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SHORT TAKE: The Great Election

The upcoming legislative assembly election in Karnataka has created an environment of excitement. All forms of print and electronic media, websites and social media networks have begun to give prime focus to information on elections. If observed, there prevails an environment of ‘over-excitement’ even before the announcement of election dates.

India is the world’s largest democracy and is also a federal republic government. Countries around the world get curious about any elections taking place in India.

India gained its freedom from the British Crown in 1947.  The Indian constitution which took 3 years to draft is a model to the world. The first pan-India electoral process started on October 25th, 1951. This multi-stage electoral process that took place for the central government as well as state government ended on March 25th, 1952. This election also included Mysore state (present Karnataka).

Four years after the independence, there was still no basic infrastructure and amenities. Facilities like telephone, electricity was not available everywhere. Roads were not yet created. But the whole world was taken by surprise when the country’s electoral process was a success.

According to the information, it is said that in some constituencies, the election ran for 2-3 days. Shortage in ballot box inevitably forced them to transport the limited ballot boxes from centre to centre. Many voting centre officials had to facilitate the elections under kerosene lamps due to the absence of electricity. Yet, the election saw more than 45% voter turnout.

In the memory of the election that took place 67 years ago, terming the upcoming Karnataka state election as hi-tech is not an exaggeration. This election will include 224 seats. 1951-52 elections had 489 Lok Sabha seats of which 99 seats belonged to Mysore presidency.

- Manohar Prasad

Original article in Kannada translated into English by Aaron D'Mello.

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