120 mobility and high aspirations I propose to utilize information on the

In document Internal migration and political change in India : a case study of a new industrial town (Page 177-185)

type of action suggested by respondents to solve their local problems, to find out the patterns of political support.

Mobility and Party Support in Bhilai

Our data on Bhilai did not suggest any definite relationship between occupational mobility and party support. It may be observed in Table V.7 that the application of the Chi Square test did not confirm our hypothesis that occupational mobility patterns and party support patterns were likely to be interdependent. The data however, brought out some

interesting suggestive patterns. Though the Congress was supported by more than 50 per cent in each category support for it was relatively higher among those who were stable (61%) and among those who moved up

(58%) than among those who moved down (52%). On the other hand the proportion of support for the Jana Sangh was the highest (20%) among those who moved up, next highest among those who were stable (14%) and lowest among those who moved down (11%). The support pattern in relation to the Communists was just the reverse.

An examination of the basic data also reveals that among those who moved up the Jana Sangh vote increased from 7 per cent in 1962 to

25 per cent in 1967, and the Congress vote steeply declined from 70 per cent in 1962 to 49 per cent in 1967. The major gains of the Communists came from among those who moved down (from 17 to 33%). We have however to treat these patterns with great caution because our occupational mobility data were based on a comparison between the first and the present jobs of the respondents and the shifts in party choice were between 1962 and 1967. We do not precisely know the occupational mobility patterns of respondents between 1962 and 1967. In addition not all respondents voted in 1962 and 1967.

One's Own Welfare and Party Support

The above patterns of party support were further confirmed in relation to solutions suggested by respondents to solve local problems. In general both in Bhilai and Raipur those who were contented, those who thought that there was nothing that they could do to solve the local problems were more likely than others to support the Congress


Party Supported by Solutions Suggested to Local Problems

Solution suggested by respondent to local problems

Total (N)

Party supported by respondent





Jana Sangh


Communis ts % Other parties


Bhilai Resignation, no problem 350 67 15 13 5 100 Mass action 219 46 17 32 5 100 Total 569 59 16 20 5 100 Raipur Resignation, no problem 322 70 16 6 8 100 Mass action 180 55 18 16 11 100 Total 502 66 16 9 9 100

Note : Respondents who did not report the party they supported are excluded from the above table.


advocated mass action to solve local problems and to protect workers'

interests were more likely than others to support the Communists. In other words those who wanted to pressure the government for rapid socio-economic changes tended to support the Communists. The variations in support for Jana Sangh in relation to the above variables were only marginal.

Explanation for Variations in Party Support

The patterns of party support appear to have been based on two considerations. The first was the actual mobility achieved by the respon­ dents in their careers and their perception whether their welfare had been improving, getting worse or was the same over the past decade. This perception and the consequent feeling of deprivation or fulfilment in their turn were dependent on the frame of reference and level of expecta­ tions of respondents. Secondly, the image of a particular party as an agent of change or ensurer of status quo or as a middle party was directly related to the patterns of party support.

a) Expectations of the middle class

The expectations of the middle class occupational groups were high. Quite a few of them believed that the opportunities for upward

mobility were low or that their rightful share (promotion, increment, etc.) was denied because of favouritism and nepotism. They were highly critical of the government administration and blamed the working class for low pro­ ductivity .

'Both politicians and administrators are faction-oriented on 6

the basis of language, region and caste. There are no uniform rules and regulations. Tell me the name of the officer then 1 will state the rules and regulations applicable in practice. For example, my juniors who were less qualified were promoted over my head. Nobody works sincerely. I honestly feel that our country needs a dictator who can impose some sort of discipline, organization and devotion to work* (Manager of Safety Engineering Department).

