Are Elections Really ‘Free And Fair’ In Our Country?

Posted on May 1, 2014 in Politics

By KK Singh:

More than 2 lakhs voters’ names were missing from Mumbai Voters List! EC apologized but the question is – Is this per chance, a ‘simple’ mistake of EC, or a planned conspiracy? If the latter is true, which appears to be the case, the next question is – Are old election days revisited, that is, election is not free and fair?

delhi election

There have been many sting operations, investigations and exposures which seriously belittle the claim of free and fair election, like, Operation Lok Sabha, Operation Prime Minister etc.

Media manipulation is well documented and known to the people, and now even the poll survey has lost its meaning due its manipulation for money, favour or due its owner’s hidden agenda. By now, this has become so common that people have stopped worrying about media’s manipulation, democracy and its foundation.

Now, another point of rigging election is manipulation of voters’ choice in voting centres. In the Delhi Vidhan Sabha election, there was an independent candidate whose election symbol was torch with light in such fashion that it resembled broom, the AAP symbol. That person was not known to the people yet polled more than 4500 votes and AAP candidate from Matiala VS lost by less than 3500 votes.

On 10 April, West Delhi had 3 Jarnail Singhs, 2 as independent candidates who people had never heard of. Their symbols were torch and shuttle cork, resembling the broom of AAP, at no 13 and 14. As part of booth management group, I came across voters who voted for them instead of AAP erroneously and later nothing could be done except regrets.

I am not talking of bogus voting here, though that has taken place and even shown in media and known to people. Modern day election rigging is different than what we witnessed in pre T Session era when booths were capture and few people cast entire votes on gun point. Now, the call centre era is in, where big political parties hire paid trolls to do photo shop, distort facts in their favour, pay media to alter poll survey, confuse voters in booth polls by various tricks, shadow candidates to offset few hundreds to thousands votes in name of caste/religion and even do bogus voting in favour of their masters. I must add, Rs 300-500 and liquor is distributed among poor voters to cast their votes to the desired candidates and that is very effective. By the way, the last method is also used widely to get crowds to ‘listen’ to their ‘loved’ leaders.

If one listens to the media, they come across the filthy and inflammatory statements of leaders like Ramdev, Vinay Katiyar, Vasundhara Raje, Digvijay Singh, Akbaruddin Owaisi, etc. Such statements are pre planned and delivered to excite their paid goons or even some sycophants who replicate them in social media and physically in streets. Attack on AAP members are testimony of this. The by-product of such tactics to garner votes is yet to be seen, but in the past they have been fruitful to some extent. This culture is on a rise due lack of proper law like JLPB, and support by state and its machinery.

Yet, let us say our voters have matured and are able to separate grains from huge piles of chaff, able to decide right party and right candidate and go to polling booth and finally casts their vote as desired. Then what? UP overwhelmingly voted for SP, the government was formed and media was gaga on the young CM, but the dream was shattered very soon, Akhilesh Yadav may blame the opposition for his failure to deliver but end result was that the smart and matured voters were duped eventually!

So finally, is there anything like free and fair election? Definitely, there’s not. Whatever is happening and whatever is being exposed, do not match. What we come to know may not be even the tip of the iceberg but enough to understand that the present democracy is not for people but for the moneyed class, their agents, where Rs. 10,000 Crore or more is spent by a single party to lure voters. The election, campaign, media, etc. is showcased to prove that democracy exists in India or in any 3rd world countries, or even in developed countries, but the reality is different. Present day voters are tricked into participating in the election process once in 5 year and the same old system of exploitation continues its work after that. In reality, the corporates continue growing, their agents namely Congress, BJP etc. and their various allies may change but people’s miseries remain the same.

More than 10 Crore child labours, 8 Crore homeless people, 2 Crore women and girls selling their bodies to sustain themselves, etc. is clear indication of the failure of democracy, market economy and now the facade of a ‘democratic’ election and pro corporates state and its machinery has firmly ensured that democracy is for the corporates and is run by them through proxy!

Lastly, AAP is leading the masses and the progressive forces for a revolution through parliamentary election. But having seen and experienced the Delhi episode, where it fell short of majority (one of the reason being distortion of electoral process and had to resign later as the state machinery ‘revolted’ against the people’s government), it must take cognizance of such unfair and manipulated election. Even after mass support, victory may not be assured and even after forming government, it may face Salvador Allende’s path in Chile, the murder of revolution!