Monday, January 07, 2013

Power for..., promises for the people!

I ndia is indeed a democracy, but for whom? Is it a democracy for those in a position of power or for the common man? The blatant use of money and muscle power by politicians surely appears to tilt the argument overwhelmingly in favour of the former in a country where the combined net worth of MPs is estimated at a huge Rs.28 billion.

A research by National Election Watch (a conglomeration of NGOs that lobbies for electoral reforms) heralds an interesting analysis. A candidate who is worth more than Rs.50 million is around 75 times more likely to win an election as compared to one whose is worth less than Rs.1 million. In fact, only 15 out of 3,437 candidates (i.e. 0.44%) who contested the recently held Lok Sabha elections; and whose worth is less than Rs.1 million, had actually won, whereas 6% of the candidates whose worth is between Rs.1 million and Rs.5 million have come out as victorious. This state of affairs continues as we go upward. We see that 19% of candidates with worth of Rs.5 million to Rs.50 million and 33% of candidates with worth of more than Rs.50 million have defeated their rivals in the last Lok Sabha Election. Further, the sum total of assets of 64 Union Cabinet Ministers comes to a whopping Rs.5 billion, and 23 of them fall into the segment of Rs.50 million plus. Does it favour democracy?

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012.
An Initiative of IIPMMalay Chaudhuri
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