'We discuss other countries also. We always hear about people going abroad to Canada and the USA. We hear the opportunities available there and how much salary they get there. Among the engineers, 'going abroad' is a common topic of discussion' (A Senior Design Engineer).


of the. public undertakings to give each man a fair deal. I know that this is the worry of many people. When a person feels secure with regard to his job and line of promotion, he can put his mind to work' (General Foreman in Charge, Roll Turning and Repairs Shop).

The three respondents who made the above comments started their employment career in Bhilai with a salary of about 250 rupees a month about 10 to 12 years ago. All three of them secured a minimum of four promotions and were drawing about 1400 to 1800 rupees a month at the time of the survey Their criticism of the government was typical of the high level officials. Being high level officials they had first hand knowledge of corruption, favouritism and nepotism. And they unhesitatingly attributed the ineffic­ iency to the party in power. But at the same time they were critical of the Communists who advocated radical economic and administrative changes. Some of these officers who had experience in the private sector also made objective comparisons between the two. 'I am not much informed about the political developments in the country. I can only narrate my experiences in the workshop. The plant is overstaffed and under-worked... having worked in a private sector factory I was taught to be a disciplin­ arian. I insist on extracting full work from employees. I attend my

workshop punctually and insist that all my subordinates should do the same. They do not like this. Everybody wants me to sign overtime which they had not done. Workers do not do their duties and management cannot impose discipline. How can we achieve targets?' said a foreman in the mechanical maintenance section.

This state of affairs was nicely summed up by the Deputy Chief Engineer when he said during the interview: 'People are dissatisfied here because they have never seen the outside world in this country. They

earned promotions which they did not deserve. I recruited engineers before they passed out of their colleges. They earned four promotions within ten years. This is the highest rate of mobility in this country. They should be grateful for what they have got. Their rate of promotion made them over-estimate themselves. Now the pace of promotion is slow because all the posts are already filled up. Hence they are disgruntled'. Irres­ pective of the value judgments involved in the above assessment, the ground for anti-government and anti-Congress attitudes is obvious enough.


b) Expectations of working class

The situation was altogether different with regard to the occu­ pational groups in the working class. The expectations of the labourers were low. Their main demands were food, shelter, clothing, and children's

education at reasonable prices. Their frame of reference was highly related to the local opportunity structure. 'Those who joined along with me were given advance increments I was not given', 'the management should allot me better accommodation', 'we should have more drinking water facil­ ities' , 'we should have an elementary school for our children in our mother tongue' were the typical responses of this category of respondents. The labourers, in fact, were more appreciative of their improved position. A majority of these were previously irregularly employed hired labourers

living in dilapidated thatched huts, with no reticulated water and elec­ tricity facilities. I can recall dozens of respondents whom I interviewed personally and who were proud of their regular pay packet, single room flat, reticulated drinking water and electricity facilities compared to the miserable standard of living they had back at home. In terms of social service done and votes secured the input and output ratio was quite high for the Congress among these sections.

Those who were stable within their groups in the middle class occupations or those who moved upward supported the Jana Sangh equally, not because the party was highly regarded as an agent of change but as a measure to protect the religious and traditional values while those who moved downwards voted for the Communist party which preached radical socio-economic changes.

Support for the. Jana Sangh in Raipur

In Raipur the support secured by the Jana Sangh among those stable, within the middle class occupational groups was high for slightly different reasons. Here the middle class stable respondents were mostly businessmen. They opted for the Jana Sangh both for religious and secular reasons. The Jana Sangh, apart from appealing to the Hindu sentiments strongly pleaded for protection of the interests of small businessmen.

But the image of the party was not the same in all social sections. In the business community it was recognized as the party with high regard for traditional values.


Among the labourers who supported the Congress or the Communists the Jana Sangh earned the reputation of being a party of businessmen. Further, in the minds of labourers, businessmen were invariably associated with black marketing, high prices, and big profits. This image of the Jana Sangh was well described when a rickshaw puller I interviewed said,

'It is a party of businessmen. They were the people who hoisted'Jana Sangh flags at every election. They never sold us things at fair prices'.

