Election Commission - Protectors of Democracy

“The ballet is stronger than a bullet” – Abraham Lincoln

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is perhaps the most powerful constituent administrative body in the world and the most broadly celebrated and trusted public institutions in India. It has regulated the fulfilment of 17 national and more than 370 state elections since Indian Independence in 1947. It additionally conducts the biggest and longest elections in the world. The 2019 parliamentary elections, for instance, had 900 million eligible voters and were finished in nine stages over 39 days. Celebrated as an 'undocumented marvel', the Election Commission of India has arisen as a defender of public worth free and fair elections in India. The Election Commission of India has come to the light as the fourth significant institutional arrangement, the other three being the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. It has likewise been voted by individuals in a countrywide survey as the most trusted of all institution.

The Election Commission has "considerable autonomy of action" as it "derives its power directly from the Constitution". To empower the Election Commission to work in a reasonably autonomous way without excessive impedance from the government, a provision was made that "The chief election commissioner will not be eliminated from his office except in like grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court", and that his conditions of administration would not be changed to his disadvantage after he took over as the chief election commissioner. The Election Commission was likewise vested with residuary forces by the Supreme Court to take decisions on his own on issues where the authorized laws were silent or the provisions were insufficient to deal with any electoral matter. The Election Commission has been termed as “the means to the end of a vibrant representative democracy” and as a “bulwark for free and fair elections in India”

The Preamble to the Constitution declares India to be a Democratic, Republic. All of us who are working for protection & upholding the civil rights of the citizens of India are deeply concerned with the democratic polity of the country. “Democracy” is regarded as a basic feature of the Constitution as held in the Indira Nehru Gandhi V/s. Raj Narayan.

The growth of democracy is conceivable only when people are entitled to participate in the democratic process of the country. As indicated by Art. 326 elections in India are led based on the "Adult Suffrage", which is the most significant mainstay of the majority rules system.

The importance of elections in India—and for that matter, in any democracy:

  1. Choice of leadership: Elections provide a way for the citizens of India to choose their leaders. They do so by casting their vote in favour of the candidate or party whose views appeal to them. This ensures that the will of the people is reflected in the selected candidates.

  2. Change of leadership: Elections in India are also a platform for the public to voice their resentment against a ruling party. By voting for other parties and helping elect a different government, citizens demonstrate that they possess ultimate authority.

  3. Political participation: Elections open the door for new issues to be raised in public. If a citizen of India wishes to introduce reforms that are not the agenda of any of the parties, he or she is free to contest the elections either independently or by forming a new political party.

  4. Self-corrective system: Because elections are a regular exercise, occurring every five years in India, the ruling parties are kept in check and made to consider the demands of the public. This works as a self-corrective system whereby political parties review their performance and try to appease the voters.

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