Election Museum: Delhi
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Inaugurated in 2017
Delhi now has a first-of-its-kind museum to boast about. An ‘Election Museum’ inaugurated promises to showcase India’s historical electoral journey through artefacts, rare photographs, documents and archival film footage.
The “A Journey Through Elections” centre at the Office of Delhi Chief Electoral Officer at Old St. Stephens’ College building in Kashmere Gate was opened to public by Chief Election Commissioner of India Syed Nasim Zaidi. The unique museum will remain open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on all working days. Prior bookings will have to be made online.
The centre is established to create an environment and learning place to celebrate India’s electoral legacy and to look back into electoral management and to learn democracy with Mahatma Gandhi. With the use of nearly 200 archived photographs, artefacts and maps and references, the centre tries to showcase the electoral journey of the country.
The exhibits include metal ballot boxes used in the first general elections in 1952, the ones used in 1996 and samples of old election symbols. Visitors will also be able to see a archival documentary — “The Great Experiment” — chronicling the first general elections in the country.
In the electoral process section, the centre covers all stages of elections and its connections with voters in today’s time. Another section presents the transformation from ballot boxes to the Electronic Voting Machines and Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). Another segment is of the pre-Independence election material put up by Delhi Archives, where an electoral roll of 1923 is on display. A dedicated section on Mahatma Gandhi’s idea of democracy, curated by the National Gandhi Museum, was also inaugurated.
“It is a noble initiative to understand the electoral machinery of India from its inception. It also shows us how poor people can be very powerful in a democracy. The place has been transformed, and I hope the place will soon be crowded with visitors,” Mr. Zaidi said.
Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Chandra Bhushan Kumar said the museum was a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country by his team.
Stating that the museum would primarily target schoolchildren, Mr. Kumar said schools located nearby have been invited.
“School children will become more aware of the electoral process and appreciate the efforts put in to make elections successful consistently,” he said.
A special voter’s pledge section has also been set up where visitors can take the pledge and then take a selfie, Mr. Kumar said.