On this day, elections were indefinitely postponed through an order issued by the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), T.N. Seshan. The CEC, ironically, is tasked to ‘conduct’ elections, so who in his right mind would do such a thing in a democracy?
Seshan had put everything on the line while signing that order. And it was an indication as to the lengths he would go to prosecute his designated mandate. And the Supreme Court too did not find the order to be unlawful.
Before Seshan came on the scene, the Election Commission was increasingly functioning as an appendage of the government. Over and above that, there was evidence that malpractice and lawlessness in elections were reaching alarming levels. If that trend were to continue then further down that track lay the ignominy of a banana republic and the danger of Balkanization.
Fearless to the core, in his autobiography, Through the Broken Glass, Seshan brings to light his years of struggles to usher in a new era of electoral reforms in India. Not the one to mince words and Seshan’s devil-may-care attitude and righteous self-awareness took even the Union governments by surprise. Written by a person who never cowered to the high and mighty, the book gives a noholds- barred account of the man who revolutionized the electoral process.
Thought-provoking and inspiring to the core, Through the Broken Glass is a testament to the grit and determination of the man who wagered a lone struggle to bring about a colossal change in the Indian electoral system.