Skip to main content

Allurement to voters: Indian system "isn't yet offering" a genuine electoral process

By Sheshu Babu*
As the election schedule has started, debates on victories and losses of political parties has picked up momentum. Among the factors which are responsible for the outcome, the role of various lucrative offers to people is a topic of intense analysis by media and elite intellectuals.
It is an open secret that huge amount of cash and liquor is distributed specially to the poor masses in villages and towns. Mainstream media and newspapers occasionally report politicians distributing cash and bottles and some of these seized by police.
A nationwide survey involving more than 2.7 lakh people revealed that for 41.34% of respondents, distribution of cash, liquor and freebies was an important factor behind voting a particular candidate in an election according to Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Though 97.86% interviewees felt that candidates with criminal background should not be in Parliament or State Assembly, 35.89% were willing to vote for a candidate with criminal records if the candidate had done good work in the past. The survey has indicated that better job opportunities and healthcare remain among top priorities of voters.
Despite many people against unethical deed of politicians, almost every election season sees large - scale distribution of money and material. Why?
One explanation may be that the targeted people are mostly marginalized sections of society especially Dalits, Adivasis or minorities who live in poverty throughout their lives and when they are offered such things of temporary comfort, they try to accept so that they may have at least 'royal' life for some time.
Temporary sentiment plays a vital role in decisions. The masses do not generally think of long- term effects of voting. They are mainly concerned with their day-to-day life and ways to earn their bread to satisfy hunger of their families.
Factors like age, social class and gender also determine voting pattern. According to market research firm Ipsos-MORI (UK) , voters in social classes D/E are more likely to vote Labour, e.g., in 2017 general elections, 47% of D/E classes chose Labour.
Voters in social classes A/B chose Conservatives. One reason is the historic difference in policies. Similarly, in India, partes like BSP have more voters of dalit sections whereas BJp draws support by wooing upper castes.
Another reason influencing voters relates to region-specific problems. The rise of TRS in Telengana or Asom Gana Parishad in Assam is an example of peoples' aspirations in particular regions. Also, the quality of leadership influences many voters. Reasons may include communicative capability, connection with grass-root people and confidence on leaders.

Problem with system

It is easy to blame poor people for casting vote on the basis of appeasement. But root cause should be analysed. Major problem is with the system which thrives on corruption and influencing poverty-stricken masses by distributing sops and alluring them with abnormal dreams of future.
As long as money and physical material play crucial role in the daily lives of poor, leaders have fair chances of intimidating and duping them and coming to power through devious means. That is why, even though a party or a coalition wins an election, protests, dissent and agitations continue to rock the nation as scores of people come out against anti-people policies.
The present system reflects will of the people only to some extent. There are many people who do not vote or vote NOTA expressing their dissatisfaction with parties and leaders. Every ruling party claims that it has won through thumping majority but in reality, it has only about one-third of votes in favour.
Hence rather than casting aspersions on the poor for the state of polity, an alternative effective and efficient system must be developed which reflects true picture of peoples' will and eliminates corrupt practices including cash, liquor, sops or freebies distribution to garner votes.
This system has not entirely succeeded in genuine electoral process. The on-going imbroglio on EVMs is an illustration of possible manipulations of presenting majority in favour of particular parties or groups .
A better system is essential for clean and corruption - free governance and where masses are not influenced by temporary sops and freebies suffering long - term losses electing dictatorial and fascist rulers who give scant respect to their electorate and their aspirations
---
*The writer from anywhere and every where supports governments with accountability to masses

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".