Friday, April 10, 2009

Yogendra Yadav on Six Myths about Indian Elections

Over at BBC. Here's an extract from the section on the alleged apathy towards politics:

In advanced democracies, as you come down the various tiers - from national to local elections - the turnout of voters goes down.

In India, it is exactly the opposite: the turnout in federal elections tends to be around 60%, in the state elections it is around 70% and when it comes to village council elections it is anything upwards of 80%.

Most important, our democracy defies what was once considered a law of political participation in the world: the higher up you are in the socio-economic hierarchy, the more you participate in politics and voting.

In India, evidence shows that the poor "untouchables" vote more than upper castes. The poor vote as much, if not more, than the urban middle classes. Rural areas vote more than urban areas. Women vote almost as much as men do.

In other words there is no connection between social hierarchy and participation in politics.

Rather than voter apathy and indifference, there has been a participatory upsurge for democracy in India.


  1. Anonymous said...

    One query regarding the other democracies with which India is being compared. Are they all developed countries by any chance, which may happen to have opposite characters in comparison to India like more rich than poor? If so, at least the second point maybe inline with what is observed.

  2. Anonymous said...

    There isn't much to do around here except to procreate and vote.