Voting is the life and soul of democracy. Discuss the major determinants of voting behaviour in India.
- January 25, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPS Topics
Voting behaviour refers to actions and inactions of citizens in respect of participating in the elections that take place for members of their local, regional, or national government. The empirical study Richaed Rose and HarveMassavir point out, voting covers as many as six important functions:-
- It involves an individual’s choice of governors or major governmental policies;
- It permits individuals to contribute to a reciprocal and continuing exchange of influence with officeholders and candidates;
- It contributes to the development of an individual’s allegiance to the existing constitutional regime;
- . It contributes to the development of a voter’s disaffection from the existing constitutional regime;
- It has emotional significance for individuals; and 6. For some individuals, it may be functionless of any emotional or political significant personal consequences.
- The study of voting behaviour has come to be regarded as an important feature of current political research and theorySamuel S. Eldersveld in his article “Theory and Method of Investigating Electoral Behaviour”
- It is often seen that the educated people take more interest in casting their vote as compared to the illiterates because they know the importance of their right to vote and consider the use of this right a national duty.
- They know that they can elect the government of their choice by executing their right to vote.
- during the election of the 16th loksabha, the percentage of voting had gone up to 66.38% which was quite high in comparison to previous elections.
- It means the exceptional quality of a factor and overrides group elements leader that becomes a source of attraction and reverence for the people in large numbers in an opposite sense,
- It also means a source of fear to many people because they do not speak or dare to speak against the wishes of a powerful leader. e.g. Nehru, Indhiragandhi
- Caste continues to be a determining factor in voting behaviour in India. It has deep roots in society and constitutes an important basis for social relations at all levels.
- The politicization of caste and casteism in politics has been a well-known reality of the Indian political system
- The ideological commitment of the voters also effect the voting behaviour most of the voters are crazy about particular ideology and they keep in view the ideology of the candidate and the political party at the time of casting their votes
- Sometimes different political parties raise the populist slogans according to the need of the time and affect the thinking of the voters.
For example, congress raised the slogan of, ‘garibihatao’ in 1971.
Public Esteem of the Candidate:
- A candidate report with the people with a constituency or his known qualities or contribution in any value spread of activity always acts as a factor of voting behaviour.
- In addition to his party loyalty or opinion on various issues and problems, the voter, while making his choice, always takes into account the nature and level of his association with the candidate.
- Each party launches election campaigns on a large scale to influence the voters in its favour. Use of mass gatherings, street gatherings, personal contacts, posters, poster war, movie star speeches, TV and radio broadcasts, newspaper advertising, pamphlets, processions, and propaganda is made to win votes, particularly floating votes.
Influence of money:
- India is a poor country with a large number of people living below the poverty line. Money as such plays a crucial role in determining the behaviour of votes in India.
- A rich candidate or party has more chances of winning the elections always. he process of, ‘give a note and take vote’ goes on in India.I
- n the recent Gujarat election, the 20 richest candidates all won, among whom the richest declared assets of a whopping Rs. 268 crores
- There have been problems in states like that of the status of one particular language in that state, or relating to the quality of the status of a language of a state.
- Since people have an emotional attachment with their languages, they easily get influenced whenever there comes up any issue relating to language. eg, DMK in tamilnadu
- Religion also plays an important role in Indian politics. Many political parties have been formed on the basis of religion in India.
- At the time of elections, different political parties beg votes in the name of religion. They raise the slogan ‘Religion is in danger’ and instigate the religious feelings of the people. While distributing party tickets the religion of the voters and candidates is given due consideration.
India’s political system as a developing democratic political system is progressively training the Indian voters. The process of emergence of an issue-based political struggle in place of caste or religion or personality dominated struggle for power is very slowly but gradually changing. Elections occupy a prominent place in the democratic government. It is a way through which people express and implement their political opinion and control the political organization of society.