A Pillar of Democracy Under the Scanner
Chanchal Kumar Sharma
ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA: INSTITUTIONALISING DEMOCRATIC UNCERTAINTIES by Ujjwal Kumar Singh and Anupama Roy Oxford University Press, 2019, 400 pp., 1100.00
May 2020, volume 44, No 5

Election Commission of India: Institutionalising Democratic Uncertainties has hit the shelves—physical as well as digital, at a time when the Election Commission of India (ECI) has come under unprecedented scrutiny over its alleged failure to enforce election norms in a way that maintains a level playing field. The ECI’s coming under the scanner during such extraordinary times, when the opposition is in disarray and institutions are beholden to uphold the dominant party’s agendas and ideology, is but natural. Indeed, the bounden duty of the ECI is—to quote the authors—‘efficient “rule-implementation” so that the certainties of procedures generate democratic uncertainties of electoral outcomes’ (p. 184).

The monograph by Ujjwal Kumar Singh and Anupama Roy, is a fascinating study of the Election Commission and a nuanced contribution to election institutions and electoral management studies. The four chapters, amply illustrated with tables, figures, and graphics, are prefaced by a stimulating introduction, and a conclusion that sums up the core ideas.

Continue reading this review