India, the biggest democracy in the world where people choose their own representatives to rule and have full rights to vote, Don’t you expect the person who is going to rule the whole country or state to be well educated? Well, most of us vote to choose our best representative who can serve our interests and is responsible towards his work.
Thus he should have a good moral character, should be empathetic and be mindful of the interests of people of his constituency but in today’s politics the trust of the electorate is repeatedly violated, morality has become a myth and politicians have become over concerned with capturing power. This further degrades the political culture and there has been loss of responsible character among the representatives.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR CONTESTING ELECTIONS
However in India for contesting elections there have been some necessary conditions which don’t include education qualifications.
- A person should be resident citizen of the country
- The person should be of at least 25 years of age
- The person should be registered as a voter in any constituency
- He should not be convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment of 2 years or more
- He /she should not hold any office of profit
In these conditions no education qualification has been listed here because it is believed that most relevant qualification for MP or MLA is the ability to understand the people’s concerns and represent the interests. If they are more educated but failed to present interests of the voters adequately they will be voted out of power whereas if candidate is not highly educated but keeps the interest office electorate supreme then there’s not a better representative than him or her.
WHY IT SHOULD BE THERE?
- Education is important in the present world as it would enhance the policy making or decision making quality in India as better and specialized politicians will be able to understand the needs and aspirations of the people
- Less educated politicians will not be able to cope up with global changes and will not be able to understand diplomatic situations with other countries of the world as well as world leaders
- it would attract some of the most brilliant minds from the country for contesting elections because they will perceive election battleground to be familiar and welcoming when they will see politicians with qualifications similar to theirs
- Education qualifications would also raise the general level of education in the country as more people would become inspired to get literate and educated if the political leaders will start to do so
- Currently most of the politicians are non specialized they work for the general welfare of the people. The task of specialized activities is left to the civil servants that is bureaucracy
WHY IT SHOULDN’T BE?
- Education is the fundamental right of every citizen and it is the duty of the state to provide education to everyone and if someone is being illiterate, it is the failure of state not of the person.
- Education qualifications have not been prescribed in the Constitution. Constitution makers did not envision any educational qualification for any posts except for a few.
- It also believed that more than education, character and commitment for politicians are important as a strong and valuable character will be effectively able to represent the interest of the people
- As most of the people in India are still illiterate prescribing minimum education qualification will deprive majority of the common people from contesting elections.
- Prescribing minimum disqualifications would deprive a large number of females from contesting elections as it is a females take drop out of schools and colleges to take care of their household owes and family.
THE WAY FORWARD
Minimum educational qualifications for politicians may be required but it must address existing concerns that come in the way of democratic rights. It is not doubtful that setting new education qualifications are necessary for politicians so that the best of the mind should govern our country yet it cannot be enforced upon the country with a blink of an eye. The minimum qualification that should be prescribed shall be left to the wisdom of common people and the politicians. A well informed individual having a powerful will and stronger moral character represents the interest of the people most effectively. Though education qualifications are required for politicians yet they are not necessary.