Party symbols were instituted at a time when a really good population of the world was illiterate. Its major theme was to make sure that illiterate people also vote and take decisions. Symbols also began to represent the ideologies for which a party stood for. It also became emotionally attached to voters.
But now, the question is whether we have a need for party symbols. Now many countries have a great literacy rate some of them well above 95%. It will increase and improve in coming years as well. So in a situation where all voters can read and write, why would a party symbol be necessary. Can the party symbols die down easily. Imagining an election or a party without a symbol looks so awkward. Symbols have become an inseparable part of a party and elections.
Party symbols can bring up an unfair advantage to a particular group or other though election commission tries to maintain that inequality to the minimum. Some symbols may help to gain votes of particular sects or communities. So can’t the system of symbols be abolished in future.
Now the next idea is to replace symbols with something better and more efficient. One such idea was to replace symbols with the photograph of the candidate. Now in many elections photograph of candidates accompany the election symbols. It was done to remove the influence of namesake candidates whose sole aim is to cut through the votes of the candidate of their similar name. Why is the need to print an icon as well as the photograph of the candidate when photograph itself can suffice both needs. But some argue that in a parliamentary democratic system like ours, leaders do not need too much of a prominence. Some agree that substituting party symbol with photograph of a candidate could be better option in presidential systems. But in a parliamentary system like ours, this would disturb the basic fabric of the working of the democracy.
The splendid picture of streets covered with symbols of different colours and different figures are the parts of ceremonies of the festival called election. Let us wait and see how will this evolve in the coming years.