Should the Opinion polls be banned?
India is world's largest democracy, the seventh-largest country by area and the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people yet we have been maintaining and enjoying the prowess of democracy since its inception and have been an example and benchmark for the world.
It is our right to voice our opinion freely and openly. Is it democratic to put any constraints to Opinion polls? Is it good for democracy? Will it enrich our democracy? Will it be a serious breach to freedom of speech?
Opinion polls have been in practice since long time and across the world. It is now customary for all the news channels to show the political survey before the actual poll. No one can deny that it has pitfalls and no polls have come close to the actual result. Its authenticity is definitely under a question mark when it is far from actual result. In principle, it is justified to ban as it influences the voters to some extent.
Most of the highly successful and powerful economies of the world have given this right to their people. Why are we shying away? Although the opinion polls can't show the fact but this kind of surveys have their merits. The political parties should take it on their stride and if survey is against someone that means more work is expected to turn the tide.
We have economic surveys being conducted on several areas and policies are made based on the results of those surveys. Poll surveys should be taken in the same way. There can be manipulations in opinion poll surveys but then every survey can be influenced to certain degree, Can we block all of them?
Opinion Polls have become integral part for news channels and all of them are trying hard to come close to actual result. Showing any manipulated data would back fire the channel. Voters are influenced by the work done by the party and not by any survey. Had it been the case, despite the trends were against BJP in Gujarat in 2002 and 2007 in all the opinion polls, people have given a clear mandate to BJP in the state. This kind of survey have been boon for the people as it allows the political party to take cue from the survey and act upon to improve the tally.
Instead of heated debate for its banning, the parties should see through its positive aspect, take steps to rectify the shortcoming within themselves and come strong in the ground of political battle at the time of election.