. The weightage of the site adds to your petition.
  4. The site takes care of handing out copies of the petition to the concerned authorities and government bodies.
  5. Allows absolute anonymity to the supporters of the petition in case they wish to exercise it.
  6. Allows netizens to also throw in a piece of comment while signing the petition.
  7. Signing in e-terms refer to just endorsing the petition with your name and e-mail address.
  8. A netizen can also forward a petition to his friends and relatives via the site and let the petition gather steam.
  9. One can also view the comments left behind by other people who have endorsed the petition.

Feel like lending voice to some of the hot debates going on in the media right now ? Be it the Reservation Issue, UK Visa restrictions, Change of Syllabi in schools, or any other issue. Find them here and stamp your support for issues you strongly feel about.

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