9 Rare Photos Show the Birth of the World's Largest Democracy

9 Rare Photos Show the Birth of the World's Largest Democracy

Monday marked the beginning of the world's largest democratic exercise: Between April 7 and May 12, more than 1.2 billion citizens in India will vote to select their new government. 

Take a look at these incredible photographs from India's first-ever general election, held 62 years ago in 1952. The scale of the operation was immense, with the New York Times declaring it an "unprecedented experiment in democracy."

Epitomizing the inherent hope of a nation engaged in a democratic process, the pictures range from long queues of voters waiting outside polling stations to political campaigns captured in action.

1. A man carries his blind, elderly father to vote in the Jama Masjid area of Delhi.

2. A voter looks for the election symbol of his choice candidate.

3. A long line of women voters wait to cast their votes at Modern High School in New Delhi.

4. A polling officer affixes an indelible ink mark on the forefinger of a voter before allowing her to vote.

5. Specially designed burglar-proof steel ballot boxes held the ballots.

6. An elderly Muslim woman voter identifies herself before being issued ballot papers.

7. A campaign truck shows a portrait of Shri Jawaharlal Nehru and pair of bullocks, the election symbol of the party.

8. Women work at the election camp office of candidate Shri Durga Das, whose symbol was a bicycle.

9. Muslim women wait to vote near Jama Masjid.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Iva Dixit

Iva Dixit is a newly minted journalist-in-progress, working towards a Master's Degree from Columbia Journalism School. Her interests include gaps of all kinds: culture, gender, wage and thigh. Ask her a question or tell her your story.

MORE FROM

Senate bill would make it a federal crime to boycott Israeli settlements

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720) would make it a felony to support international efforts to boycott Israeli occupation.

3 takeaways from Jon Huntsman’s nomination as ambassador to Russia

Huntsman may be a steady hand on the wheel — but with little direction and Russia expertise, Trump's nominee has a challenging road ahead.

Hundreds expect to be arrested during D.C. health care protests

One organizer said "600 people or so" had signed up to be arrested.

The truth about what cycling in the Tour de France does to your body

Is that normal? Let some experts explain.

Who is Jon Huntsman? Here’s what to know about Trump’s pick for ambassador to Russia.

The former Utah governor comes to the position with ambassadorial experience — and a fraught history with Trump.

Senate bill would make it a federal crime to boycott Israeli settlements

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720) would make it a felony to support international efforts to boycott Israeli occupation.

3 takeaways from Jon Huntsman’s nomination as ambassador to Russia

Huntsman may be a steady hand on the wheel — but with little direction and Russia expertise, Trump's nominee has a challenging road ahead.

Hundreds expect to be arrested during D.C. health care protests

One organizer said "600 people or so" had signed up to be arrested.

The truth about what cycling in the Tour de France does to your body

Is that normal? Let some experts explain.

Who is Jon Huntsman? Here’s what to know about Trump’s pick for ambassador to Russia.

The former Utah governor comes to the position with ambassadorial experience — and a fraught history with Trump.