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What is Gerrymandering ?

The practice of gerrymandering involves changing the boundaries of electoral constituencies in order to support a specific political party or group. While gerrymandering is a problem in some nations, notably the United States, the Indian electoral system may not directly be affected by the concept of gerrymandering as it is generally understood.

The Delimitation Commission, an impartial body created in accordance with the Delimitation Act, is primarily responsible for overseeing the delimitation of constituencies in India. The commission is in charge of setting constituency boundaries based on elements like population density, geographical characteristics, and other pertinent considerations. The procedure aims to uphold “one person, one vote” and ensure fair representation.

It is important to note, however, that some detractors contend that political parties in India may use additional methods of balancing the vote or deliberate constituency design to gain electoral advantages. This could involve redrawing the boundaries of constituencies to change the demographic makeup, focusing on a particular voter group, or concentrating or dispersing a certain voter population in a way that favors a particular political party.

Additionally, political parties in India have occasionally been accused of trying to sway constituency boundaries indirectly by lobbying the Delimitation Commission or putting pressure on the administration to stall or change the delimitation procedure. If these accusations are confirmed, it could compromise the electoral process’ fairness and integrity.

In India, periodic delimitation exercises are held to address issues with fair representation and guarantee impartiality in the delimitation process. In these exercises, constituency boundaries are reviewed and modified to account for shifting demographics and changes in population distribution. These decisions are to be made by the Delimitation Commission, which is made up of impartial members including retired judges and other experts.

Even though gerrymandering, as it is understood in the United States, may not be common in India, any attempts to tamper with constituency boundaries or engage in unethical behavior that threatens democracy and fair representation must be closely watched and dealt with. The Indian Election Commission is essential in regulating the electoral process and guaranteeing that elections are held in a fair and transparent manner.