The Indian voter is a thorough informed and a clever voter, this was an observation of the famous late Balasaheb Thackeray. He believed this because he was a journalist prior to taking an active role in politics. He was one of the most out-spoken right-wing leaders to have touched the heights of national fame because he was in spirit a voice of the masses.
In a study conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms, which was conducted in the beginning months of his year for over 2.77 lakh aspirants, the trends gave a very serious outcome. The Indian history saw the rise of people who struggled and were oppressed by the British Raj to reach to the provincial councils and the national political arena. Their rise was followed by a past of being jailed, though, our modern-day politicians also hold similar background but, it was different in the past.
The survey conducted by the ADR was the most exhaustive of the kind and it threw a great deal of information about the preferences of the Indian voter. With the elections to the Gujarat and the Himachal Assembly at bay, these pan India voter behaviours hold a key to the election of representatives in the near future. The study’s focus was on the choice of candidate. We have been doing a lot of lip service about the caste based politics being pursued in our nation for the past so many years. The respondents of the survey also showed a profound inclination towards the caste/religion of the candidate in the fray.
Recently, this author had the opportunity to pair up with the process of ticket allotment and surveys being conducted for candidates to be fielded for the Indian National Congress in the district of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The district will elect its new municipal councillors on the 22nd of December. The method of choosing the candidates for any particular electoral constituency begins with the caste/religion demography of that constituency. The candidates who have a prominent position in the society, which is the win-ablility factor plays a dominant role later.
The voter in our country from all the regions shows an inclination to the caste and the religion of the voter. This particular fact has been affirmed by not only the study but the voter trends in subsequent election of the past.
The shift in the voter preference has to start from our households. The survey did not disclose the age group of the voters but the future of the country holds a different view of the world altogether. The Modi juggernaut has taken its roots on the agenda of development in the hearts of the average Indian. Yet the caste politics in states is more prominent, the youth seems to have taken a different course. The issues that decide the fate of the candidates have to be more precise and the trends will change in the future. The need of the hour is to spread collective awareness about the need for infusing the caste with class, and move towards a cohesive social base not relying on the electoral gambles of the political analysts.