Friday, October 30, 2015

Explaining the Concept of Universal Adult Franchise in India

The right of Universal Adult Franchise in India also famously known as Universal Suffrage has been won after intense struggles by our freedom fighters and was implemented in totality only after we gained independence from British Rule. 
The system of electing Indians to various legislative councils was for the very first time introduced through the Indian Council Act of 1909 famously known as Morley Minto Reforms. But a major flaw in this system was that the electorate which was to elect the legislator was kept very limited. Only those persons which paid a minimum amount of land tax were entitled to vote in the elections and majority of the Indian population did not had the authority to vote. So we can imagine the right of voting had no substantial meaning at that point of Indian History.

After Independence the concept of Universal Adult Franchise was included in the Indian Constitution which specified that no person on the basis of his caste, sex, place of birth, religion, language, disability will be debarred from exercising his right to vote in elections and the vote of every individual will have equal weight i.e. there will be no difference between the vote a daily wage labourer and an industrialist. Any individual in India above the age of 18 has the right to caste his vote however it is not mandatory for him to cast his vote. It is considered to be his moral duty to caste his vote but he can not be punished for not casting his vote.

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