Everyday assembly elections or by-elections are conducted in India. A vote is the criterion of winning or failure. A vote is worship-worthy in a democracy. Can the votes be divided as Adivasi vote, Hindu vote, Christian vote, Muslim vote etc. in a democracy? Even great leaders do not cling to the principles of democracy. Of course, India is a filthy mess of religions, castes, creeds, and cults. It originated four or five thousands of years ago. Is it not shameful to our society to remain in that old way? It should be broken otherwise our democracy is nothing or meaningless. In a democracy, all votes should have equal status and value. Corruption begins at the start of election and goes on till the formation of the government and during the stint of government corruption crowns and at the end prepare for next election with new corrupt vigour.
What is the standard of our morality? It starts at home. The religions grow it. But here Hinduism is maintained from very olden time. Hinduism is the worst mentality vitiated by slavery, feudalism, fascism, hatred towards other fellow beings, superiority complex of super caste people, an inferior complex of lower caste people, and what not all filthiest things are embedded in the body and mind of every Indian. Conversion to other religions does not make any change. It is adamant. It will perish our society.
The removal of the boundaries between civil society and political society meant that caste now played a huge role in the political arena and also influenced other government-run institutions such as police and the judicial system. Though caste seemed to dictate one’s access to such institutions, the location of that caste also played a pivotal role. If a lower caste were concentrated enough in one area, it could then translate that pocket of the concentration of its caste members into political power and then challenge the hegemony of locally dominant upper caste.
Gender also plays a significant role in the power dynamic of caste in politics. Women’s representation within the political system seems to also be tied to their caste. Lower, more conservative castes have less female participation in politics than upper, more socially liberal, castes. This has caused a disproportionately large number of upper-caste women to occupy political office when compared to their lower caste counterparts. The hierarchy of caste and its role in politics and access to power and resources has created a society of patron-client relationships along caste lines. This staunchly rigid structure was most prevalent during the Congress-dominating period. This eventually led to the practice of vote banking, where voters back only candidates that are in their cast, or officials from which they expect to receive some kind of benefits.
Contemporary India, however, has seen the influence of caste start to decline. This is partly due to the spread of education to all castes which has had a democratising effect on the political system. However, this equalising of the playing field has not been without controversy. The Mandal Commission and its quota system has been a particularly sensitive issue. Historically, it has been very hard to change the structure of caste politics in India. More recently, however, there has been a flux in caste politics, mainly caused by economic liberalisation in India. This upsurge in lower-caste empowerment was accompanied in some regions by a spike in the level of corruption. This was partly due to lower caste perceiving development programs and rule of law as tools used by the upper caste to subjugate lower castes. Indian democracy and the elections are binding on caste feeling and that is not good for a developing country like ours.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)