Development of the Nation Through Electoral Reforms

Reforms are the universal requirement of time. It signifies the change for betterment.  In any field of life, reforms are mandatory. They are the updation of the journey.


The journey can go misguided for the want of an updation, hence it is the walk with time which appears to be a must. Same applies in democracy – be it Indian democratic setup or some other democracy, it does require a timely change for the betterment. And in case of democratic setup, electoral reforms are the first and foremost requirement.

Electoral reforms are in order to promote greater democracy in India and they refer to the evolution and positive change in election processes. They also are there for clean politics, ideal members of legislative chambers, and equal representation, among many other things. People of India can approach the Honorable Supreme Court through the PIL as guided in the Articles 324 to 329.  Electoral reforms are there to safeguard and realize our constitutional dreams towards a true democracy. And conducting a fair election for a fair government fairly representing the denizens is what it is heading towards.

There are challenges which do not let the democratically dreamt destinations of modern India realized with their negative presence.  Talk about the corrupting elements viz. Money Power, Muscle Power, Criminalization of Politics along with Politicization of Criminals – these are the basic factors responsible for the dirt entry in the field of electoral democracy. Other than these there are many so common factors present namely, Misuse of Government Machinery: Misuse of Official Machinery, Non-serious Candidates, Misused Candidates, Paid and Fake News, etc. However, there are some most significant points to mull over for the progress of the nation through its democratic setup and Incentives to Entice Voters, Freebies of Public Money, Fake Commitments, Breach of Trust, Majority Absence in Voting, Majority Representation through Minor Mandate- are the critical points in this direction.

Incentives to Entice Voters, being the first point in the above-mentioned direction, represents the critical situation of electoral setup in India today. This is a helpless scenario where to entice a common voter the Freebies actually have pushes the misuse of money power in the arena of politics. So far, the free liquor with free blanket were the infamous gimmicks of political candidates representing various parties, but now the bigger face of the worse phase of corrupt practices have come up which is basically not helping the people but it is actually paralyzing them gradually. Free electricity and free water are most commonly used practices mainly by the parties which are ruling parties in a state. Here the major involvement of the hard-earned money of the public tax payers by the ruling party to win the elections is a matter of grave concern.  And this is also a unique democratic corruption which is seen seldom in other parts of the world.

In easy words, the free-giving of some goods or services to voters are the acts of enticing voters. The practice must be stopped which is basically a major misuse of public money. Instead of that, if it is being used to build schools, hospitals, roads or houses for the needy, it would have an appreciable effort by the government. Unfortunately, it is not so, the Freebies shamelessly announce such ‘plans’ prior to elections for enticing the ‘innocent’ voters. This is also a practice to corrupt voters simultaneously. If they really are willing to provide their people with free water and free electricity, they should do it when they gain power -not when they contest elections. The Freebies must be warned against such practices alluring the people of the state with the facility which are already meant for the people and it should never be used as a means of fooling them around. The misuse of public facilities for sake of being chosen in the elections is clearly a cheating or in other words a good action with a mal-intention.

In order to keep the voters away from smaller temptations a few steps could be taken by the Election Commission during polls which might help curb the mal-practices hurting the spirit of democracy.

The other critical issue is the Fake Commitment which is committed by the candidates and parties contesting elections. People get befooled when they see no action is taken to fulfil their promises by the same people who were desperate for votes prior to the polls. Once these people come into power, they are a different lot with no control. They go berserk and then they control the people with their good, bad and ugly wishes. Shouldn’t they be questioned -Why they are not fulfilling their pre-poll promises? Shouldn’t they be trialed in the court of justice against their Breach of Trust which they commit openly?

The false commitments by the election contesting parties starts through their manifestoes. The people trust them and being impressed with the manifestoes they cast their votes but when the party comes to the power, they fail to work on their pre-poll promises. Here the government of India should intervene and debar that party to contest elections as a criminal offence siting it an open breach of trust against public interest. It actually is a shameless breach of trust against a helpless lot of people. This no way can be considered a fair play on the part of a democratically chosen representative of people.

To prevent this mal-practice, every party or candidates must submit their manifestoes or their agenda with an affidavit before the EC so that when they fail to keep their promises after coming to power, they could be debarred from contesting elections by the EC forever. And this should be made a must for the ruling party or the candidates to contest the elections as there is no such penal act and only provide a simple code of conduct that is agreed by all parties.

To realize the solution of this electoral problem, people and parties have to simply and mutually come to the understanding that no such an act should be allowed harming the nation by any candidate or the party. The EChas to strictly keep vigil on this. Its requirement of time to pass an act to stop such falls practices by the parties against the interest of people. And vice versa people should also be feeling responsible towards this keeping themselves away from such parties and candidates.

The manifestoes of each and every political party and individuals contesting elections should be kept in record and they made be the guiding path of the governance if that party comes to power. The things listed or promised in the manifesto must be worked on to the fullest and if not -they should not be allowed to sit in the government. Until and unless this has been made a law, forcing ruling party to act upon the things they have been voted upon, the people will be fooled and victimized of the political treachery.

Democracy means the participation of all for the governance, in the governance and by the governance. Whereas the voting is the process to ensure this participation of all. But in practice today the democracy allows usually as low as a thirty percent people’s mandate to rule over the hundred percent people. The reason is simple and clear seen everywhere in Indian polity. People are not forced to go for voting makes them feel they are not the part of it. People think even if we do not go for voting, that won’t make any difference since there will still be voting and a government still be formed. This is not an appropriate thinking. This results in a very low percentage of voting and minimum number of votes complete the process and make a government. Do they really represent the entire lot of voters, i.e. citizens? Can’t there be a law formed to compel people to exercise their voting right? Isn’t it required for the development of a democratic nation?

With no ifs and buts, there must be some legal and compulsory provision over the people to ensure they vote. It must be made a duty for every citizen toward the nation. This is how he will be serving his nation with minimum but significant efforts. If still some people do not opt for going to vote, they should be fined for the first time. Second time they should be made deprived of the government facilities and the third time their voting right must be seized for good. Three times failure is not a carelessness, it then shows the intention that the person is not interested in casting vote then the government must seize their voting right and a fine should also be payable by the person.