India, the longest and oldest running democracy and republic country of the world. With the dawn of independent after two very long centuries of British Raj, India catapulted into a regime of democratic government in 1947. And with this started the process of elections. In fact, this said process of elections started even before India gained independence, but elections held for a truly democratic rule started only post-independence.
India and the Indian government plays by the motto – ‘To the people, for the people and by the people.’ And the elections held in our country that gives the general public an opportunity to choose a representative for themselves as they deem fit through the process of elections is the true epitome of this motto being followed to the t.
The process of elections in our country is both very simple yet complicated at the same time. There are two types of elections held in our country – the Lok Sabha elections and the Rajya Sabha elections.
Both these elections are conducted after every five years. But the difference is that while the Lok Sabha elections are held so that the general public can choose their representatives, who are known as MLAs or Member of Legislative Assembly; the Rajya Sabha elections picks up the MPs or Member of Parliament through an indirect voting process. The MLAs from the different states vote to select the MPs. This is indirect voting because the public elects the MLAs and they, in turn, elect the MPs; so we can say that the public indirectly is responsible for electing their MPs too.
Apart from the above-mentioned types of elections, there are two other types of elections held in our country too, both at the interval of 5 years each.
One is known as the Panchayat election, which is held for the rural areas. And the other is the Municipal election, which is responsible for electing the Municipal Committee /Council in the urban areas. In both these elections, the public participates in the voting process directly.
India follows the policy of Universal Adult Franchise regarding its elections. This means that any Indian citizens above the age of 18 years are eligible for casting votes and can vote. To ensure that all youths who have reached the age of 18 before each election get a fair chance of putting forth their opinions through the process of voting, regular censuses are carried out prior to each election to include their names in the voters’ list.
India has several political parties throughout its vast expanse, both regional and national. These parties take part in the contest of elections. Sometimes even individual candidates put forth their names for the contest. There are several rules that are to be followed and adhered by anyone who wishes to contest in the elections. And when these conditions are fulfilled any citizen of the country who wishes to contest the election are eligible to put forth their name.
The Election Commission of India is responsible for conducting the elections in our country. They are the ones who are responsible for conducting the elections in a fair, clean and peaceful manner. But even after several precautions, the rigging of EVMs ( Electronic Voting Machines) and ballot boxes is a common scenario during elections. But still, we trust our system and prevail with the faith that our voices are heard and opinions are given due importance. We continue to believe in the spirit of democracy.
The elections are a symbol of our country’s democratic existence for more than 80 years now. In spite of the difficulties and several obstacles faced by our citizens to ensure that our democracy is upheld with honesty and try to maintain its dignity.
I hope this process of election, which gives a right of choice to every citizen of the nation continues to flourish in the future too. And whatever malpractice and dirt have gathered upon it during this long period is successfully removed in the near future so that democracy in its true and real meaning is safeguarded and upheld.