I read with great interest the article in the Oct. 16-31, 2013 issue of MEL entitled `Supreme Court rules in favour of “None of the Above” button: Necessity to carry out thorough going electoral reforms', which is very informative and educative.
The present system in India, however, does not recognize that even a majority for `none of the above' option will not disqualify that first past the post to represent a constituency. Thus, in effect, the people have no choice but to pick one or another candidate put up by the bourgeoisie through its multi-party system. Such parties are commited only to the agenda of the ruling class, which stands in opposition to the agenda of the people. This said, it is a time for all those interested in the future of the country,
to take stock of what such a Supreme Court ruling is actually revealing. The important inference that one can make from this is that the bourgeoisie itself is alarmed at the general level of bankruptcy
of its own political system. It is well known that political parties carry out their activites either through the ballot or through the bullet.
Political parties have massive financial backing of the biggest industrial houses in the country, and must have the backing of big agriculturalists in the countryside. The method of rule is through buying off of all opposition and by capturing of `vote banks' and through intimidation. Many candidates are well-known and hardened criminals, with tens of cases lodged against them, and some even having convictions. This being the case, it is not a surprise that there is a thorough disillusionment of the people of India with the system. Thus, something like a `none of the above' option is something of a pressure vent under the circumstances. Nonetheless, it provides an opportunity to break a new path and ask some hard questions as to the nature of the political and economic system in the country, and to provide possible answers and resolutions.
In the coming years, electoral reform will emerge as a key arena in which debate will have to take place as to what the future of the country will be. All those interested in the future must participate in this. Thus the Supreme Court ruling offers an opportunity to bring this issue into the forefront. I commend you on carrying this timely article.
S. Nair, Kochi