19 mps and 7 cabinet ministers from st.stephen's

there is this community that i know about- dispersed over andhra, tamil nadu, karnataka, maharashtra (listed as backward in all four states) and, most probably, also chhattisgarh and orissa- which has sent only one mp to one lok sabha out of fifteen. there is no one from it in the current andhra pradesh assembly, nor in the last one. as far as i know, there have been only two mlas from the community in 14 vidhan sabhas. and no cabinet minister in the centre or the state until now. in 62 years.

there have been several times more naxalites than mps from that community. the number of naxalites from the community killed in encounters would be more than the number of mlas from the community in all the vidhan sabhas.

in andhra pradesh, you could divide castes into two broad categories- castes which can boast of more mlas than community members killed in encounters, and castes which can count more community members killed in encounters than mlas.

only a handful of castes would fall in the first category, while there'd be over 150 communities (nearly 100 backward class communities plus over 50 scheduled castes and not counting the scheduled tribes, muslim lower castes) which would fall in the second category. contrary to what you might think, this is an easy number to calculate because it has been acknowledged by several members in the state assembly that only 12-15 of the 107 obc communities and only around 4-5 of the nearly 60 scheduled caste communities in the state have ever sent an mla to the vidhan sabha.

yes, it's a big assumption that at least one person from every one of those communities could have a) joined the naxalites and b) been killed in an encounter later. actually, only part (b) is a big assumption, i think. for people from the second category of communities it's much easier to join the naxals than be elected to the vidhan sabha or the lok sabha. or get admitted into st.stephens.


from the article (via abi)- poverty's two way street:
Though the poor are commonly believed to be fatalistic, our conversations with 60,000 poor people in 15 countries showed this to be patently untrue.

When the world meets the hopeful poor halfway, people rise out of poverty. They open shops, move to big cities to work as cooks or chauffeurs, send their children to learn new skills and languages. They ask little of their governments. They take matters into their own hands.

But as millions rise out of poverty, millions fall in — partly because “free markets” are not free enough, and partly because of the lack of healthcare.

In the recession-battered West, governments are moving to insulate citizens from excessive exposure to markets. But for the poor, being cut off from markets is the problem. In fishing communities in Cambodia, fishermen get lower prices for their fish and are forbidden from fishing where large trawlers go; in the coffee-growing region of Tanzania, cheating in the weighing of coffee beans is so institutionalized that it has a name, Masomba; in West Bengal traders without political connections have no hope.
if you were from one of those second category of communities i talked about in the earlier part of the post- would you trust the state or the market? was discussing, loosely, the same issue with a fellow blogger yesterday. more on the subject later.

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