THE MOST CARED FOR BANK: VOTE BANK

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Political Terminology, The NamoLeague Times
Tags: , , , ,

In the times of recession, when most of the organizations suffered, banks were also one of them. But one bank that is always cared for and is on the upward slide in India, is the Vote Bank.

Vote Bank is a loyal group of voters who belong to a single community. The quality of such voters is that they always support one particular candidate or a party in the democratic elections. This practice is more common in India due to the existence of caste-based social structure that constrains the individual choice while voting. Often, the votes are driven by the expectation of real or imagined benefits from the political formations. This is ultimately considered harmful for a democracy.

The practice of creating and maintaining such Vote banks is called Vote Bank Politics. This term has no actual, universal definition and is exclusively Indian. However, an understanding of the phrase can be articulated – Vote Bank Politics is a political strategy in which a politician or a party concentrates on the well-being of just one particular group of people to win the elections and doesn’t really focus on other groups, or the country/society as a whole.

COINED BY:

The term Vote Bank was first coined by the Indian sociologist MN Srinivas, in his 1955 paper entitled ‘The Social System of a Mysore Village’. The term talked about the political influence exerted by a patron over a client. The phrase was re-used by FG Bailey, an anthropology professor at the University of California, in 1959, in a book entitled ‘Politics and Social Change’. It referred to the caste based politics and electoral influences.

Since then, the term has been used popularly throughout Asian countries and soon expanded to describe Vote Bank Politics based on other community characteristics as well, like religion and language.

Apart from the diversity in social structure in India, one more reason exists why Vote Bank Politics here is rampant. Any election in which people cast their votes, the party or candidate with the maximum votes is the winner. In India, there are several parties and candidates, each representing a group. So among them, whoever gets the maximum votes win. These ‘maximum votes’ may even be as less as 10%. So if the electorate is as diverse as it is in India, all one needs to ensure is to keep one’s ‘Vote Bank’ happy. And be assured of an election win!

Read original article at: http://epaper.namoleague.com/EpaperArticle.aspx?title=The%20Most%20Cared%20For%20Bank:%20Vote%20Bank_606

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