The Tripura Model :-
Since 1990s to 2005, Tripura have seen a huge no. of militants and terrorism activities and fatalities were on the rise but since 2005 Terrorism activities were on decline as Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar states that “economic and social investments and people’s involvement are essential components of the peace process in the State”.
The progress achieved after 2005 in several indicators of human development — especially in education, health, and employment & landmark repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, or AFSPA, in 2015 which was introduced in 1997, when terrorism was on in the State was an outstanding symbol of the success of this policy.
Growing literacy :-
Literacy has been described as being “the basic personal skill that underlies the whole modernising sequence.” Progress in literacy has been particularly rapid in Tripura over two decades :-
- According to the Census, the share of literate persons above the age of seven years rose from 73% to 87% between 2001 and 2011.
- Data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) indicate that the infant mortality rate (IMR) in Tripura almost halved between 2005-6 and 2014-15, declining from 51 per thousand live births to 27 per thousand.
- According to data from the most recent Sample Registration Bulletin, IMR further declined to 20 per thousand in 2015.
Employment and labour force :-
Peace and security enable the expansion of employment and livelihoods.
- The growth rate of per capita State Domestic Product (SDP) has been over 8% per annum in eight out of the last 10 years (2005-6 to 2014-15).
- In the last four years, when per capita Net Domestic Product of India was growing only at around 5% per annum, per capita SDP in Tripura grew at 9 to 10% a year.
- For the last five to six years, Tripura has ranked first among the States of India with respect to the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). Over this period, the average number of days of employment obtained per household in India ranged between 40 and 50 days.
- A labour force, by definition, includes those in work and seeking work. National Sample Survey (NSS) data show that in rural India, female labour force participation fell from 49% in 2004-5 to 36% in 2011-12. In Tripura, however, over the same period, female Labour Force Participation rose from 17% to 38%.
- The Work Participation Rate (WPR) rose among men and women, rural and urban, over the seven year period. According to NSS data, the female work participation rate in rural Tripura rose from 12% in 2004-5 to 31% in 2011-12.
An important factor in the dramatic rise in work participation rates & labour force participation rates especially among women, has been the improvement in the security environment, which encouraged women to enter the labour force in much larger numbers than before.
What are the challenges ?
- The challenge is to generate adequate employment opportunities to absorb the increasing number of women who will join the work force.
Money can’t always buy votes :-
There is a widely held belief that voters in India, especially the poor, sell their votes in exchange for cash, liquor, saris, and many other such goodies. But we need to look “How these theories of large scale vote buying (patronage and clientelism) in India are myths”..
The question is :-
“Why is there a flow of cash and liquor during elections? And why is there an army of brokers at the local level, often aligned with politicians and parties, helping citizens navigate the State?”
It is indeed true that a candidate with greater resources has a higher probability of winning elections in India. Cash flows during elections not to buy votes but rather to support a campaign. Cash is an important grease to run a smooth campaign machinery for a number of reasons.
- First, parties have weak organisations at the local level and face heavy institutional constraints. Most parties do not have enough committed volunteers to mobilise votes. Money acts as a substitute for the organisation as cash is used to engage vote mobilisers or local individuals who will seek votes for a party and/or candidate.
- Second, money signals resources and power, or access to powerful networks. It allows candidates to mobilise supporters who in turn can pull a crowd together. The role of money as a symbol of power is especially important in a hierarchical society such as India, with the state wielding enormous power.
Lets look at the theory of Money can buy votes is wrong & myth :-
- In her study of the 2012 Mumbai municipal corporation election, Lisa Björkman wrote that spending of money was not reflected in the vote count. The candidate who spent the most came nowhere near winning the seat, while the candidate who won a landslide victory did so with limited spending. She describes distribution of money as an uncertain investment and a leap of faith on the part of the candidate.
- Mary Breeding in her study on the micropolitics of vote banks in Karnataka quotes a Congress worker : “Voters will take our party’s gift, the other party’s gift, and so on. Then they go into the polling booth and vote however they wish…. I know that many voters find these benefits — liquor, saris, and such — to be very insulting. They vote their minds.”
- Philip Oldenburg, who has been studying this question since the 1970s, described a conversation with a Delhi politician who explained to him the role of money and goodies in elections: “Voters basically began to tell politicians that they had to keep the goodies (liquor, cash, and so on) flowing if they wanted their votes. Maybe the politicians would get their votes and maybe they wouldn’t, but they definitely wouldn’t if they didn’t pass out the goodies.”
What does all of this tell us about the role of money in elections?
- Cash and goodies do get distributed during elections, but their influence on vote choice is marginal.
- Competitive populism in Indian politics has led to the development of an “ante-up quid pro quo” system, with politicians and parties forced to put money and goods into the pot before they could play a hand.