Christophe Jeffrelot talk

19Feb08

Two types of assemblies; one is French style, where the representation is not reflection of the society. Another style is British Style, which is a group based form of representation. In the political modernity, the Assembly represents or mirrors the society.

This can also be called “mirror representation” . When the democratization of Indian society was started in India, the British used their form of representation. It was also a part of the “divide and rule”. But after the independence, the compensatory schemes were reduced. In the constituent assembly, uniform citizenship was accepted. The principle of uniformity was not applied to Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes. During the years of the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly, that is, during 1946-50, the assembly had majorly dominant proprietary classes. The congress party was run very secretively with the help of landlords, notables and getting financial support from the industrial houses. The Assembly was dominated by the Upper Castes. The Reservation was cut to minimum. The Congress party used the caste to strengthen its hold. The study was conducted to see whether India’s caste based realities are translated into political representation. A study was conducted to study the evolution of the social profile of the MLAs in 16 states. This is a quantitative attempt, but it has also a qualitative dimension. There is also the contrast between the government created categories and the society itself. Seven typical patterns emerged after studying the caste profiles of the MLAs in 16 states, and they are the major states in India.

Type one: Hindi Belt

Upper caste decreasing, OBCs increasing

The Hindi belt that included the states of UP and Bihar shows a trend in which the number of representatives of the upper castes is decreasing, but the number of OBCs is increasing, and almost going to meet according to the trend.

Type 2: Punjab, Rajastan and Gujarat

Dominant castes are dominating

In Punjab, dominated by Jats, and they occupy 52 percent of the total number of representatives.

In Rajastan, the jats are just 9 percent of the population, but cornering 29 percent of the assembly seats.

In Gujarat, the upper caste representatives make it to the upwards of 20 percent, however the dominant castes, Patel and Patidars constitute 28 percent of the MLAs and their population is 13 percent.

Type 3: Deccan Plateau (Karnataka, Maharastra and Andhra Pradesh)

The representation of the dominant caste is not declining.

In Karnataka, Vokkalinga and Lingayats are dominating the assembly. They constitute 26 percent of the population, but occupy 59 percent of seats in the Assembly.

In Andhra, the Kammas and Reddies constitute 26 prent of the population, and occupy 59 percent of the assembly seats.

Maharastra, the population of the Marathas is 32 percent, and occupying 44.7 percent of the representatives.

These are supposed to be progressive states, but the trends are frozen, and the social transformation is stopped.

Type 4: STs are significant (Chattisgarh and Jharkhand)

Adivasis are forgotten, and their power has been confiscated.

Type 5: The communist states

In kerala, 38 percent seats are occupied by the Upper Castes. The share of the Upper Castes is increasing.

In West Bengal, more than 50 percent seats are hold by the Bhadraloka. The communist states are the Upper Caste states.

Type 6: A case of proportionality

In HP, 62 percent Upper Caste representation

In Delhi, 46 percent Upper Castes, and the upper caste population is 38 percent.

Type 7: Quasi-proportionali ty

Tamil nadu

The OBCs represents 67 percent and their population is 66 percent and the trend has not changed.

The urban middle class is bypassing the parliamentary democracy, relations with US and Liberalisation.

Source: Buddhist Circle



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