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How democratic is India really?

  • Published at 12:00 am May 6th, 2019
Modi
Photo: REUTERS

The Lok Sabha elections need to be free and fair

The 2019 Indian general election is currently being held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. Voting for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections 2019 has come to an end. Voting is not merely a human right but it is also our moral duty. Hence, the 2019 Indian general elections, being the central feature of democracy, must be free and fair. 

During the election process, what India needs is public consciousness.

Every citizen in India that has reached 18 years of age ought to follow the guideline “My vote-my choice” to become a successful voter. Indeed, everyone has the right to cast a vote for the candidate of his or her choice.

However, millions of Indian citizens do not choose the appropriate candidate. Voting for an eligible candidate as well as a party is the most important aspect in an election.

Thus, it is important not to choose the less-deserving candidates in the LS polls 2019.

Importantly, most of the citizens of India have become neither suitable nor responsible voters yet. Lok Sabha passed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 years on December 15, 1988. However, in a country like India, 21 years is the perfect and ideal age to cast votes.

The voter is better able to accept personal responsibility at this age. I don’t think that the voting age of 18 is adequate for choosing the leaders of tomorrow.

At the age of 18, it is too tough to understand Indian politics. Voting at this age may be a good political tool but it is not a productive one.

Indeed, voting is our fundamental right. As per a survey report, many don’t want to cast their votes and, in some constituencies, the election was marked by a high rate of abstention. If we waive our moral rights, it can destroy our national ethics and essence of citizenship.

The political foundations of a country are constructed through elections. As a common citizen of India, we can’t form the government but we can choose our leaders by casting our precious votes.

The elected leaders are given complete powers in the government or management but they treat their voters with disrespect and disregard in a condescending manner. Our respected ministers must not forget that they have to secure their position through election which is important for the citizens of the country. Hence, they should not forget the importance of citizenship and their responsibilities towards the common people of the nation.           

As per article 324 of the Indian constitution, Model Code of Conduct (MCC) of the ECI ensures free and fair elections.  The MCC was first introduced in the year 1960 during assembly election in Kerala for a free and fair election and the code had brought in the Indian general election of 1962. So, let’s not infringe the code in the Lok Sabha election 2019.

In order to secure outright victory in an election, the key elements must be a competent candidate, wide-ranging manifesto and need for persistent campaign. However, fears of violence loom large ahead of Indian elections and common citizens may face communal riots during the time.

Ragging during elections should be shunned by our responsible citizens to make India a true democracy. Let’s ignore proxy vote completely. Or else, the common people will carry the burden of its effects in their everyday journey.

So it depends on us to choose a good leader. Hopefully this time, we will choose the leaders who have learned the art of leadership and will set the right goals for the nation and its people.

Mithun Dey writes from Assam.