Introduction: The people of India elect their representatives and these representatives form a government. So, election in a democratic country like India is of utmost importance.
Meaning of ‘democracy’, ‘election’, and ‘voting’: The word democracy has its origin in two Greek words ‘demos’ and ‘krasis’. Demos means ‘the people, and Krasis means ‘power to rule’. So, democracy refers to the power of the common people of the land.
The word Election comes from the Latin word ‘eligere’. ‘Eligere’ means “to choose, select or pick” . To elect, or vote, means to select or to make a choice.
The word voting is derived from Latin word ‘votum’ meaning ‘to wish for’. Voting refers to the process of choosing or electing a candidate to run the government’s affairs, usually through a ballot.
Election in India: In Democratic India, general elections take place every five years. All those who are eighteen years of age have a right to vote. A number of candidates seek the election. They move from door to door. They hold public meetings and explain the programs of their parties. If they get majority of votes, they win; but if they do not, they lose. An election, therefore, is like a battle. But this battle is fought in a peaceful way. It is a battle of ballots, not a battle of bullets.
But in one sense an election is a kind of examination. Good students prepare hard for their examinations. Those who work hard get good marks. But those who never care for their books, fail. This is true of elections, too. There are good and honest leaders. They care for the welfare of the people. They never forget their voters. So, they get elected without much difficulty.
But there are also those who never care for these voters. Their only business is to earn as much as possible. They take bribe and help black-marketers. They never say ‘no’ to their voters but they never fulfill any promise. They remember their promises and their voters only when another election knocks at the door. Such leaders are like playful boys. Bad boys care for their examination only when it comes too near. How nervous they feel, then! They labor day and night for a month. But still they fail.
Importance of Voting: Voting is important because:
- It empowers the common people to choose their rulers.
- Common people have an indirect control over the functioning of the government.
- There remains no room for oppressive government. General public have power to change government in the upcoming elections, if they are not satisfied with the performance of the government.
- People have the power to raise voice against social evils and come together as a society.
- In a democracy like India, everyone’s vote is considered equal.
An examination, however, is not always a true test of merit. This is true of elections as well. Even bad persons very often win and good persons lose, why? Our voters do not know the importance of vote. A ballot paper we know is not just a piece of paper. It is a very powerful weapon. It changes a government without shedding even a drop of blood. But do the people always make a right use of their ballot paper? No, not always. They vote for a candidate in the name of some group or caste.
It is time to realize the true potential of the power of voting by every section of the society – the rich and the poor, the literate and the illiterate, the young and the old.