This video is the story of how India made One Person, One Vote a reality. The greatest experiment in India’s democratic history is indeed, the creation of universal adult franchise. Universal Adult Franchise means that the right to vote should be given to all adult citizens without the discrimination of caste, class, colour, religion or gender. It is based on equality, which is a basic principle of democracy.
The Constituent Assembly of India agreed on the adoption of a universal adult franchise in April 1947. But the practical process of turning all adult Indians into voters — enrolling the most gigantic electorate in the world — had to be achieved against many overwhelming odds. It was done in the midst of the Partition that rendered about 18 million people refugees; then there were 552 sovereign princely states whose subjects had not identified themselves as Indians; about 85% of the future electorate was illiterate; and 50% were women, many of whom did not recognise themselves as individuals, but as a ‘wife of’ or ‘daughter of’. Moreover, this had to be achieved in the face of deep social divisions and widespread poverty. Finally, the universal franchise was no legacy of colonial rule. Colonial bureaucrats held the position that beyond being a bad fit for India, it would also be impracticable and an impossible task.
Watch a video interview on how our country and leaders made this mammoth task possible.
Source: The Times of India