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Caste can take Various forms in Politics

When parties choose candidates in elections, they keep in mind the caste composition of the electorate and nominate candidates from different castes so as get their support to win elections. When governments are formed, political parties usually make sure that representatives of different castes and tribes find a place in it

  • Political parties and candidates make appeals to caste sentiment. Some political parties are known to favour some castes and are seen as their representatives.
  • People of caste who were treated as low-castes were given importance during elections so that their support can be ensured. Universal adult franchise and the principle of one-person-one-vote compelled political leaders to do this.
  • The focus on caste in politics can sometimes give an impression that elections are all about caste and nothing else. That is not true.
  • No parliamentary constituency in the country has a clear majority of one single caste.
  • No party wins the votes of all the voters of a caste or community.
  • Many political parties may put up candidates from the same caste
  • The ruling party and the sitting MP or MLA frequently lose elections in our country. That could not have happened if all castes and communities were frozen in their political preferences.

Though caste might matter in politics there are other factors that also play an important role. The voters have strong attachment to political parties which is often stronger than their attachment to their caste or community or religion.

Economic conditions also play an important role in politics. Rich and poor or men and women from the same caste often vote very differently. People’s assessment of the performance of the government and the popularity rating of the leaders matter and are often decisive in elections.

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