The enthusiastic involvement of the most marginalised sections of society is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the recent series of elections. Their active participation, in fact, played a significant role in the success of the winning party: BJP in Gujarat, Congress in Himachal Pradesh and AAP in Delhi.
This political consciousness is not entirely new. CSDS-Lokniti surveys have shown that the subaltern groups – Dalit, tribal communities, and urban poor, and in most cases, women – recognise the significance of their votes. They envisage voting as an effective tool to get involved in the state processes. The popular perception that the poor and apparently voiceless communities do not understand the intricacies of electoral democracy, in this sense, becomes completely wrong.
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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