Mehta, Asoka
July 1957
Foreign Affairs;Jul57, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p679
Academic Journal
The article presents the implicit outcome of the 1957 General Elections. The elections have brought to the fore the strength and weakness of India's infant democracy and provided an opportunity to discover and combat its weaknesses and foster its sources of strength. The percentage of voters increased from 44.9 to 49.2. Unlike the 1952 General Elections, the 1957 poll has shown that forces of consolidation are at work: as against 76 parties in 1952, only 26 political parties entered the elections. The number of candidates for the Lok Sabha declined from 1800 to 1456, and that for the State Assemblies fell from 15,000 to 9,840. The four national parties increased their combined vote from 73 million in 1952 to 84 million in 1957, while the vote of all other parties, as well as of independent candidates, fell from 32,300,000 to 30,600,000. The changes indicate that the elections were profoundly affected by the reorganization of states, carried out mostly on linguistic lines. The General Elections of 1957 did indicate, however, that the various political parties are less stable than they seemed. These changes, however, do not appear to herald a major shift in the voting pattern. The changes suggest that the political mind of India is neither wholly clear nor firm.


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