Herald: Will Goa’s traffic sentinels be democracy’s sentinels in poll 2019

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Will Goa’s traffic sentinels be democracy’s sentinels in poll 2019

12 Mar 2019 05:36am IST
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12 Mar 2019 05:36am IST
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Goa’s traffic sentinels whisked their phones and started to “shoot” in the interest of smooth traffic conduct, when the Goa police launched the traffic sentinel scheme. They now have a chance to do the same to record “poll violations” like distribution of cash and goodies



Will Goa aim and shoot for

democracy? We will wait and know in the month of April. The Election Commission has announced plans to introduce a mobile app “cVigil” on a pan India level. The app allows people to record any violation of the code of conduct and send it to the relevant election authority. Café asks Goa.

“Citizens’ vigil” on “cVigil” was initially launched in 2018 and was put to test during the Assembly elections of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram.

To avoid misuse by political parties, the app does not allow pre-recorded videos or old images to be uploaded. Also, once the image is clicked or the video is recorded, the app will provide a window of only 5 minutes to the user to report the incident.

Nandan Kudchadkar, Chairman Kudchadkar group of companies felt as a Goan it was very important to be sensible. He said “I am thinking of my motherland, Goa. Our politicians all seem to have a difference of opinion and they seem to have time to only fight with each other. Let Goa be the first state to conduct the election in total peace and show the country how it can be done. With regards this app, it is a good initiative. It will keep people in line”.

PrajyotVerlekar media professional felt it was a positive move. He said “This is a good initiative by the authorities. We did not see anything like this in the past, it is a very good decision taken. It will help put in check the behaviour of candidates who sometimes are willing to tilt at the windmills whilst making promises”. Ahraz Mullah, NSUI state President felt it was a case of giving power to the ordinary people. But he however felt it was important to know what action would be initiated after the clips were uploaded on the app.

However, Graham Alphonso, General Secretary of College TYBBA felt there could still be problems. The app he said would be beneficial but the people who uploaded them could be traced by those conversant with the technology or relevant technology. He said there have been instances in the past in the state where people uploading such clips were assaulted. He however conceded a start had been made. Many of the respondents are in their 20’s but what was obvious was the level of cynicism that underlined their responses. The app was a very good idea they agreed but they were concerned about the privacy and more importantly the security that would be provided to those uploading clips.

As Zhen Paintal, Co-Founder at Inspire Crew India and Senior Community Manager at 91 Springboard put it “I don’t think it will help. Those who are open to taking bribes will not be recording them. Even amongst those who will not take a bribe, a very tiny percentage may record it. Well let’s keep our fingers crossed.” Well.. let’s.

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