Indian elections a source of inspirations for Bangladesh

Experts tell seminar

Staff Correspondent

2 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Experts at a seminar on Monday termed the upcoming Indian election a great source of inspiration and lesson for Bangladeshis.

They said the elections in India can truly reflect voters’ choice which is conducive for flourishing a democracy. Young voters in India are very conscious as the turnout of the young voters is sometimes higher than the voters of other age segments, they said.

The experts came up with the observations at a seminar titled “Indian National Election 2019: How the Caste, Class, Religion, and Demography affect the Voting Behavior” held at North South University (NSU) in the city.

South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance (SIPG) of NSU organised the seminar. Former Chief Election Commissioner Dr ATM Shamusul Huda attended the function as the chief guest.

Prof Sk Tawfique M Haque, Director of SIPG, delivered the welcome address. NSU vice-chancellor Professor Atiqul Islam chaired the session. The seminar was moderated by Prof Salauddin M Aminuzzaman.

Sanjay Kumar, professor and director of Center for the Studies of Developing Societies (CSDS) of Delhi, Jawhar Sircar, former chief election officer of West Bengal and Former election commissioner Brig Gen (retd) Dr M Sakhawat Hussain, were present as the special guests.

Speaking on the occasion, ATM Shamusul Huda said the role of election is very important for flourishing democracy in a country.

Indian elections remain unbiased and influenced for being automatically checked and balanced, he said.

“It’s very difficult to manipulate the results of the election in India. To predict the winner of the upcoming Indian election is not an easy task,” he added.

The Bharatiya Janata Party was the winner in 2014 and maybe the Congress will win in 2019.

Jawhar Sircar said the Indian judiciary, Election Commission and law enforcers nowadays have to work under political pressure, but there are check and balance in the discharge of their duties.

In his speech, Prof Sanjay Kumar said young voters in the election are expected to play a vital role.

“Caste and religion also play an important role in Indian polls,” he said, adding that Congress and BJP both have to rely on the religion and caste-based small alliances and groups for forming the government.

He said polls fates of BJP and Congress both uncertain and unpredictable.

 “BJP which attracted voters in 2014 polls by various development commitments, have failed to promote employment, resolve farmers’ problem and rural crises. So the upcoming polls are a great challenge for BJP. On the other hand, voters have no attraction and hatred for Congress which is also facing some challenges,” he said.

M Sakhawat Hussain said election conducting authorities in developing countries are exposed to a problem that defeated parties reject polls results.

However, the Indian election commission is powerful and capable of addressing any challenge and influence.

NSU VC Atiqul Islam said the university will open a course on Indian studies to enable students to know next-door neighbour well.

Teachers and students of NSU and journalists were also present on the occasion.