Need for Voice: The David Story

Time is witness, History stands as testimony to the insatiable hunger of humans to acquire land. No stones are left to be turned. Deals, coercion or fighting wars,  all have been put to use to acquire some more land.


Well, we are not going to talk about wars, but are trying to underline the fact that Land & natural resources accompanied with it are the major assets of a state/country. Their importance with growing population, has increased unabated.


Zoop, lets get to Indian democracy. We are very clear that land and natural resources are major assets and efforts should be made to manage these assets. In a democracy, people’s elected representative manage these resources. This brings us to the magic number, in India every Lok Sabha seat/elected representative on an average covers/manages
5900 square kms. (National Area/Seat ratio)


No debates on 5900, is right or wrong, on second thought, we save the debate for a later date. So for now, consider it to be best.  For effective governance and development of a region we believe that one needs to manage total expanse of area in a state. This would in turn:

– Attract immigration, fueling further development.

– Retain local people in state, absorbing local resources in development.

Thus a lower Area/Seat ratio shall work well for any state. Lets analyze our Davids again and come look up their representation in Lok Sabha.

The David

Current Seat Count

Area Sq Kms

Seats as per National Area/Seat ratio

Diorama

1

21,081

4

Nagaland

1

16,579

3

Sikkim

1

7,096

1

Arunachal Pradesh

2

83,743

14

Meghalaya

2

22,429

4

Total

7

26


We know you would have found this interesting, the David’s have representation of 7 seats but has potential to have 26 seats. Even representation of all states is required in Lok Sabha. Adequate representation of  state shall lead to voices of people in the state being heard at national level. We believe this is must for a democracy & development. Further we need to hear voices of all Davids, don’t we?

By “dod” Rangers

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David and Goliath of Indian Democracy

Yes it is a fight over 543 seats to be at the helm of affairs of the largest democracy in world. All political parties in the fray are looking forward to achieve, not this, but half of this to be able to form the government. This would be the first hurdle, and then in a best possible scenario, to get 2/3rd majority, and enable smooth running of government.

So who makes these parties win, of course the states with more the number of seats, the Goliaths. Then there are the Davids, these are states with less than 2 seats apiece. We are considering the top and bottom five in both cases and of course we have kept the union territories aside as they represent one seat each.

S.No.

The Goliath

Seat Count

S.No.

The David

Seat Count

1

Uttar Pradesh

80

29

Mizoram

1

2

Maharashtra

48

28

Nagaland

1

3

Andhra Pradesh

42

27

Sikkim

1

4

Bihar

40

26

Arunachal Pradesh

2

5

West Bengal

42

25

Meghalaya

2

No surprises here with the Goliaths. These states witness a closely contested battle and are well covered by the Political parties and media. Goliaths have a good visibility among the Indian voter population as well.

What about the Davids, they are part of the milieu but do they have enough representation and voice in the system? Well the above table says the story well, in fact more often than not Davids of Indian democracy are not audible in the grand scheme of things. Someone some where said, “David slayed the Goliath”?

By “dod Rangers”

Three Musketeers of Indian Politics 2014

The three musketeers, have very different strengths but one goal drives them together, and when together, they spin out surprises.

Well, we are talking about trio of women power from Amma (Ms. Jayalalithaa) to Didi (Ms. Mamta Banerjee) to Bhenji (Ms. Mayawati) – the only common feature is that all are female politicians of India and at this point in time have decent control over the vote share in their constituencies. That’s where similarities end. Rest all from ideologies to, administrative capabilities, to political allegiances, to constituencies; are different.

So what makes them come together, when we have not even seen them on one common platform. This can be blamed on enthusiasm of media or there is an alternate path which really makes them play the king maker.

In the current reading of the general elections, no party seems to be heading for clear majority which would make the regional party support must for the incumbent government. In this scenario, all three ladies command a decent vote share in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal & Uttar Pradesh. Their coming together gives them higher ground to negotiate and gain some ministries for their party members. The leaders in question do not look likely to leave their state bastions and move on the national charter which is why they are happy playing to their strengths and be the king maker.

Here there is join hands to create force to recon but all hands are with different agenda. They shall join, looks likely; survive in relation, may be; proliferate in relation, not likely at all.

By “dod Rangers”

“dod Salutes” Women Determination – this Women’s Day

It happens. Some events make one think, few make one act and there are just a couple, which change the course of ones life. There are few courageous people who encounter events that not only change course of their lives but redefine the course of people around them.

