- Significance and importance of elections in the modern age.
- Basic Democracy elections of the last year were full of enthusiasm.
- Description of the various polling booths.
- Clieap propaganda carried out by rival groups of parties.
- Your own opinion about the elections.
Modern age of Democracy, and real type of democracy depends upon public opinion. Elections are the very life and blood of democracy, as they reflect the opinion of the people. In the present democratic States, the Government is run by the members of that party which commands. substantial majority in the legislature. In the same way elections are essential for carrying on the administration. Union Councils, District Councils and Divisional Councils hoid elections after five years. People living in their respective areas elect their representatives who run on the adıninistration of the unit. The representatives are delegated a Basic Democrates. Basic Democrates form the electoral college. Members of the electoral college cast their votes for the election of the President of Pakistan, members of the National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies of East and West Pakistan, and vice chairmen of the Union Councils.
In order that people may enjoy full libcrty to exercise their opinion and will, the election of the representatives takes place by secret ballot system. Last year I had the chance to witness the elections.
That day, I can never forget, all the ideal talk about the purity and soundness of democracy was an absurdity. There was a great rush here and there. The cars were sweeping fast through the crowded roads. The buses and tongas, with loudspeakers on them, were playing here and there. Temptations were being held out openly and thrests: were being given lest the voter should commit mistake of choosing the wrong ballot box. There was persuation everywhere and people were shouting slogans every now and then.
Though the Government takes every precaution so that no man may resort to any unfair means, yet our countrymen tend to evade the law and are wise enough to violate it, if possible. There was special arrangement of police at the spot so that there might not be created any nuisance. The returning officers supervise every detail of the election. The voters came and they made their free choice. They could be forced or persuaded outside, but once inside they were quite safe from the onslaughts of the propagandists.
I saw that rich people of the city were threatening those who were under their influence. There were other corrupt practices but on the whole the election was impartial and honest.
Every tongawala and rickshaw-puller was in a mood of joys. With the clatter of horse’s hoofs and with the horns of the cars and ‘whistles of the people, the entire city was humming with an extraordinary activity. It seemed that the city had sprung up, all of a sudden into a world of commotion and hurried rush of the public. The District authorities were also present there. Our District Magistrate was a very fair person and he took keen interest in all the affairs.
Suddenly I heard some noise, and saw that two volunteers of rival parties were exchanging hot words. From words they came to blows. Each was accompaned by members of his respective parties. A free fight began in which sticks, knives and soda-water bottles were freely exchanged. The Superintendent of Police gave two warnings to the fighting parties to disperse but when these two warning fell flat on them, he ordered ‘Lathi-Charge.’ Some of the persons, engaged in the skirmishes were injured.
Our country has now achieved her full-fledged independence, and we claim to have democracy in our country. Those local institutions are the training ground for the broader discharge of the duties in the popular system of government. It is here that a man learns his lesson of broader citizenship and selflessness. If Union Councils are run smoothly and with honesty, then the people would surely be upright and politically conscious of their duties and obligations. If in Democracy, the character of the general public is not good, it is doomed, for democracy, ultimately, rests on the best qualities of the citizens. There has been great corruption in our country, and we have been badly hankering after jobs and licences for running government controlled business and trade. It is a very sorry state of affairs that we should not survive the transition. We shall have to raise ourselves to the height of the occasion. Then and then alone is Sur salvation, and we shall, at that time, desist from jobbery, reptapism and nepotism. Mass education is the prime factor for our social, political and moral regeneration and advancement. An ignorant and illiterate nation can never reach the perfection of its ideal character.