Skip to main content

Majority of Gujarat electorate don’t think voting is their right or duty: EC Survey

By Rajiv Shah 
A recent survey, carried out under the auspices of the Election Commission of India’s Gujarat office, has found that, despite a high voter turnout, the electorate are generally indifferent towards the political process. A counterview.org report:
The Knowledge, Attitude, Behaviour, Belief and Practices (KABBP) survey, carried out this year by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Gujarat State, has revealed clear voter indifference in the political process, with only 37.42 per cent of the voters saying that “voting is their right and duty”. The survey was carried out in two phases – first in February 2013 and then in June-August 2013 – as part of the Election Commission of India’s (ECI’s) Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) initiative with the aim to find out how successful have various interventions been “for increased electoral participation in Gujarat”, even as identifying “possible factors and reasons of the (voters’) participation or non-participation in the election process.”
While in the first phase, held in February 2013, as many as 6,388 voters from 104 polling booths located in 26 assembly constituencies in as many districts were interviews, in the second phase, in June-August 2013, about 5,040 voters in 80 polling booths in 21 constituencies of 19 districts were selected. “The sample areas were chosen to represent the rural-urban, general and reserved (scheduled castes and scheduled tribes) constituencies of the state”, the study says, adding, “Special care was taken to ensure that female high and low voter turnout was also represented in the sample.” The survey was commissioned to the postgraduate departments of business management and social work of the Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand district.
Important “reasons for voting” identified by majority of voters, interestingly, was not their duty and right to vote, but that they “possessed a voter slip” and it was a “good and right thing to do.” Political indifference towards the voting process was also found to be prevalent when majority of those who surveyed – 58 per cent of the respondents – said they “did not feel the need for reforms in the election process”. In the second phase of the survey, 771 voters out of 6,414, or 12 per cent, did not vote, did not vote because they were not there in their constituency, or the timing as at odds with their working hours, or they did not have the electoral photo identity card (EPIC) or their name was missing, or that “because they felt nothing would change.”
The voters identified several difficulties in the democratic process, of which they are a part. Thus, the survey also found that 54.8 per cent of the respondents felt there was an “excessive use of money in the elections, leading to corruption in politics.” Further, as many as 34.96 per cent of the respondents felt that perceived “security threat of any nature during the elections”. The KABBP study found that “greater threat was perceived by urban electors compared to other regions”, but did not give separate figures of the two areas. Nor did it say what type of threats voters in such large numbers perceive. Not without reason, the survey found that 22.51 per cent of the respondents did not agree with the view that “our democratic process is successful or very successful”, to quote from the study.
The voters also identified several problems in the electoral process itself. Thus, as many as 40 per cent of the respondents said it was not easy to get the EPIC. And of these, 15.96 per cent felt that it was difficult to get EPIC because of “long procedure, unfriendly officials, and inaccessibility of the concerned office.” Further, 30 per cent of the electorate did not think that their experience while voting in the 2012 was “good” or “very good.” While large number of respondents (86.8 per cent) said they “did not face any difficulty in voting”, as many as 21.79 per cent of the respondents said that the polling staff was not cooperative. Further, while only “a handful” complained of political coercion, the problems they identified included “long queues at booths, no separate line for senior citizens, lack of drinking water, toilets and ramps at the booths.”
Identifying another problem, the KABBP study says, as many as 69.44 per cent of the respondents “were not aware of the existence of Matdar Sahayata Kendras (MSKs — Voter Facilitation Centres).” It claims, “out of those who were aware of the MSKs 57 per cent had visited the centres and 83 per cent were satisfied with the services of the centres”. Then, majority of the respondents were aware of the existence of a voter list, even then as many as 9.16 per cent were not aware of it. The study adds, “Out of these, a total of 94.82 per cent respondents had their names present in the voter list; 86.84 per cent respondents were aware of minimum age for being on the voters’ list; 34.10 per cent respondents got information related to inclusion of their name in the list through personal sources; and 86.86 per cent reported their names were correctly noted in the voters’ list.”
At the time of voting, significantly, 58.77 per cent voters said the candidate was the “most influencing factor of voting preference.” The study underlined, “Other influences were community or caste leader, spouse, head of family, friends and religious or spiritual leader.” As for voter awareness campaign carried out by the CEO, Gujarat State, 56.8 per cent said they were “aware” that it was launched to “educate voters.” Most of the time they got “educated” about voting through the mass media – newspapers (24.3 per cent), Doordarshan or government TV (16.4 per cent), posters, hoardings and publicity material (17.5 per cent), cable TV (6.19 per cent), All India Radio (5.88 per cent), FM Radio channels (5.55 per cent), and educational institution (5.11 per cent).
The study says, “The baseline KABBP study helped identify gaps in previous voters’ education interventions as well as in obtaining a deeper insight into the psyche of the target audience. It helped in designing and planning of SVEEP activities in a more focused manner. Based on the findings of the baseline study, several interventions to increase voter registration and voter turnout were identified, planned and implemented across the state with district-wise variations based local requirements.” At the same time, the study admits that SVEEP is still a “learning by doing phenomenon, whereby the (Office of the CEO) modified/ added/ deleted in its plans depending on the feedback from the ground level implementation.”