It was cold morning of November  02, year 2000, place Malom, Imphal valley in Manipur north-east India. A 28 something women from Manipur was preparing for a peaceful protest when she learnt about the heart wrenching story of “Malom Massacre”. A forgetful event in democracy of India wherein 10 citizens of country were gunned down by Armed forces personnel.

The young girl calibrated the incidence to find out that among people who succumbed to injuries included 17 year old boy Sinam Chandramani, a national child bravery award winner in 1988. It was too much for the mind to digest and it defined the path for her. She took refuge in the essence of Gandhian philosophy and started a peaceful fast.

dod

Irom Sharmila Chanu, has been on fast since November 05. Yes, it has been 13 years since the cold morning in 2000, the fast continues without food and water. Her survival has been imposed by successive governments by ensuring nutrients are pushed into her system through nose. Her demand is to remove the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act which provides special powers to Indian armed forces to fight unrest in areas declared as “Disturbed”.

We believe that things had really gone wrong, there was a great miss in the democratic process and the voice needs to be heard. We at dod salute to the bravery of Irom and her determination to seek solution peacefully for her region.

At this woman’s day we firmly believe that woman determination, around the world, is unbreakable. History is filled with such instances where women have determined the course of events. This day let all celebrate this determination and hope the same can be used to better humanity.

By “dod Rangers”

The AV below, written by Rabindra Nath Tagore and sung by Shreya Ghoshal depicts the same sentiment to “Walk alone, if no one responds to your call”

Elections in Democracy – A Five stage affair

Democracy, has it’s own sweet charm and it blossoms to its best during elections. It is during this time, dance of politicians is visible to people in democracy. It is a time to sit back and enjoy the show.

Fractured mandate is more often than not is the true outcome of any democratic process. Very rarely one would find majority of people, having a same view, unless there is a turn of event that galvanizes people together to think as one.

We have observed, and this is strictly our observation, that there are four stages in a run up to elections:

– Wooing the people, Confident parties communicating with public
– Scamper for alliances, Creating Safety net as majority seems elusive
– Run up to majority, post poll “I need You” patch ups
– Cabinet formation, turn to gratify your soldiers and keep happy the alliances
– Thanking stage, Thank you and see you until next elections

We believe that there is a sixth stage as well “Deliver & Perform”. This next stage, which all people want to be major one, never really comes to effect. The stage where people expect the elected representatives to deliver their promises. As this stage is really hard to find and is statistically not a valid sample, we have not included it among the five stages depicted.

Well, it is said that People have a very short memory. We believe that People do not forget but they do not find the right tools to express themselves, like the elections, within the span of five years that can pressurize ministers and their cabinet to fulfill their promises. This tool we believe, if provided, shall ensure that the sixth and most important stage in elections become the most prominent one.

By “dod Rangers”

Telangana – A perspective on 29th State of India

Couple of week back we all witnessed the high pitch fights and altercations in Lok and Rajya sabha over passing up of the bill to create a new state of Telangana. In this article we would like to view creation of state in a different perspective .We are not going to talk about seat creation, vote bank and high emotions running around.

We shall analyze few aspects of yet another larger democracy in World, United States of America. USA is a federal form of government. Simply speaking various states have come together and chosen to be represented under one flag.  Over a period of time states utilizing their autonomy USA has witnessed unprecedented progress and now is world’s richest country.

Parameters

United States

India

GDP (PPP)

$16.7 TN

$4.96 TN

States

50

29

GDP/State

$334 BN

$171 BN

                                                                                                                    Data Source CIA

On comparing GDP (PPP) of the two countries USA and India, it is apparent that even when national GDP of US is more than 3.3 times that of India, US per state GDP is only 1.95 times more than that of India. Let’s do another comparison.

When the same parameters are compared with respect to population, the results are stark. India’s per state population is 6.51 times more than that of USA.

Parameters

United States

India

Population

317 Million

1200 Million

States

50

29

Population/State

6.34 Million

41.3 Million

                                                                                                                      Data Source CIA

The asset of any country is it’s population and countries that have recognized it and have put efforts to enrich their human capital have witnessed a great turnaround. This turnaround is then reflected in increased GDP of the country and per capita income of its population.

In order to concentrate on population, a democracy would need micro management of the region,
–       Understand regional concerns,
–       Recognize the assets
–       Identify opportunities and
–       Build policies, which would lead to growth of the region.

We believe that this would be achievable by creating smaller states to ensure growth of the region and its population. We firmly believe that creation of Telangana is a step in right economic direction.  We would like to get the focus of the country towards the BIMARU states, which are riddled with low state GDPs.

Carving out smaller states of the BMRU region would go a long way in creating a long term balanced and incremental growth of the country.

“By DoD Rangers”