"The adoption of universal adult franchise in the Indian Constitution has allowed unscrupulous and criminal elements to manipulate their way to power, and thus is the biggest bane of Indian politics." To what extent do you agree with this view? Give arguments.

Article 326 and RoPA provide right to vote to any person above age 18 years without discrimination on grounds sex, caste, class, property ownership, religion, ethnicity etc. The universal adult suffrage shows political equality of all, and encourages the young people to participate in electoral process. Everybody has equal right to choose his or her representative and thus it brings to power a government based on consent of all. This has, to great extent, kept our democracy vibrant and meaningful.
Equal voting rights have helped the country to remain intact instead of further getting divided on caste, religion or economic grounds.  Free and fair elections have been conducted fairly regularly since independence with large scale participation. It has allowed political empowerment of vulnerable groups including dalits, tribes and women. It has given a sense of ownership in government by people which encourages accountability in governance.
There is no doubt that the provisions have been misused owing to several socio-economic problems of India including poverty, illiteracy, casteism, religious fundamentalism, regionalism etc. Criminalization of politics and politicization of criminals is a complex issue having its reasons in several other loopholes in political and administrative machinery.  Due to above mentioned positive things UAF has brought to our democratic system, I differ with blaming universal adult suffrage as biggest bane of Indian politics.

Question for UPSC Mains:
"The adoption of universal adult franchise in the Indian Constitution has allowed unscrupulous and criminal elements to manipulate their way to power, and thus is the biggest bane of Indian politics." To what extent do you agree with this view? Give arguments.

Published: November 19, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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