Comments

TRENDING

Only 15% businesses provide employees real-time sustainability dashboards: Study

Kyndryl in collaboration with Microsoft has released the findings of The Global Sustainability Barometer study. The study, conducted by Ecosystm, finds that while 85% of organizations place a high strategic level of importance on achieving their sustainability goals, only 16% have integrated sustainability into their strategies and data. A Kyndryl note: *** Kyndryl (NYSE: KD), the world’s largest IT infrastructure services provider, in collaboration with Microsoft , today released the findings of The Global Sustainability Barometer study. The study, conducted by Ecosystm , finds that while 85% of organizations place a high strategic level of importance on achieving their sustainability goals, only 16% have integrated sustainability into their strategies and data.

How the slogan Jai Bhim gained momentum as movement of popularity and revolution

By Dr Kapilendra Das*  India is an incomprehensible plural country loaded with diversities of religions, castes, cultures, languages, dialects, tribes, societies, costumes, etc. The Indians have good manners/etiquette (decent social conduct, gesture, courtesy, politeness) that build healthy relationships and take them ahead to life. In many parts of India, in many situations, and on formal occasions, it is common for people of India to express and exchange respect, greetings, and salutation for which we people usually use words and phrases like- Namaskar, Namaste, Pranam, Ram Ram, Jai Ram ji, Jai Sriram, Good morning, shubha sakal, Radhe Radhe, Jai Bajarangabali, Jai Gopal, Jai Jai, Supravat, Good night, Shuvaratri, Jai Bhole, Salaam walekam, Walekam salaam, Radhaswami, Namo Buddhaya, Jai Bhim, Hello, and so on.

देशव्यापी ग्रामीण भारत बंध में उतरे मध्य प्रदेश के आदिवासी, किया केंद्र सरकार का विरोध

हरसिंग जमरे, भिखला सोलंकी, रतन अलावे द्वारा* 15 और 16 फरवरी को निमाड के बड़वानी, खरगोन और बुरहानपुर में जागृत आदिवासी दलित संगठन के नेतृत्व में आदिवासी महिला-पुरुषों ग्रामीण भारत बंद में रैली एवं विरोध प्रदर्शन किया । प्रधान मंत्री द्वारा 2014 में फसलों की लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव देने का वादा किया गया था, 2016 में किसानों की आय दुगना करने का वादा किया गया था । आज, फसलों का दाम नहीं बढ़ रहा है, लेकिन खेती में खर्च बढ़ता जा रहा है! खाद, बीज और दवाइयों का दाम, तीन-चार गुना बढ़ चुका है! किसानों को लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव देने के बजाए, खेती को कंपनियों के हवाले करने के लिए 3 काले कृषि कानून लाए गए । 3 काले कानून वापस लेते समय प्रधान मंत्री ने फिर वादा किया था कि फसलों की लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव की कानूनी गारंटी के लिए कानून बनाएँगे, लेकिन वो भी झूठ निकला! आज जब देश के किसान दिल्ली में आपको अपना वादा याद दिलाने आए है, तब आप उनका रास्ता रोक रहें है, उनके साथ मारपीट कर उन पर आँसू गैस फेंक रहें हैं, उन पर छर्रों से फायरिंग कर रहें है! देश को खिलाने वाला किसान खुद भूखा रहे, क्या यही विकास है?

