“Democracy cannot consist solely of elections that are nearly always fictitious and managed by rich landowners and professional politicians. Let the people have their mandate.” These wise words spoken by Che Guevara have revolutionized Indian democracy.
More often than not, opinion polls represent the voice of people. Greater the voice of dissent, greater is the strength of Indian democracy. Au contraire, there a few political parties that are in favor of a ban. Election Commission sent the recommendations that opinions polls are banned from telecasting the results 48 hours before the election voting commencement. Law Ministry responded in the affirmative. This approval earned the laurels of a few national political parties and Attorney General of India. As per a survey conducted by an esteemed news channel, the approval attained its royal stature after 5 national parties and 12 state parties supported the permanent ban of opinion polls. Interestingly, BJP is the only major party to break the convention and oppose the ban.
Exit polls, predecessors of opinion polls were banned in the year 2009 by an amendment to the Representation of the People Act. Of late, ‘A ban on opinion polls’ has been the hot debate. People go gaga over a few things and the notion of banning the opinion polls 48 hours prior to the commencement of elections has triggered several intense debates. A point to quote- Election Commission is in a fix to resolve the issue. However, the members of political fraternity get the better of their nemesis, election commission by a few promising pre-election gambits. The intensity of the debate resulted in a few critical moves from Indian media. As per the media personnel, opinion polls provide a common man to express and share his/her views. A ban is never justified in a democracy as large as that of India.
Here are 5 genuine reasons to never ban opinion polls:
Curbing the freedom of speech in a country like India will do no good to the entire voting community. To be precise and candid, a ban on the opinion polls should always be a far-fetched thought that should be dispatched with disdain. It is beyond the holistic purview of Election Commission to take a decision as such.
Due to the omnipresence of internet, the world has been rendered digital. Social media channels have become handy tools in soliciting the opinions of public. More often than not, opinion polls help not only the elite but also the down-trodden to know about the credibility of the candidates. As a consequence, people can question the candidature of incompetent candidates in a profound sense. In addition, people can take better decisions while casting their valuable votes.
Let me let the cat out of the bag. To all intents and purposes, major support on the ban of opinion polls has come from the parties which have not found opinion polls results in their favor. Thus, political class fraternity is playing a second fiddle to suppress the voice of the people.
Economically prosperous and technologically advanced countries such as United States, United Kingdom and Japan have not restricted opinion polls. There is no harm in simulating the likes of USA, UK and Japan in this aspect. In these countries, opinion polls are deemed priceless assets.
Many a time, the methodology adopted and followed by media is genuine. Responsible media personnel solicit the opinions from diverse communities, different demographic dividends and different variants of voter clusters.
In view of the above reasons, the common man of India should never be deprived of his constitutional rights.