[New 2020] Voting Behaviour in India – Meaning and Determinants

Introduction – Voting Behaviour in India

Voting behaviour in india – In modern democratic countries, citizens are greatly influenced and inspired by several factors while exercising their right to vote. The study of the factors or situations which, inspire and influence the voters to exercise his right to vote in favour or against a particular candidate is called the study of voting behaviour.

The interest of a person in casting his vote and his value associated with it is called ‘Voting Behaviour’.

According to J.C. Plano, “Voting Behaviour is a field of study concerned with the ways in which people tend to vote in public election and the reasons why they vote as they do”.

Determinants of Voting Behaviour in India 

voting behaviour in india
voting behaviour in india

Before studying the determinants of voting behaviour in india, we have to keep the given below two points in mind :

i) The determinants of voting behaviour are not the same for every person and every country.

ii) The factors of determining voting behaviour change according to time and circumstances and different factors are predominant at different times.

Determinants of voting behaviour in India is affected by the following factors – 

a) Education – 

It is often seen that the educated people take more interest in exercising their right to vote as compared to the illiterate 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 exercising their right to vote.

Thus, education affects voting behaviour in India and with the spread of education the ratio of the use of adult franchise is also increasing and during the election of 16th Lok Sabha, the percentage of voting had gone up to 66.3 8%.

b) Political Awareness-

It is observed that political awareness created from time to time has also affected the voting behaviour in india. Due to a lack of political awareness at the time of the first general election in 1952, only 44.63% voter exercise their right to vote.

With the passage of time as political awareness increased the proportion of voting had also increased.

The percentage of the voters who exercised their right to vote during the various election of Lok Sabha is given below – 

Election year of the Lok Sabha Total no. of     VotersPercentage of votes
195217.60 cr44.63%
195718.30 cr49.20%
196221.60 cr53.53%
196725.00 cr61.32%
197127.27 cr55.27%
197731.83 cr60.00%
198035.12 cr56.60%
198438.92 cr64.1%
198950.00 cr63.00%
199151.40 cr53.00%
199659.10 cr56.72%
199860.00 cr62.2%
199962.04 cr58.3%
200467.05 cr57.86%
200971.42 cr59.4%
201481.45 cr63.38%
voting behaviour in india

c) Casteism – 

Indian society is caste-ridden and casteism affects the voting behaviour in india on a vast scale. It is often seen that different political parties while nominating the candidates and voters while exercising their right to vote give special consideration to the caste of the candidate.

It is generally, seen that most of the voters cast their votes to the candidates of their caste. 

d) Economic Condition of the People – 

The economic condition of the people also affects the voting behaviour in india. It is generally seen that the rich take more interest in elections than the poor because they want to protect their interests. 

They can analyze the political problems. They cast their vote in favour of that party in whose hands they think their interest is safe.

The miserable economic condition of the people is responsible for the low voting ratio.

e) Religion –

Religion also plays an important role in Indian politics or for the voting behaviour in india. Many political parties have been formed on the basis of religion in India. At the time of election different political parties beg the 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. It is often seen that the voters cast their votes in favour of the candidates of their own religion on being influenced by religious feelings.

f) Lingual Controversies –

India is a multi-lingual state. Riots have broken out several times in India on the basis of language. The linguistic disputes affect the voting behaviour of the voters.

For example, DMK secured votes of the people in Tamil Nadu in 1967 and 1971 by making Anti-Hindu propaganda. 

The Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India recognises 22 languages, while the people of different regions want their languages also to be included in the Eighth Schedule. The people of South India make propaganda against the Hindi language and try to create Anti-Hindi feelings among the people.

 g) Ideological Commitment – 

The ideological commitment of the voter also affects the voting behaviour in india. Most of the voters are crazy about the particular ideology and they keep in view the ideology of the candidate and the political party at the time of casting their votes. 

This fact is applicable to the voters who are the supporters of leftist parties. The ideological commitment of the voters who are the supporters of the leftist party is responsible for the success of the leftist front in West Bengal and Kerala.

h) The Election Manifesto of the Political Parties –

The election manifesto of the political party also affects the voting behaviour of the voters to a considerable extent. At the time of elections, different political parties publish their election manifestoes and distribute it among the voters and beg votes from the people on the basis of their election manifestoes. 

i) Charismatic Personalities of Parties Leader –

The charismatic personalities of the leaders also influence the voting behaviour in india. Most of the political parties have been named after the names of their influential leaders. 

At the time of election different political parties beg votes in the names of their prominent and popular leaders. They published their photographs and distribute them among the people.

They also make arrangements for holding their speeches at various places. During the elections of 16th Lok Sabha Sh. Narendra Modi had become the hero of the party and of the people and in these elections, the success of the BJP was in fact the success of our current Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. 

j) Populist Slogans –

Sometimes different political parties raise the popular slogans according to the need of time and affect the voting behaviour in india. For example,  the Congress raise the slogan of “Garibi Hatao” in the 1971 election and Janata Party of Democracy V/s dictatorship in the 1977 election.

Also during the elections of 16th Lok Sabha, the slogan like “Ab ki Baar Modi Sarkar and Har Har Modi Ghar Ghar Modi” had become very popular.

k) Class Interests –

Class interest also influences the various people, voting behaviour in india. It is often seen that capitalists cast their votes in favour of rightist parties whereas poor farmers and laborers vote in favour of the leftist parties.

l) Gender – 

It is often seen in India that women cast their votes according to the wishes of their husbands and they do not use their independent judgment. Moreover, most of the women give priority to female candidates as compared to male ones.

For example, many women voted for the Congress party due to Mrs. Indira Gandhi.

m) Power of Money –

voting behaviour in india
voting behaviour in india

It has been observed that money power also influences the voting behaviour in india on a vast scale.  At the time of the election, the poor allured by the glitter of money and their votes are purchased. In this way, the process of “Give Note and Take Vote” goes on in India. 

n) Performance Report of the Government – 

In India, the wise voters are influenced by the performance of the government and the government which proved true to their expectation is voted to power again.

For example, in the election of 1977, the people voted against the Congress Party because of the atrocities committed by the Congress government during the period of internal emergency and voted against the Janata Party due to the mutual conflict of its members.

o) Personal Relations –

Personal relations of the candidates and voters also affect voting behaviour in india. At the time of the election, candidates visit the home of the voters of their constituency and request them with folded hands to cast their votes to them.

Most of the voters get influenced by their personal visits and cast their votes in their favour.

Besides this, the relatives and friends of candidates also cast their votes in favour of them because of their personal relationship.

p) Party Loyalty – 

In India, many people are attached to different political parties and they always cast their vote in favour of the candidates put up by their party. Many times they know that their candidate was not going to win yet they do not change their party loyalty. Such voters are known as committed voters.

Voting Behaviour in India – Conclusion

From the above account, we conclude that the voting behaviour of voters in India is not influenced by any one particular factor, but by many factors. Different factors are predominant in different regions at different times. 

What do you mean by voting Behaviour?

The study of the factors or situations which, inspire and influence the voters to exercise his right to vote in favour or against a particular candidate is called the study of voting behaviour.

What are the determinants of voting Behaviour?

The determinants of voting behaviour are not the same for every person and every country.
The factors of determining voting behaviour change according to time and circumstances and different factors are predominant at different times.
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Give definition of Voting Behaviour..

According to J.C. Plano, “Voting Behaviour is a field of study concerned with the ways in which people tend to vote in public election and the reasons why they vote as they do”.

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