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Why people don't cast their votes?
Lok Sabha elections 2014 is seeing comparatively good percentage of voters turning out to exercise their voting rights. So far elections have held for around 100 seats across the country and voting percentage has crossed the mark of 60 per cent almost everywhere.
In 2009 Lok Sabha elections the voter turn-out was 58.17 per cent and in 2004 it was 58.07 per cent, though we can see a gradual rise in the voting percentage, but the rise is not that appreciable.

Even if the voting percentage has crossed the mark of 60 per cent this elections, but there are still 40 per cent voters who do not cast their votes. Experts have different opinion on the visible and invisible reasons behind this.

Dr. Anand Pradhan, Associate Professor at Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi gave five different reasons for which people do not to cast their votes:

  1. People feel that their is no point in going to booth to vote, which is ultimately not a real choice.

  2. Rich and middle class people think that politics does not matter to them, because they have power of money. Hence, we see more votes from the poor people.

  3. Lack of political awareness. Many people feel that political system is not for them, as political affair is a very closed system in India.

  4. Democracy and voting is a 5-year affair, and in between their is no role of common man.

  5. Dominance of money power and muscle power in politics, makes middle class and educated people away from it.

Dr. Pradhan also added, ?Government should implement few things, which bring the common man more closer to the system. For e.g. exercising the right to recall, and few similar kind of policies.?

Dr. Vivek kumar, Professor of Sociology at JNU feels that there are many unforced reasons which make the people not to caste their votes. ?It depends on 'monolithic poll', there is a regional and economical diversity in the country which directly impacts the polling. Elites of the society, don't want to go and leave their comfort zone to caste vote. Therefore, the rural voting is higher than the urban voting.?

Kumar being an expert on Dalit issues, also explained about Dalit voting percentage. ?Before 80s, Dalits were excluded from this process and were not allowed to take part in political decisions, but after 1985-86, because of the intervention of Bahujan Samaj Party, Dalits started voting, and now 70-80 per cent Dalits participate in this process.?

He also added, ?Still, in many places in our country like West UP, East UP and Haryana, Dalits are not allowed to vote.? He says that voting is a social action and not casting your vote is like, 'not performing your constitutional duty and not exercising your legitimate right'. So every person should cast their vote.

MC Raj, who runs a campaign for electoral reforms in India feels that the country has multi-cultural, multi-democratic and multi-parties, and this system of election does not suit to it. He says, ?We have borrowed this system of election from British legacy, and it does not suit us. We need a system which is proportionate. With the British system of voting, their is a huge wastage of votes, the people think that their vote is getting wasted and then they gradually loose their interest in voting.?

Dr. Manish Gupta, a psychologist, believes that during the present elections the voting percentage will increase because of the various efforts taken by the Election Commission.

?The primary feeling of the people is that 'their vote won't count', and they don't feel empowered. But this time the Election Commission, digital media and electronic media has done a good job by increasing the awareness of the people. Now casting your vote is something to feel proud about, and hence people wants to vote now. Probably this will help in increasing the voting percentage this time, said Dr. Gupta.

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