April 09, 2019

Indian democracy must be more representative

Associate Prakhar Misra and Analyst Reva Abrol write in Hindustan Times on high representation ratios in India, its implications and the way forward. Excerpts:


"Representative democracy, a bastion of political equality, is bursting at the seams in India. The country’s population has more than tripled since the making of the Constitution, and citizens’ political representation at the national level has not kept pace. A Pew Research Center survey released last week found that 33% of Indians are not satisfied with the way democracy is working. The ratio of representation is abysmal: each parliamentarian today represents, on average, almost 2.5 million constituents.


Given India’s massive population, high representation ratios seem par for the course. But when seen in comparative context, the problem becomes untenable. India’s representation ratio is over five times that of the world’s most populous country (China), and over three times that of the third most populous country (the United States). Even when compared to other populous Commonwealth nations, which share a common origin of institutions, India’s representation ratio is the worst by some distance. Pakistan, Nigeria, and Bangladesh, among others, all fare considerably better. India’s philosophical underpinnings and demographic reality are at stark odds with one another."


Read the full article here.

Topic : State Capacity / In : OP-EDS
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