In a democratic country, the Government is totally in the hands of the people who elect their representatives. Hence the elections are held after a fixed time to elect the proper person to carry on the work of the Government. In India, such general elections are held after five years. There are many Local Self Governments. The elections are held to elect the responsible persons for carrying the work of local bodies.
An election scene is thrilling, interesting and educative. This scene can be seen by every Indian irrespective of caste, class and ereed free of cost. Elections have become very common in India after indepedence, as India is now a democratic country. Elections are the backbone of a democratic country. According to Abraham Lincoln Democracy is a Government of the people, by the people and for the people.” This is why after every fixed period of time elections are held to elect the representatives of the people..
India emerged as a free united and democratic nation on the 15th of August, 1947. So the first general elections were held in 1952. The second general elections were held in 1957. The third general elections were held in 1962. The fourth one was held in 1967 and the fifth in 1971. The sixth historic general elections were held in March 1977. I got an opportunity to see the election scene. this time.
The purpose of election-Its time and place
The purpose of the general elections is very clear. The people have to elect representatives to the Indian Parliament and the State Legislatures. In my town the general elections were held on 16th March, 1977. Our country was a museum of political parties. Besides the Congress party, there were more than a dozen parties, the prominent of which were Jan Sangh, B. K. D. Socialist, Praja Socialist, Republican. Nationalist and Communist Parties. However, in the sixth general elections the Jan Sangh, the B. K. D. the Socialist and Congress (0) unitedly formed a new party viz, Janta Party. It had its alliance with C. F. D., C. P. (M) and Akali Dal etc.
Necessary preparations before the election
The preparations for this most important general election were made months ahead. All the political parties had issued their election manifestoes. The Congress party declared that socialism was its aim. It would try to remove poverty. The Janta Party declared that it would save the country from dictatorship and tyrannical rule of the Congress. The freedom of the press shall be restored. Major parties employed so many a gents to work on their behalf. Some of them purchased hundreds of cycles for their agents for cavassing purposes. Different types of pamphlets and posters were daily seen being distributed The different political parties took out organized processions and their agents with their supporters rushed from one part of electorate to the other by rickshaws, jeeps or buses. The handbills were freely distributed and stuck upon walls and even on the roads. The day of election was approaching nearer and the propaganda was being made intensive. The candidates tried their best to have door to door canvassing.
The description of the election
A day before the election elaborate preparations were made at the polling stations. All the polling stations were divided into 2 to 3 booths. The bamboo sticks were used to separate the booths from one another. The tables and chairs were also rushed to the polling stations for the Polling officers and the ballot boxes were also placed on the proper place under the strong supervision of policemen.
The parties taking part in the election had pitched their tends near all the polling station. Some of the tents were decorated well. We all know, everything is fair in love and war’. So they did every thing to attract the voter towards their side.
I was very enthusiastic to see the election scene. The actual voting was to start at 8 A. M. I along with my friends reached our college at about 7 A. M. Our college was also one of the polling stations. The staff conducting the polling was trained well. The agents of all parties were trying to persuade the voters to their side. The voters were respected much on that day. Most of them were. brought by cars, rickshaws and buses. The agents used to give the voters the chit bearing their serial number to facilitate voting to run swiftly and smoothly. All the persons seemed to by very enthusiastic. The candidates were running from one polling station to another to find out their position. There was great hustle and bustle everywhere. Party spirit ran very high.
The voters went in and the polling clerk asked his name and compared it with the voters’ list. The other clerk sitting by his side put a mark with an indelible ink on the finger. After this the voter was given a ballot paper containing the names and symbols of the various contestants. The voters had to stamp before the name of his candidates and put it into the ballot box.
We moved from one polling station to another to see the election scene. Nearly everywhere silent canvassing was going on just near the polling station, though there was the standing orders of the Presiding officer not to do so. So many quarrels and fights took place in the city as the agents and supporters of all parties tried their best to persuade the voters to cast their votes in favour of their candidates. The police was very alert. They reached the spot at once where they smelled something wrong. Thus the voting continued. till 5 P. M. with an hour’s break in the mid-day for lunch. Some interesting incidents also took place in the polling stations. One lady lost her child and the other gave birth to child. some voters were robbed by the pick pockets.
Exactly at 5 P. M., the voting was stopped. I en joyed this scene much. India is a land of the ignorant and the poor. As a matter of fact, Indians are too backward to enjoy the fruits of democracy. They are missed by false promises and long slogans. But it is a matter of pride that elections in India are help in an impartial atmosphere because they are managed and controlled by an impartial body, called “The Election Commission”.