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What is the meaning of adult franchise ?

Last updated date: 26th May 2024
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Hint: In a democratic country, all eligible citizens have the right to participate, either directly or indirectly, in making the decisions that affect them. India is a democratic country. The Constitution gave the citizens of India the power to choose their own government and paved the way for democracy.  The process of choosing the government is done by elections.

Complete answer:

Franchise literally means the right of the people to vote and elect their representatives. The word franchise is derived from the French word ‘franc’ which means ‘free’. It means Democracy at Work free exercise of the right to choose one’s representatives.

Adult Franchise means all adult citizens of the country should have the right to vote without any discrimination of class, caste, class, religion, or gender. It is based on the basic principle of democracy, which we call equality. It stresses that the right to vote should be equally available to all. It is the bedrock of a democratic system. It enables all citizens to be involved in the governance of their state. 

In history, it took much time in making itself a universal law. In fact, this was one of the major demands in the long-drawn struggle for democracy. To date, not all the countries of the world are practising this law. India had implemented this principle on January 26, 1950. Now the minimum age for exercising franchises is 18 years in our country. One must qualify certain grounds for the adult franchise in India. 

These are:-

- One must be a citizen of India,

- One must have attained 18 years of age,

- One must not be of unsound mind,

- One must not have been declared bankrupt by a competent court

Note:  As provided for, in the Constitution of the land, the citizens cast their votes at regular intervals to elect their representatives to the Parliament, to the Legislative Assemblies, and such as other institutions as are essential organs of political power in a democracy. These institutions are called representative institutions precisely because they represent the will of the peoples.