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Elections 2009: Low Voting from Middle India (Part 3)

May 7th, 2009 · 58 Comments

Some more thoughts on the poor turnout – and what we can do to change the situation:

  • Heat, etc.: There may have been other factors at work. April-May are India’s hottest months, and this year has seen above average temperatures. But I don’t think that a determined voter will be kept away by heat. After all, it is not that hot early mornings!
  • Digital Voting: I think that it is time India considers e-voting and m-voting options seriously. We have perfected the use of electronic voting machines. Now, we need to take the next step to consider how Internet and mobile voting can become part of the system. This way, even if I am not in the city, I can cast my vote. This will also give millions of NRIs who are not permanently settled abroad an opportunity to vote.
  • Voting should ke kept Optional: I don’t think voting should be made mandatory as some have suggested. Voting is a right, and people need to make their individual decision whether to exercise it or not. What the State needs to do is to remove every possible hurdle in their ability to vote. And that still needs more work.

A combination of a simpler process, better technology and a more engaged political system can definitely lead to increased urban voting percentages.

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58 responses so far ↓

  • 1 kasi // May 7, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Does any politician want that… urban population … middle india vote? I think they
    don’t.

    The equation is very simple…. 40-60% turn-up for voting. If a party gets 25-35% vote wins the seat.

    That is just 10-20% of the whole population… politicians are busy convincing this 10-20% and does not care about the 40-50% middle India vote… One reason being this middle india voters cannot be bought…second being this middle india voters ask too much transparency for their simple vote 🙂

  • 2 Ruchit // May 7, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    I believe a large segment of middle class family remain out of the voting process as because of general attitude is ‘chalta he’. They are unable to translate voting into immediate and/or long term benefits.

    On e-voting, I was expecting more ideas from you Rajesh. What would it take NRIs to get voting rights. I say ‘right’ because even though legally NRIs can vote, but there is no process for it.

  • 3 udaya // May 8, 2009 at 2:01 am

    Could it be lack of issues that keeps people at home? Or that the issues that are being discussed are not relevant to the daily life of the person in question? Or that he/she does not see the necessity for a strong stand on the issues in question.

    I guess that the major problem is historical, in the sense that while we did fight for our freedom from the British, that fight did not include democracy within its ambit, except in the political sense. Indians at the grass roots would have been just as happy with a feudal overlord as with a representational government.

    For India and Indians, democracy came as an embellishment to freedom, a benevolent bequest, and never has it been seriously threatened as in Pakistan or elsewhere. Thus the need for expression, that is critical to proper functioning of a democracy has never come and therefore has not become a national habit.

    I guess that the situation is changing, people are becoming more aware and are willing to talk about it, and the more we talk about it, the more the voting percentage is bound to improve. Let us continue this evangelisation drive and results will come. Over time!

  • 4 devansh // May 31, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    i truely agree with rajesh jains blog…..it is true tht the indians didnt vote because of their laziness nt becse of the heat..proceeding forward i thnk tht the indians shld introduce some technology thru wich the lazy indians can caste their votes through mobile, internets thru this many indians can vote even if they r out for a vacation …the leaders manifestos of this time was very good…..ultimate result was upa becse of the foolishness of lalu prasad yadav

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