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Biggest Festival on Earth – General Elections in India

India and the world are experiencing the biggest festival on Earth in the form of General Elections in India. Election, in the world’s largest democracy — India, is as good as a festival. Colourful rallies, roadshows, party flags, banners, mandap decorations at public meetings, etc. give a festive look to the entire election process.

It is heartening to see the scale and size of the election process in India. For the 2024 election, 968 million people are eligible to vote, out of a population of 1.4 billion people1. This is the largest-ever election in history, which would last for 44 days, surpassing the 2019 Indian general election, and second only to the 1951-52 Indian general election. Kudos to the Election Commission of India (EC) for conducting such a large-scale election in India.


The use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) has facilitated the conduct of elections, quick counting of votes as also saved tons of paper. Even many advanced countries have not been successful in implementing EVMs. By using Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), EC has eliminated chances of electoral fraud and rigging. VVPAT is an independent paper record of the electronic voting machine, which is connected with EVM through a printer port, which records vote data and counters in a paper slip to verify the correct recording of vote by EVM. Through VVPAT, voters can verify their votes before casting. Recently Supreme Court upheld the use of EVMs in elections in India, putting an end to an age-old controversy as to the accuracy of EVMs.


EC has taken various measures and resorted to many innovative ways, such as organising marathons, rallies, endorsement by celebrities and songs, etc., to educate the public and encourage voters to vote. Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation program, better known as SVEEP, is the flagship program of the EC for voter education, spreading voter awareness and promoting voter literacy in India2. However, the low percentage of voting is still a matter of concern in every General Election. One of the reasons for the low turnout of voting could be the wrong season of the General Election, i.e., summer. Government should consider the options of either incentivising or penalising voters to increase voting. World’s best practices may be adopted in this regard.



Manifestoes published by the contesting parties before elections showcase their agenda if voted to power. Educated voters do refer to (or at least, are supposed to refer to) these manifestos carefully, before casting their votes. Others may rely on communications by candidates or party leaders, and / or interpretations by journalists, political analysts and so on. Unfortunately, freebies offered by various political parties continue to influence voters and, in the absence of any law, political parties take advantage of the situation. Caste, creed, and religion still influence voting patterns in India. However, the strength of Indian election system is in its process and participation by all parties.

An important factor in the election is the need to ensure selection of the right candidate. Almost all political parties have candidates with criminal records. In India, unfortunately, even a person sitting in jail can fight election, unless he is convicted and is sentenced to imprisonment for two years. There have been a number of instances when a person in jail has contested and won an election. Therefore, education of voters is of paramount importance.


Unfortunately, India is always in an election mode due to different timings of Gram Panchayats, Municipal Bodies, States and Central Elections. Therefore, there is a proposal of ‘One Nation – One Election’. And if this election is held in winter, then nothing like it.

A high-level committee was set up under the chairmanship of the former President of India, Shri Ram NathKovind. The Committee submitted its Report3 comprising 18,626 pages on 14th March, 2024 recommending a two-step approach to lead to the simultaneous elections. As the first step, simultaneous elections will be held for the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies. In the second step, elections to the Municipalities and the Panchayats will be synchronised with the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies in such a way that Municipalities and Panchayats elections are held within one hundred days of holding elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies4 Over 80 per cent of the respondents supported simultaneous elections, which includes 32 political parties out of 47 parties which submitted their views and suggestions. It would be interesting to see further developments in this regard post general elections.


It is alleged that many domestic and international forces are at work to derail or influence the electoral process in India. Even in developed countries, allegations are made of election rigging and foreign intervention in the election process. Social media and deepfake videos make it extremely difficult to understand the reality. One should not be misguided or influenced by provocative messages and / or videos, but should vote wisely.

The power of ONE VOTE can hardly be undermined in Indian democracy, where on 17th April, 1999, the Government collapsed being short of one vote.

India and the world are passing through turbulent times, and we need a strong government at the Centre. Today, the world is looking up to India with hope and that casts additional responsibility on us to elect a leader who can lead not only India, but the world at large. So, let’s vote in large numbers, motivate others to vote. Let’s vote sensibly on merits, keeping National Interest in sight!

Remember, our ONE VOTE will decide the direction and speed of India’s progress, as we are marching towards Bharat’s Centenary Celebration in 2047!

Jai Hind!

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Thank You!

With Best Regards,

Dr CA Mayur B. Nayak, Editor