Thursday, May 14, 2009

Election Commission of India

Conducting successful election in a developing country battling with security threats, with 714 million voters, 4617 candidates, representing some 300 parties, fighting for 543 seats can only be described as “miracle”. Never in our history has anybody been denied to choose their leader because of any reason. Since 1952 India has been the most populous democracy in the world. At 714 million electorates, we are larger than the entire population of any country in the world except China. It is also more than double the total US population, the second-largest democracy in the world.

The Election Commission has the responsibility for delimiting over 3500 assembly and parliamentary constituencies, organizing and conducting elections, registering eligible voters, recognizing political parties and their election symbols, and establishing procedures for the nomination of candidates.

In 2004, the counting of 387 million votes began in the morning. By 10 in the evening, detailed results of 533 of the 543 seats could be accessed on the official website of the Election Commission of India. The remaining 10 were completed the next day. Let’s look at the arrangement made by the Commission this year- elections spread over 1 month, with 828,804 polling stations manned by 4.1 million civil staff members and 2.1 million security personnel has been deployed for the exercise.

To hold free and peaceful elections on such a scale is no mean feat anywhere. Can any organization in the world claim to match this kind of feat of success and achievement? Why that is the office which needs to be praised for their fantastic job is always surrounded by the controversies? Is this the way we honor our heroes?

Elections in 372 (68%) constituencies have been completed. Election 2009 is going to be another jewel in the crow of Election Commission India.

--- Swapnil Saurav

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