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From women suffrage to elections in British India: A brief history of elections in India in pictures

Monday, 24 March 2014 - 7:05pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk
As India prepares to participate in the creation of a new government to run the nation's affairs, we glimpse into the past to trace the evolution of the elections in the country
  • Elections Getty Images

As one of the world's largest democracies, India has drawn inspiration from some of the best governances in the world. In the process, India has created a majestic historical trajectory of democratic values for other post-colonial nations to follow. The election process, among other things, can definitely be touted as the crowning glory of modern political India.

Here's a low down of it all started:
The process of Indian elections started way before the nation acquired independence. General elections were held in British India as early as September 1930. These were, however, boycotted by the Indian National Congress, the largest political party then.

(A crowd of demonstrators in conflict with the police during elections at Bombay, India in 1930)

These were followed by general elections in 1934, that laid foundation to the first ever Congress government in the Indian parliament. 6,08,198 people voted.

(Voters outside the Town Hall in Delhi during polling in the Assembly elections in December 1934)

That was also the year, when female suffrage was introduced allowing women to cast their votes, a precedence not granted among many nations then.

(Muslim women in purdah casting their votes during elections in the old city of Delhi in 1958)

Women on their way to vote in the Indian elections in 1967

The first ever Lok Sabha elections of Independent India were held in 1951.

(Placards and banners being carried by boys who are canvassing the Congressional and Socialist parties during the Indian general election in 1955)

The first general elections, which were conducted for 489 seats in 401 constituencies, represented 26 Indian states, and saw close to 13 million voters. At that time, there were 314 constituencies with one seat, 86 with two seats and one with three seats.

(A European man attends a polling station staffed by Indian women in Bombay)

In contrast, the 2014 electoral strength marking up to 814.5 million, a number higher than the population of most nations.

(A woman in India standing by a poster warning of the crime of impersonation in elections in 1967)

About one million electronic voting machines will be required across 930,000 polling stations.

(People in Bombay voting in the national election, beside posters advertising the political visions of Indian statesmen Pandit Nehru and Krishna Menon)

To more information and to follow, the 2014 Lok Sabha general elections, click here.


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