An Election Scene
Essay No. 01
In India, elections are held every five years all over the country. The whole country is divided into constituencies. From each of these constituencies, candidates belonging to various political parties stand for elections. The people have to select one of these to the State Assemblies or to the Parliament. On the assigned day of the elections, people queue up before their respective polling booths. These booths are built by the administration in order to facilitate the process of polling by the general people. All the election areas are covered by the flags and posters of the party candidates. Inside the booth, the presiding and the polling officials sit. They issue the ballot papers after verifying the particulars of the voters. The voter in turn goes to a secluded corner and puts a stamp on the symbol of the candidate he desires should win. He then folds the ballot paper and puts it inside the ballot box. Various observers belonging to different political parties are also there inside the booth. Their presence is necessary to free the polling from the act of any bias which might be shown by the officers inside the booth. A hundred meters away from the polling booth are the tents of the political parties. Here the party workers issue a slip bearing the name and the number of the voter.
An Election Scene
Essay No. 02
India is the largest democracy in the universe. It has important institutions like parliament, state assemblies with the lower house and upper houses, local bodies, municipalities, etc. Each one of them has elected members. The election fever is furious for general and state elections. Every election is a test of personal popularity and people’s faith.
The campaigning starts as soon as the nomination papers are filed and accepted. Even the filing process is largely attended and the candidate comes to submit his papers in as much as a larger group. He is accompanied by flag pole persons, garlanded in heaps. He files the paper and signs them in the presence of persons from his group. Slogan shouting starts from the same day. Microphones and drumbeat noise roar the sky and one finds the designated leader moving with folded hands in the streets of the city. Biographical propaganda continues as the candidate gives promises and words. He is keen to win the seat by grabbing as many votes as they can. They bow down before every old person whom they never met in early life but they seek his or her blessings at this juncture. They do not mind lifting the dust-coated children of slums because they take it as a way to convince the voters of the area of their love and affection. They offer uncontrollable means for materializing false dreams.
Elections are readily looked for by the sound service providers, banner painters, flag makers, and press or publishers. The group gets a lot of employment or job work. Even the rickshaw or taxi-operators also queue up at the doors of the candidates. It is always interesting to find a chain of processions moving in streets and roads while displaying the allotted symbol of the candidates.
Then the date for the actual election approaches. The candidates race up their followers to carry as many votes as is possible for them all. Temptations, greed, and warnings (no short of threats) are circulated, and guess starts for the actual election. Tents are fixed about 50 to 100 meters away from the election center. Canvassing at this point is more from word of mouth and people influence the voters and bring them to the election centres. A long queue can be seen from far off. Names are verified and agreed upon by agents sitting in the polling stations. An ink mark is fixed on the fingertips and the person, an adult in age, is allowed to cast his vote. The scene then turns in the next phase when counting starts and results are announced. The winners play on drums and jump and dance while irritating the opposition for their defeat, whereas the looser tries to find a legal gap so that they can challenge the public verdict in the court.
Last is the oath ceremony which decides the status of the MLAs or MPs in the institution. As per the theoretical working, the MLA or MP is expected to remain in touch with the people who elected a particular, but he hardly gets time and interest in the place. He is sure to be able to repeat the game as time approaches. Democracy is really very costly as far as the election system is concerned. The system is more tarnished when it is offered to uneducated masses. The economy of high cost and poverty compels them to accept money for their vote and this spoils the objectives of democracy.
Elections further encourage customs and communal feelings among the masses. These things are further flared up by the candidates during their propaganda. This certainly makes the masses narrow in circles and it also damages the basic unity of the country. The basic code of conduct should be stricter in this direction and a strict check should be kept on the entire process so that an independent democracy is achieved and people can enjoy the benefit of electing a proper representative for themselves.