ELECTORAL REFORMS IN A COMMON MAN'S WAY
Numbers of electoral reforms have been started since the first general election held in 1951-52 to strengthen the democracy in India. The purposes of such efforts were to aware the people about the importance of the election and to ensure the free, fair, peaceful and especially bloodless election throughout the country.
Well, even after sixty-eight long years, the age-old agendas are still relevant as the elections are being rigged anywhere and everywhere, booths are being captured, innocent voters are being threatened not to cast votes and even killed, the opponents are being terrified or bribed not to contest the elections and even elected members are being sold in crores after the elections to save the existing government or to form a new one. Look inside the largest democratic country today and you will realize at least one of the poisonous effects of such electoral practices of today's politics. One of our most unique features, the pluralistic society becomes endangered today due to the relentless practice of discrimination, hatred and inequality. Do you think that these are healthy signs for strengthening democracy in our country?
Let's have a look on the recent report published by the 'Association for Democratic Reforms' (ADR) which reveals a very interesting picture of the integrated outcome of our so-called reformed electoral actions taken so far. According to the ADRs report, one-third members of present Lok Sabha are alleged with criminal charges! Moreover, 82% of the legislators in the 16th Lok Sabha have the properties worth one crore or more!
Now the fundamental questions are, who are those people representing on? Are they really serving our interests or carrying out the corporate orders? Do you think, Mr Common Man, that the democracy will be stronger and satisfied this way?
Such pseudo-democratic practice has eclipsed the dream of true democracy, liberty, equality and freedom of speech and expression.
Another general election for the making of the 17th Lok Sabha is yet to come in 2019. This is the high time to compel the election commission to concentrate and reinforce some of its electoral reforms like campaigning of the significance of NOTA, already introduced in EVM. 2nd, the system of 'calling back' must have to be executed for an elected member on account of his/her failure to keep the pre-poll promise. 3rd, besides booth-based conventional polling system, the online voting system should have to be executed. 4th, the eligibility criteria for a contesting candidate should be stringent. Special restrictions should be legislated for controlling the propertied class to contest the elections. Alleged politicians must have to be exonerated before contesting the elections. 5th, 'Anti Defection Act' should be amended in more strict and vigilant ways. 6th, all the dignitaries, premiers of the governments must have to come under the jurisdiction of the Lokpal act. 7th, the election commission should be given more power.
This is our beloved motherland and the hard-earned democracy which is suffering from the challenges of the extinction today. If we still fall asleep the days are not so far when we will wake up amidst the darkness of either autocracy or 'Banana Republic'.