The countdown has started for a nation of 1.2 billion people to elect their next national Government. This will be the largest democratic election every to be held in the history of mankind.
Almost a billion voters will choose, in an election that will be fair overall – the Indian Constitution ensures that. The Election Commission is now in charge and the typically all powerful politicians have to toe the line in an increasingly connected world where news does not obey Einstein’s Laws of Relativity.
The sheer scope of this massive exercise boggles the mind. At the forefront will be the officers of the Election Commission, supported by Government staff, including teachers and professors from schools and colleges across the country. My maternal uncle, Dr. Niladhri Ranjan Dash, HOD of Geography at MS University, Vadodara, expects to have to take up zonal responsibility this time.
What fascinates me most is that a people as diverse as Indians can come together to vote on such a scale. There can be nothing as different as say a Punjabi and a Tamil, a Gujarati and a Naga, an Odiya and a Keralite! But then India is the ultimate melting pot and has been for thousands of years.
And to have embraced the new concept of democracy a mere three quarters of a century ago and made it their own – in their own unique way – to build the world’s greatest democracy, is a feat that I am proud of.
I congratulate the Indian People as they get ready to vote in the single largest election ever.