Monday, December 18

An Election Day

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            Abrahim Lincoln in his famous statement years ago defines years ago defined democracy as “Government for the people, of the people and by the people.” It is defined as a system of governance where the people are free to choose their own representatives to rule over them. In simpler terms, the people of a country elect their persons of their own choice who in turn make laws and frame policies for them. Thus elections are the part and parcel of any democratic country. They are the backbone of a democracy. The nature of elctions reflect upon the success of a democracy and the political maturity of a nation. Elections choice without any fear, pressure or hesitation. All adults who have attained the age of eighteen are eligible to vote in India.

           India is a democratic nation and hence elections are a recurrent feature here. Elections are held to elect the President of India, the representatives for Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Vidhan Sabha (Vidhan Parishads too in many states), Municipalities and Panchayats. Under normal circumstances, elections are held in every five years but bye-elections too can be held due to dissolution or death of the person representing a seat. The Constitution provides for an Election Commission responsible for all matters related to elections. 

          Recently, elections were held in my city to elect representatives to the Municipality. The entire city got caught up in a plitical fever. The whole city is divided into a number of wards. Candidated from various parties took part in the election from every ward. Some of the candidated did not affiliate themselves to any party but stood for the post as independent candidates. Newspapers and TV Channels were talking of elections all over. It seemed there was no other news  worth reporting. People too suddenly had nothing else to talk about except elections.

            Weeks before elections, all the parties got busy in canvassing for their candidates. There were banners, posters and hoardings all over the city. Hand bills were distributed. Lavish advertisements in the newspapers and on the local channels of the cable TV and FM Radios  were undertaken. Not only this, there were meetings and processions held at varios places. The candidates themselves dressed in Khadi went from door to door along with their supporters asking, pleading, requesting, charming and befriending the voters so that they could be persuaded to vote in favour of their party. Slogans could be heard all around.

            A day before election, as per law all canvasing came to a STOP. Elaborate preparations were going on at places which were taken up as Polling the booths. Different segments were made in single station so that people could vote in complete secrecy. Chairs for the electionofficers were placed at right places and tables neatly arranged for the EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) to be kept on them. there was strict vigilance and toral sexurity. the polling was to begin at 7 o’ clock next day. there was a kind of erv silence all over the city after days of canvassing.

            the next day all the polling officers and presiding officers reached early morning to prepare for a long and hard day. The EVMs were sealed before the represenratives of different candidated and placed at the repective places. As the time drew nearter, voters began to arrive in large numbers to exercise their political rights. Long queues began to be formed as the day progressed. People al all classed, section, communities and places came to the booth along with their voters’ identity Cards to cast their votes. Ever women and elderly people turned out in large numbers. One by one the voters went inside to cast their votes in secerecy and came out with the ihnk mark on their finger as a singh of their identity voting. some prople had their names missing from the voters; list despite their Identity Cards. yet everything was calmly sorted out adn it was found that their names appeared in another ward’s list because they had recently shifted to a new place. Besides these little incidents of misplaced names, the voting was carried on smoothly and peacefully till five in the evening. The EVMs were then sealed again befor the representatives of different political parties and dispatched to the counting centre amidst tight security. Thus ended the elections in my city.


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