April 16, 2009

Let's Vote

The democratic system in India is based on the principle of universal adult suffrage; that any citizen over the age of 18 can vote in an election (before 1989 the age limit was 21). The right to vote is irrespective of caste, creed, religion or gender. Those who are deemed unsound of mind, and people convicted of certain criminal offences are not allowed to vote.

There has been a general increase in the number of people voting in Indian elections. In 1952 61.16 per cent of the electorate voted. By 1996 the turnout for the general election
was 57.94 per cent. There have been even more rapid increases in the turnout of women and members of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, who had tended to be far less likely to participate in elections, and voting for these groups has moved closer to the national average.