‘Indian democracy is seen as an ideal example across the world’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Oct 2017 10:47:00

Staff Reporter,

The Constitution of India has ensured equality for all Indian citizens. However, it has also reserved the right of positive discrimination for development of all. This was possible only because of inclusiveness of the majority in the country, that is Hindus, said Dr S Y Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India.

Dr Quraishi was delivering a lecture on ‘Discrimination’ a liability in National Integration, on Friday. The lecture was a part of Padma Bhushan Maulana Abdul Karim Parekh Memorial Lecture Series, organised by RTM Nagpur University and Humanity Charitable Trust. Vice-Chancellor of RTMNU Dr S P Kane was in the chair. Abdul Majid Parekh, Pro-VC Dr Pramod Yeole and Registrar of the University Puranchandra Meshram were seated on the dais.

Dr Quraishi based his lecture on the provisions in the Constitution and elections. He said that Indian democracy is seen as an ideal example across the world. The Indian Constitution was the first to grant voting rights to women on the first day of adopting people’s democracy, which was awarded by US after 140 years and by UK after about 100 years. Within 19 years a woman became the Prime Minister of India. Even with the literacy of only 16%, when India got freedom, the democracy by vast population of illiterates was made successful.

The religious freedom is enjoyed and only small and temporary aberrations were experienced. With vast diversity of language, culture, caste, religion, the country is a mini-world. But care of every section is being taken. Legal protection has been granted for inclusion of the sections of the society like women, the disabled, religious minorities, children in the main stream of life in
this democracy.

Referring to the election process Dr Quraishi said that there is no discrimination in the election process. The voters list is prepared, scrutinised and finalised carefully. The credibility of the Election Commission in India is very high. During elections vulnerability mapping is done, security to prevent violence is ensured, voters are educated, symbols are used for those who cannot write, Braille language is used to help the blind voters. Even with small problem provision of re-poll has also been made.

Dr Quraishi also stated that even for single voter in deep jungles in Gujarat or 17 voters on mountain peaks, entire procedure is followed. Giving another example of positive discrimination during an election in UP, he stated that the percentage of women voters was increased as after one male voter, two female voters were allowed to cast vote. Dr Quraishi expressed firm belief in the democracy being implemented in the country.

In his presidential address Dr Kane also quoted some examples to demonstrate beauty of Indian democracy, despite problems arising out of diverse culture and language in different regions. Earlier Abdul Majid Parekh spoke about his father’s teachings and work. Abdul Karim Parekh firmly believed that all the religion speak about humanity and human values. It is unfortunate that human beings are required to inform about humanity, which make it a different specie. He spoke about exploitation because of lack of knowledge and emphasised the need for educating people to remove any kind of discrimination. This will also ensure equality for all. K T Sheikh conducted the proceedings. Puranchandra Meshram proposed a vote of thanks.