State is an instrument in the hands of a nation. One is a whole other is a part of it. State belongs to a nation, or a nation owns a state. It can be better understood by citing an example. Under the British rule, Indian state belonged to British rule, we lived in the British state and India was our nation. Any state takes care of its nation, British rule also served for England and not for India. That is why we demanded swaraj i.e. self-rule (our state). State is also defined in article 12 of the Indian Constitution; Union government, Union Parliament, State Legislatures and State governments, Local bodies and other authorities within the territory of India or under the control of Indian government. When Preamble reads, "To Constitute India into Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic ", here the term India is used as a State and not as a nation.
Sometimes, nation and country (desh) are used as synonyms but they are not the same and the difference is very subtle and abstract. Likewise, there is a subtle difference between a patriot (deshbhakt) and a nationalist (rashtravadi). There was a question in IAS mains related to Rabindra Nath Tagore that he was a patriot and not a nationalist. Generally, the term country is used for rural areas and sometimes underline cultural values and folk traditions. Generally, country denotes natural surrounding. Nation is generally used in a western sense where it means a particular geographical area with political commitment and identity. Country is a natural surrounding where we are born and cannot live without.
Thus, the term patriotism encompasses humanistic values and universal approach. Thus, patriot is one who is ready to live with or die for his natural surroundings, including people irrespective of the nation the natural surrounding situated in. This tendency of a patriot makes patriotism a universal value. To sum up, State is a man created system within or outside nation, country is a natural environment with human population and nation is a feeling of belongingness with that state and country.
Now to the next part of the question i.e. the difference between Western and Indian Nationalism. Western nationalism is a geopolitical expression while the Indian nationalism is a geo-cultural expression. Western nations were created as a consequence of the formation of states. Western nationalism does not discriminate between nation and state. A sovereign state declares itself a nation. Thus, the genesis of Western nationalism is sovereign politics.
Indian nationalism is more a cultural expression than a political one. In Vedic literature, Rashtra(nation) is used for people, not for land. Here, nation is an eternal and living entity. Formation of nation is a cosmic and natural phenomenon than political business.
As a man is not merely an assembly of organs likewise nation is not an assembly of people and land. The soul comes first, generates organs and creates human entity, not vice versa. Likewise, nation comes first and everything rest that belongs to nation created by the cosmic energy of nation called Chiti (soul of nation).
To sum up, western nationalism is an artificial and political business and Indian nationalism is cultural and natural phenomenon.
Lecture link for the above answer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuFtJJpD9gY&t=293s
There had been several election reforms since 1952 to make election transparent. A milestone was set by CEC(Chief of Election Commission) TN Sheshan. Before him, CEC was not known to common man. Still, a lot to be done to make election establish a healthy democratic system. A few of them can be following:
1. The Model Code of Conduct(MCC) which starts with the notification of election should be applied round the year 24×7. If Model Code of Conduct is not applied round the year and making it effective only with a notification of election the very purpose of MCC is defeated. If any candidate has been attending the cast and religious gathering more than 4 years after the previous election it becomes ridiculous to ask that person to behave caste-neutral or religion-neutral after notification.
2. Post-poll alliances should be made illegal. Only pre-post alliances should be allowed. Like 'defection' post-poll alliances also cheat on the conscience of voters because pre-poll alliances are done on the basis of ideology or in the broader interest of the national politics while post-poll alliances are done as a tool of political expediency and wasted interests of the individuals. Those who have fought elections against one-another and hurled tons of abuses on each other come together after elections to form the government. Voters feel cheated like anything. One thing more, prohibition of post-poll alliances will lead to two or three party system that will strengthen ideology based multi-party democratic setup.
3. NOTA should be given real and stronger teeth to make itself effective. Hitherto NOTA is just a ritualistic adjustment in the list of electoral reforms. It is still as ineffective as when it was not ìn existence. If NOTA receives more votes than any candidate then elections of that constituency should be declared null and void. That will force the political parties to field the candidates who are honest, above board and whose integrity is beyond doubt in the opinion of the voters of the constituency and are not rejected by them.
4. As early as possible every voter should receive the slip to get ensured that his vote has gone to the candidate he has voted for.
Last but not the least the election commission should be given more legal and judicial authority to enforce its rules and regulations and punish the culprits.