National Voters’ day is celebrated in India on 25th January since the year 2011 to mark the foundation day of Election Commission of India (ECI). ECI is a constitutional body that was established in 2050 to overlook the smooth running of elections in India that guarantee universal adult suffrage to the citizens of India above the age of 18.
National Voters’ Day celebrations focus on a specific theme every year. For this year, the theme is ‘Electoral Literacy for a Stronger Democracy.’
India is the largest democracy in the world with about 91 crore citizens registered as voters. The ECI initiated the celebration of National Voters’ Day in India to highlight the value and importance of every vote. Its main purpose is to encourage, facilitate and maximize the enrolment of new voters and active participation of the active voters.
The ECI has made sustained efforts to enroll all the eligible voters in the country. However, voters’ apathy, and lack of enrolment and enthusiasm in participation among the youth has led to many voters not participating in the elections.
For this, the commission takes up a rigorous exercise to identify all the eligible voters above the age of 18 as of January 1st every year in each polling station area of the country. The commission then enrolls them and hand them over their elector photo identity cards on 25th January. The initiative is aimed at providing the youth a sense of citizenship, empowerment and pride in the electoral participation. It also seeks to inspire the newly enrolled voters in exercising their newly acquired franchise. This intent has marked the celebration of National Voters’ Day in India.
The efforts made by the commission has been encouraging with improved participation over the last decade. However, no democracy can actually succeed without active participation from the citizens. This is why, this National Voters’ Day, let us all stand up and take the voters pledge which says,
“We, the Citizens of India, having abiding faith in democracy, hereby pledge to uphold the democratic traditions of our country and the dignity of free, fair and peaceful elections, and to vote in every election fearlessly and without being influenced by considerations of religion, race, caste, community, language or any other inducement.”