By Vikas Madle:
There are several factors that raise questions about the Indian elections being fair and transparent, and a proper and well thought out implementation of Electoral Reforms is the need of the hour to answer those questions.
There are no scheduled revisions of the electoral rolls and non-existence of a mechanism to check whether the revised electoral rolls (additions/deletions) have been carried out in a rightful manner or not raise doubts over fair voting. The officials conducting the revision are not from the Election Commission (EC) but from the local state government departments or other government services, and such officials are very much susceptible to the influence of existing political powers.
This needs to change and the EC has to get the revision of the electoral rolls done regularly by a specially appointed independent agency which is answerable only to the EC and not to the political powers or any ruling classes. Again, there has to be a clear policy for checking the individual’s eligibility for registration as a voter and that independent agency should be solely responsible for either enrolling or deleting the voters from the list.
There is no political party in India that has come out in the open expressing their views in this matter with conviction. However, some parties blame the others of minority appeasement in the name of ‘Secularism’ and other parties blame these self certified secular parties of stoking up the communal fire to consolidate their Vote Bank among the majority community. Instead of blaming each other, the focus has to be brought to the real issues at hand. There is a need for progress of every citizen to make India a developed nation and that can happen only with good and thoughtful governance; but the reality is otherwise.
The politicians’ mantra of “Divide and Rule” needs to change to “Unite and Deliver” to make India a world leader. So, what can be done? We need to educate ourselves, educate others, in fact we need to work on ensuring that every Indian gets educated. By education, I do not mean just schooling. We need to educate people on how to be responsible citizens of this country, to educate the younger brigade of our country to come forward to speak their minds, analyze and understand the issues facing us, seek and suggest new ideas, discuss the possible solutions to be implemented etc. If we can galvanize and bring more and more people together in doing this — right from the youth of this country to the senior citizens across all sections, surely we are looking at a more prosperous and peaceful India in the days to come.