Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Real Solution to Vote Bank Politics ...

A lot has been said regarding Vote-Bank-Politics in India. It is our considered view that Democracy engenders Vote-Bank Politics. For, notwithstanding their tall promises, the Election contesting candidates are interested in getting Votes in order to win elections. And even if some contestants refuse to indulge in vote-bank politics, their adversaries can always indulge and win the contest. The history of Democracy, all over the world, is by and large replete with examples of this, and Indian Democracy tops it as an extremely vulgar and grotesque example among all.

Recall that many agitators against Corruption have been alleging that the present condition engenders "Political Power through money, and money through political power" approach. They are quite right, however, they fail to see the bigger and complete picture. Money is not the only culprit. The larger vicious circle is "Political Power through Vote-Bank-Appeasement, and Vote-Bank-Appeasement through Political Power".

Now let us turn our attention to the question: What do the Vote-Banks expect as "appeasement" from the candidate they vote for? The answer, obviously, often is that they want the candidate to give them something more than what "everyone" gets. That is, they (the Vote-Bank members) expect to gain a preferential treatment in terms of a differential advantage over the rest.

Thus, one of the the only ways in which Vote-Bank politics can be put to rest is by doing one or both of the following:

1. Electoral Representative should not have the right to promulgate any policy which gives any differential advantage to any group.

2. Any group which derives any policy based differential advantage over any group must cease to have Voting Rights.

In India, especially where lots and lots of new groups have mushroomed who demand "Reservation" and such "differential advantages", point number (2) is critically important. Please note that if we implement (1) all State Sponsored Affirmative Action will cease; and if we implement (2) eventually (1) will get implemented. For the sake of completeness and robust effectiveness both are needed together.

The Secular Socialist brigade who recoil at the mere thought of Subramanian Swamy's suggestion of disenfranchising the Hindu-ancestry-denying Muslims, our suggestion will surely appear to be much much more than outrageous. However, in our opinion, if we want to save ourselves from the impending socio-politico-economic doom and gloom, this is the least we need to do.

Some of the Consequences of (2) will be:

(a) If Muslims (Christians etc.) want minority "benefits", they must all be disenfranchised, otherwise they must aggree to live without minority privileges.

(b) Ditto SC/ST/OBC and reservation beneficiaries.

(c) If women are demanding "reservation", they must aggree to become disenfranchised.

(d) Either, there will have to be a "uniform" taxation policy, or those who pay "less percentage" must be disenfranchised.


We do not claim that this is the final word. We do not rule the possibility out that even stronger steps may be needed. As a baby step, we must be willing to consider the ideas in this post on the discussion table.

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