Tamil Nadu brahmins are at cross roads, their future scenario remains uncertain

By NS Venkataraman*  For over 70 years now, brahmin community in Tamil Nadu have been abused, insulted and even physically attacked on some occasions by those who claimed that they were part of the so called dravidian movement. However, brahmin community silently and helplessly ducked under pressure and showed no signs of resistance or fight back.

Laxmanpur Bathe massacre: Perfect example of proto-fascist Brahmanical social order

By Harsh Thakor  The massacre at Laxmanpur-Bathe of Jehanabad in Bihar on the night of 1 December in 1997 was a landmark event with distinguishing features .The genocide rightly shook the conscience of the nation in the 50th year of Indian independence. The scale of the carnage was unparalleled in any caste massacre. It was a perfect manifestation of how in essence the so called neo-liberal state was in essence most autocratic. 

How Mahakavi Sri Sri defined political and cultural metamorphosis of Telugu society

By Harsh Thakor  Srirangam Srinivasarao, popularly known as Sri Sri, or called Mahakavi (The Great Poet), held a reputation like no other Telugu poet. Today, on June 15th, we commemorate his 40th death anniversary. Sri Sri transcended heights in revolutionary creativity or exploration, unparalleled, in Telegu poetry, giving it a new dimension. His poems projected the theme or plight of the oppressed people at a scale, rarely penetrated by poets, giving revolutionary poetry it’s soul.

1982-83 Bombay textile strike played major role in shaping working class movement

By Harsh Thakor  On January 18th, 1982 the working class movement commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Textile Workers Strike that lasted for 18 months, till July 1983. It was landmark event that played a major role in shaping the working class movement. With more than 2.5 lakh workers from 65 textile mills joining in this strike for almost two years, this strike became one of the most significant strikes in terms of scale and duration All democrats should applaud the mill workers’ united battle, and their unflinching resilience an death defying courage continues to serve as a model for contemporary working-class movements. Many middle class persons harboured opinions that the Textile workers were pampered or were a labour aristocracy, ignorant of how they were denied wages to provide for basic necessities. The Great Bombay Textile Strike is notably one of the most defining movements in the working class struggles in Post-independent India. Bombay’s textile industry flourished in

India may be fastest growing economy, but it is one of the most unequal countries

By Vikas Parasram Meshram  The economic disparity gap continues to widen with economic disparity.  A large portion of the population is dispossessed, while the poor continue to get poorer. They struggle to earn a minimum wage and access quality education and health care, suffering disinvestment from persistently low incomes. These widening gaps and growing inequalities have the greatest impact on women and children.  The Oxfam International report is known to have expressed concern that, on the one hand, the wealth of some people in the world is increasing at a rocket speed.  And the number of rich people is constantly increasing. As a result, the income of the common man is increasing very little, while the wealth of the rich class has increased manifold.  Not only in India but in many other countries of the world, the gap of economic inequality is continuously widening. Oxfam International in its annual report on economic inequality at the World Economic Forum meeting last month, sai

Adapting to edge: Urban and coastal climate resilience - fostering collaborative alliances

By Enid Dsouza  Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) India hosted a workshop on ‘Adapting to the Edge: Urban and Coastal Climate Resilience’ as part of the Climate Action Workshop Series in New Delhi. The workshop brought together experts, practitioners, government bodies, CSR leaders to initiate dialogues on fostering nature-based solutions for a climate-resilient future.

Israel's merciless bombing of Rafah faced huge protests across the globe

By Harsh Thakor*  With the numbers of the murdered in Gaza surpassing 28,000 people, Israel mercilessly conducted bombing to prepare for a genocidal attack on the displaced people in Rafah. Peoples of the world keep rose up like a spark turning into a prairie fire.