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November 16, 2016
Document Release Date: 
March 18, 1999
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February 1, 1967
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PDF icon CIA-RDP75-00149R000200100005-7.pdf137.28 KB
Approved For Releas 20 Q/04/14 : ~ A- 75-00 498000200100 ~na~ia on tie a o,~' Elections S..A. D NGE CPYRGHT Chairman, Comrnrt is~ Party of India I historical basis. Then there are 9 territorial areas under the Union Nf~IA'S ruling class politicians are very fond of telling the world Government. ~~ that India is the largest democracy in the world. They will not ' The 17 State Assemblies also are elected on the same day by the ~"Lagrcc to qualify it and say that it is the largest bourgeois same voter in the same booth but with a separate ballot box. Tho democracy. following table shows the number of voters, scats and booths in And due to realism or perhaps scorn they will also not call it the coming elections. , socialist democracy, despite the fact that for the last fifteen years they have been claiming to build "socialism" in India! No, it is just democracy-and the largest one. They advertise this particularly when in America. India touched the figure of 500 million population last year. ' ' 1967 1961 Registered voters (million) 240 216 Parliament-scats 521 497 State Assemblies-scats 3,563 3,405 Palling Stations-number 270,000 250,000 T hus, it is the second largest population in the world, China's Each booth serves 1,000 voters and it-would require at least five hcing the first. cadres for a party to man one booth. Thus if a party were to contest Thc. ,r,ost outstanding fact that makes it a democracy is that all the seats, it would have to put into the field on the polling day at India is governed by a Parliament, which is elected every five years least one million organisers, which is beyond the capacity of any on the basis of adult franchise. Since independence came in 1947 democratic opposition party in the present conditions. and the Constitution of the Republic of the Indian Union was In the existing Parliament (as of January 20, 1965) there arc 504 adoptr_d or, Jan,r~rv 26, 1950, we have had three general elections- members. The ruling Congress Party holds 365 seats and all the first, in 1952, n?c c~nd in 1957 and third in 1962. And the fourth is opposition parties and individuals make up the rest- -133 (in which carving in 1'cbruary 1967. three were vacant). The ruling party has an overwhelming majority We arc a democracy in this sense. Moreover, the Constitution over all the opposition parties together. guarantees to every citizen not only to vote and elect a Parliament In this 'opposition total, the Communist Party of India (before and Clovcrnmcnt. It also guarantees certain fundamental demo- the split) held 30 seats out of 133. Even then we were given the first critic rc?ighls and lays down directive principles to guide State policy. role in the opposition as no other single party by itself had as many T'hc rights anc! principles by themselves are no doubt good, if seats as ours. properly in,h{rn,cnted. For example, it was because these rights After the split in the Party, we retained 18 members of Parliament, came to be est;,hlished in 1950 that the Communist Party, trade and they numbered 12. The three other parties of importance are union and other organisations which had been declared illegal and the Samgukta Socialist Party with 16 Members of Parliament, suppressed in 1948 were legalised and thousands of our people Jan Singh with 13 members and Swatantra Party with 16. were released from prison. There are 13 other parties with about 30 MPs but since they did 13ut within the framework of this very Constitution and the not get 5 per cent of the votes cast, they are not acknowledged as all- T-undamental Rights, a new law called the Preventive Detention Act India parties for the purposes of listing in the Parliament. Such was passed in 1952 under which once again many political workers parties worth noting are, for example, the Republican Party, the cantinucct to be imprisoned. Revolutionary Socialist Party, the Moslem League, the Hindu And since 19~i2 and the India-China conflict, the co>_mtry has Mahasabha. Some parties like the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam been under a state of emergency, by which, though the Parliament (DMK) are limited to certain states and areas only, though they have sits and deliberates as before, all the Fundamental Rights, which a sizeable following. The next election battles are going to be fought were claimed to be the basic ingredients of this largest democracy, round the platforms of these parties and their fronts or combinations, have been suspended, without any remedy before the Supreme , on an all-India and local scales. Court of the land. ,,? The Congress Party remains the most formidable force in power. In view of this state of emergency and the Defence of India It is being opposed mainly by two forces-one representing the Rules, tl~e necessity for which vanished long ago, thousands have progressive democratic masses of the toiling people drawn from the hccn sent to jail for the mere expression of political opinions or for working class, the peasantry, the middle classes, as also sections of conducting strikes or other struggles for defence of people's rights the national bourgeoisie opposed to monopoly capital; and the other and living. representing Right reaction. There are intermediary groups who In slnor?t, we have a Parliament and we have elections to the hover between the two on the basis of group interests and not Parliament despitethcstateofemergency.Youmaysaythatelcctions purely on programmes and policies. arc fret, as far as they can be in a bourgeois democracy, where the The elections this time will show some new features and new potivcr of the purse, the press and the policy is in the hands of the combinations and upsets in almost all parties, including the ruling ruling bourgeoisie and its landlord allies. You may form any Congress Party and the opposition parties of the democratic Left political party and nominate candidates. And i(,.your candidate and the reactionary Right. gets the highest vote as against his other rivals, he is declared elected. The vote is cast by the name of each candidate and his symbol which II is given to I~im for identification by illiterate voters. Tfie vote is not The Indian electoral system is based on the majority vote and for tl,e Party as is tlic case in some countries. Nor is there propor- not on proportional representation. The majority-vote system has tional rc;prescntation in the voting system. had~the peculiar result that the Congress Party in India has been in Out of a population of 500 million people, 240 million are power without ever getting the majority of the votes of the total poll registered voters in this year. In the 1962 elections they numbered in all the three elections. Of the total votes cast in the three elections, 216 million. Thus one can sec that the number of registered voters the Congress Party got in India is 50 million more than the total population of America, 45.02 per cent votes in 1951-52 and 10 ;million more than the population of the USSR. The vastness 47.78 per cent votes in 1957 of this number itself would show how difficult it is for, a party not 45.06 per cent votes in 1962. in power and without the vast resources of tha bourgeoisie to And yet with such a minority of the popular vote, the Congress mobilise the people for the vote. Party secured the overwhelming majority of the seats, both in the We have direct elections to the Parliame,.~ of the whole country. Parliament and in the States, Only once in Kerala, the Congress But tine country is divided in o 7 S to roc h tic pan K, Approved ~or ~el~eas~ ~~'~'~'~~'~ : ~~-R'5~'-`'8b~~~~~19'~OD~J~ Y hick got three morn