An Election Scene
In our country every adult of twenty-one years or above has a vote. He casts it in favour of the person of his choice. For convenience the country is divided into constituencies and each constitueney has to elect one person. Different parties set up their own candidates. Independent candidates having no relation with any political party also seek election.
A day is fixed by the Government. Till that day every candidate has his canvassing. Loudspeakers are used. Posters and processions are taken out. Meetings are arranged. House to house visits are made. Every voter is contacted. Cheap promises are given. Workers enjoy on the money of the candidate or the party. Sometimes there are quarrels and fights also. Twenty four hours before the day of the election canvassing stops.
Voting booths are made by the Government. At every booth there are four counters. Each booth is under one Presiding Officer. The voter enters the booth. At one table a clerk verifies his name, at the other a clerk makes a lasting mark on his fore-finger with a fast colour and at the third the voter gets the Ballot paper. He has to go into an enclosed corner and put stamp before the name of the candidate he votes for. Then he returns, folds the paper and drops it into the sealed ballot box through a hole. This is the process of voting by secret ballot.
This year there was an election for seat in the Parliament. 1 happened to see a booth. I found there were camps of the Ruling Congress and of Jan Sangh. Canvassers were giving every facility to the voters. The candidates were all humility. There was a kind of mela. In the morning there was no rush of voters. But by the mid day, men and women crowded. The voting ended at 5 p.m. Those who were within the Voting Booth were allowed to vote even. after 5. As soon as the election was over, the officer with the help of the police shifted the boxes safely to the District Head-quarters for counting. The officers have to be very careful. This is a very responsible work.