The vibrancy of any democracy is reflected in the robust engagement of the electorate in elections and in legislative processes. Unfortunately, the political system in India is broken, and the public’s confidence has been seriously eroded. There is great urgency for the Election Commission to restore the integrity of the elections, and to ensure the strict enforcement of basic norms for candidatures to legislative bodies. The Election Commission has thus far functioned with little bias in the conduct of elections to date, and has the executive authority for electoral reforms. It must act now by prescribing some simple norms, ensuring compliance, and posting on publicly available websites information pertaining to candidates. For example, not unlike a school/college exam, the Election Commission can fix certain criteria (a partial list below) and mark either positive or negative scores to not exceed a total of 100 points.
• Minimum Educational qualification (positive score)
• Working knowledge of languages (positive score)
• Regular filing of income tax returns, and disclosure of income and assets (positive or negative score depending on information)