India is one the largest democracies of the world, and it is needless to say that election is the very backbone of the setting. Since election is so very important, the Election Commissioner is also a very important dignitary in the scheme of things. If I was to be the Election Commissioner of India, I would bring in a number of reforms in the election system of India.
The first thing I would like to do would be to educate the masses as to the importance of their individual votes. They must know what sort of people should be infused in the governance of the country, and only then, their votes would be worth at least the paper they are printed on. They would be taught not to get influenced with simple emotions of daily life.
They must know the country cannot be effectively governed with only emotions and sentiments. For example, the crowds of the masses who really matter just should not be led away by any candidate’s relationship with any other. It must be clear to the electorate that, the candidate, he/she has got to be judged on merits, achievements and service to the country, and should not be elected just because the candidate is someone’s close relative or associate.
The individual’s merits should be the only criteria of election of any candidate. If the electorate or the general public is not properly educated about his/her role in the election system, the right persons will never come in the arena. Thus, if I was to be the Election Commissioner, my priority would be to train the public on how to use their right to vote for the correct use of the country. With this done, they would all become thoroughly capable of making the right choices. They would learn that, they should not be led away by any individual’s family connections.
I would also streamline the system to avoid bogus voting. I admired this idea of the previous election commissioner, Mr. Seshan of giving all voters’identity cards. The idea was just superb and I would see the plan to a satisfactory conclusion.
Regarding the recognition of new parties, in order to avoid the mushroom growth of political parties entering the national arena, I would lay some stricter norms for this. For example, I feel that the parties who wish to be recognised as national parties should have a few lakh followers in each State, only then can they aspire to enter the national scene.
With this stricture introduced, the unnecessary growth of a multitude of parties on the national scene would be minimised. I think we are in this aspect, putting the cart before the horse. The State parties are first entering the race in the Centre and then trying to increase their hold on States – this causes immense damage to the parties that have already taken a national position.
With this much done, I think I would be quite satisfied with the election procedures. However this would not be the end but, it would be just the beginning of reforms in the right direction.