On the other hand, in the intermediate social groups and lower civil servants, the Jana Sangh was also recognized as an agent of change. The selfless and disciplined workers and the well-knit organization of the Jana Sangh appealed particularly to these sections who saw the party as an effective challenger to the Congress, which in their opinion misruled

the country.

The conclusions can be summarized as follows. In both Bhilai and Raipur occupationally stable respondents gave higher than average support to the Congress. Here again stable middle class respondents gave less than average support and stable working class respondents gave more than average support to the Congress. Upwardly mobile respondents gave con­ siderably more than average support to the Jana Sangh and the Congress and those who moved down tended to support the Communists. But what was the proportion of total variation in the support of different parties accounted for by the variables of mobility?


Regression Analysis -- Bhilai

The proportion of total variation in party support accounted for by the variables of territorial movement and occupational mobility was the highest in relation to the support for the Communists and the lowest in relation to the support for the Jana Sangh. Of the three classes of independent dummy variables based on political complexion of the state of origin, perception of whether one's own life was getting better or worse


over the past ten years, and occupational mobility, the first class of dummy variables emerged as the most effective one. The effects of percep­ tion of one's own life and occupational mobility were nearly significant but the proportion of total variation in party support accounted for by them was little. The findings of the regression analysis were consistent with the observations made earlier from two-way and three-way tables.


Regression Model:

Dependent Variable: Proportion of Support for

the Congress (Bhilai)

Number of cases = 569

Constant term = + O.SSl^

Coefficient of determination (R ) = ,042


'Strong-Communist' state 'Strong-Jana Sangh' state

Regression F Value coefficient - 0.119 3.339 0.103 2.683 TABLE V . 10 Regression Model:

Dependent Variable: Proportion of Support for

the Jana Sangh (Bhilai)

Number of cases = 569

Constant term = + 0.177

Coefficient of determination (R^) = .023

Variables Regression F Value


'Strong-Communist' state - 0.103 10.812

0.058 3.039


a) Congress

In relation to the support for the Congress the dummy variables of 'strong-Communist' and 'strong-Jana Sangh' states of origin produced F values above the ten per cent significance level. The direction of

association of the former was negative and of the latter positive. The proportion of total variation accounted for by these two dummy variables was only 4.2 per cent. Yet the conditional probability of a migrant

from a ’strong-Jana Sangh' state supporting the Congress was as high as .684, while that from a 'strong-Communist' state was as low as .462 (TABLE V.9). In a separate model the dummy variables of occupational stability and upward occupational mobility had only marginal positive

effects on the support for the Congress. The F values of both these dummy variables were not statistically significant. The proportion of total variation accounted for by these dummy variables was less than one per

cent. The same pattern was also observed in relation to the class of dummy variables based on perception of one's own life.

b) Jana Sangh

In relation to the support for the Jana Sangh the dummy variables of 'strong-Communist' state of origin and upward occupational mobility produced F values above the 10 per cent significance level. Of the above two dummy variables, the direction of association of the former was

negative and that of the latter was positive. The proportion of total variation accounted for by these two dummy variables was only 2.3 per cent. But it is interesting that the conditional probability of a migrant

from 'strong-Communist' states supporting the Jana Sangh was as low as .074, while that of those who moved occupationally upward was .235 and of those who migrated from 'strong-Communist' states and also moved

occupationally upward was .132 (TABLE V.10). Other variables did not show any significant effect on the support for the Jana Sangh.

c) Communists

In relation to the party support for the Communists, the dummy variable of 'strong-Communist' state of origin emerged as the most effective and statistically significant independent variable and the proportion of total variation accounted for by it alone was 10.1 per

cent (TABLE V.ll). One would imagine that the dummy variable of 'strong- Jana Sangh' state of origin would show significant negative effect on the support for the Communists. But when this dummy variable was included


In document Internal migration and political change in India : a case study of a new industrial town (Page 177-185)