Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Introduction to this blog
India's political system is a kind of democracy. Even though the states in India have Governors and the country has a President; they have very little real power. Effectively, Inidia's government has two branches: the legislative branch which not only makes laws but also functions as the executive; and the judiciary.
The legislative branch (which also contains the ministers, that head the executive branch) of the Indian government, called the parliament has two parts: the Lok Sabha and the Rajya sabha. The Lok Sabha has 543-545 members and the Rajya Sabha has 245 members; both unevenly distributed across the states. For example, while Uttar Pradesh has 80 Lok Sabha members and 31 Rajya Sabha members, Orissa has 21 and 10 respectively, and many states have 1 each. The number of members from each state is approximately based on population of the states. This unevenness across states gives more power and clout to the bigger states. Moreover, in the Indian parliamentary system, the ministers are selected from the ruling coalition. Thus if a state's MPs (members of parliament) are not part of this ruling coalition then that state has a much lesser clout. Finally, a government sponsored bill, if it fails in the parliament, then the government has to resign thus forcing ruling coalition MPs to vote for their government bills or risk being thrown out of their party. Thus after an election the ruling coalition does not need to care what the MPs of other parties think; it can give more resources to the states which have more MPs aligned to it or is ruled by an allied party and ignore or even punish states which have only a few or no MPs aligned to it and are not ruled by an allied party.
Despite this flawed system many ministries of the Indian government pay attention towards equitable distribution of resources. However not all do. The aim of this blog run by the center for promoting an equitable India is to identify
- blatant cases of misuse of power,
- special projects earmarked by ministers to their own states or to states from where they have a large contingent of allied MPs at the cost of another state or as an act of favouritism,
- hijacking of resources from a weaker state to a powerful state,
- other such actions that lead to inequity across India,
- and list inequity statistics in specific areas.
On the left hand side bar we have some documented links to articles and tables about the above.
We sincerely hope that anyone coming across this will contact MPs, ministers, media outlets and urge them to pressure the government of the day to undo actions that lead to inequity and take balancing actions that promote equity. Only then India will become a great nation, prosperous across all regions, rather than the current mixture of deprived, neglected and backward areas together with many prosperous enclaves.
Chitta Baral 3/24/06