1952 Elections: When Mahatma Gandhi was “hiding inside a ballot box”

With an electorate size of almost 17.6 crore voters, of which 15 crore could neither read nor write, the Elections of 1951-52 was aptly called “The biggest gamble in history“. Added to it were factors like terrain & monsoon which had posed grave challenges to the logistics of the elections. The Indian Civil Servant Sukumkar Sen, who was appointed as Chief Election Commissioner deserves credit for successfully carrying out the unprecedented task of gigantic magnitude.

Following are few rare photos & interesting excerpts which capture the essence of the 1952 elections.

Sukumar Sen: The first Chief Election Commissioner of India
1952_sukumaran

Logistics of the first elections
1952_election_logistics

A typical “roadshow”
1952_camel_roadshow

 

Campaigning by Bharatiya Jana Sangh, a right wing party whose symbol was Lamp.
1952_janasangh_campaign

 

Campaigning by Congress whosesymbol was “‘Pair of bullocks carrying a yoke”
1952_congress_roadshow
More details about Congress symbol & its history:
http://guruprasad.net/posts/the-story-behind-congress-hand-symbol/

 

Nehru reaching out to a crowd from the rooftop
1952_nehru_rooftop

Details of Nehru’s campaigning
1952_nehru_rallies

 

A ballot box, made by Hyderabad Allwyn Metal Works
1952_ballot_box

Preparations for the elections
1952_election_preparations

Polling stations had multiple ballot boxes, each box with a party symbol. A voter had to cast his vote to a particular party by dropping his ballot paper into the ballot box corresponding to that party
1952_casting_vote

How Congressmen fooled innocent masses into believing that the Mahatma was hiding inside a ballot box and watching voters
1952_congress_fooling_voters

How Congress used visuals of Gandhi, Jail & Freedom Struggle to capture voter sentiments
1952_congress_campaign

The “Science” of rigging
1952_rigging

Counting of votes
1952_counting

Election results
1952_results

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