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Introduction To Voting Rights In Reference To Prisoners And Tribes

When we look back in 1951-52, near the bank of Hoogly stray cows moving with a slogan painted in their body “vote congress” , people all around the nation going to witness their first election and it becomes a new hope for them after those tragic traumas they faced over a century. It was like a celebration, election commission and political leaders worked around the clock to familiarize the importance of voting in a democratic country. Still large number of women refused to tell their names to election officials as they were strangers to them. After crossing these kinds of hurdles India forms its first democratic government.

Now perspectives towards election changed a lot, technology introduced in this process, participation increased but still some marginalized people suffer to vote.[1] Some have the right but they are helpless they can’t able to approach or they are less known about the importance, they are tribes who residing inside their settlement far away from this civilized society. Others are prisoners, without any right to vote, their participation is purely neglected and there is no hope of humanity as they are simply bounded inside bars. This article deals with the scope of participation of above said categories in the same.

Early hunter gatherers practiced the system of democracy or voting that may be in a barbaric way but they elected their leaders by different methods and ruled by them, slowly a system developed around the globe and people ruled by the elected ones, for the people by the people of the people. Democracy flowered on the atrocities around the world and that ended up several autocrats and guarantee fundamental individual rights, and by this system it empowered human development and personal freedom. The beauty of democracy is that it allows citizen to participate in law making because it is important that a law is made for them and applied on them.

In a democratic government every person should get their rights even if they are minority or majority, the rule applied on both of them are the same. India, the largest democratic country there every people have the access to certain rights and there is no discrimination to access this kind of rights that is fundamental in nature.

The fundamental rights in India enshrined in the part III of the Constitution of India that guarantee certain civil liberties to the citizen of this country the pillars among them are Right to equality, Right to freedom, Right against exploitation, Right to freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights, Rights to constitutional remedies and these are universally apply to all citizen irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, place of birth, race, color or sex.[2] But in India voting right is not included in fundamental right because of several reasons.

Voting right in India is merely a statutory right. Voting is a basic process which keeps a governmental system work. The purpose of every government is to develop and implement of various policies for the benefits of the citizens. It also enables the person to question the government about issues. Re-framing the present government can be done by voting.

Voting is our responsibility and by exercising the right to vote they demonstrate their respect for the history of the country. Adult suffrage is mentioned under Article 326 of the constitution of India and according to that no person can be denied right to vote but at the same time it is not mentioned in the part III of the constitution, so the right to vote is not a fundamental right. The underlying reasons to not to include this in fundamental rights may be because of the practical problems arises, like the people may be stand up for their right even if he or she is in a task by their respective private companies they work; many times people can’t leave their workplace.

On the other hand right to vote is a political right and that may not fit well in the fundamental right. Also altering the fundamental right is a tedious process, by these reasons right to vote stand as a legal right in India. As per the 2001 census the total tribe population in India is 84,326,240 which accounts for 8.2 percentage of the total population of the country.[3] There are 461 tribes in India and the major problems of them is accessibility, lack of communication, poverty, illiteracy, land alienation, exploitation etc. They mainly reside inside of jungle or their settlements are far away from the government accessibility so as these reasons they are neglected in welfare measures of government.

The election process in every five year ensures the participation of tribes but their participation is limited to minimal because of several reasons, they are almost unaware of the constitution and the government policies. Political parties are not depending on their votes because their votes are less in number. There is a great need for their empowerment. Their rights, and the packages allotted to them can be utilized by them with proper participation in election process. The tribes should be educated about this system.[4]

End-Notes:
  1. https://aceproject.org/ace-en/topics/me/onePage
  2. https://www.mea.gov.in/Images/pdf1/Part3.pdf.%20PP%206-20
  3. https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=5640
  4. https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=8918#gsc.tab=0

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