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Numbers game

Let's start with the simplest formula. EV CE, which means, as everybody knows, even somebody who thinks Calculus was a Roman emperor, that an election victory in UP is the result of the right integration of caste equations.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2012 21:30 IST

Cong trying to get its Caste Calculus right

Economic Times, January 5


Let's start with the simplest formula. EV CE, which means, as everybody knows, even somebody who thinks Calculus was a Roman emperor, that an election victory in UP is the result of the right integration of caste equations. But one false step, like a careless substitution of hyperbolic Lodhs for parabolic Kurmis, could see your electoral fortunes tend to zero.

It might look fairly straightforward. All you have to do, you think, is to pick out the most desirable caste for a candidate in a constituency. Next, search your database for candidates that match that profile. If you don't have anyone, steal him from another party. Make sure he has muscle-power - a criminal record would be great. Check his assets, both legit and benami, to ensure he'll be able to fund his election and contribute to the party coffers. That's it, quod erat demonstrandum and far easier than solving a quadratic equation, you might think.

But it's no longer just a matter of Brahmin+Dalit and throwing in a handful of statues. As we mathematicians like to say, B+D+statuesEV. Among Dalits, consider second derivatives like Jatavs and non-Jatavs. Among non-Jatavs, consider partial fractions like Pasis, Koris, Dhobis, Khatiks. What happens to the variable Brahmins? Where do the radicals, who are sometimes known as surds, stand? You have a point when you say Harkishan Singh Surjeet was the last radical surd. But remember that a point, as defined in mathematics, is something that has position but no magnitude. No sir, election calculus is not for the layman.

Indeed, election managers have come crying to me with frightful tales of sleepless nights spent wrestling with several unknown variables. Some have complained their calls are answered by a sepulchral voice telling them, "The number you have dialled is an irrational one." Others have shamefacedly confessed to seeing improper fractions.

But there's no need to worry, you've come to the right place for advice. Let's start at the beginning. Assume the elections are being held in N-dimensional space, with N=3, which makes it comfortably 3-dimensional. Assume a normal distribution of voters, on the one hand, and standardly deviated politicians, on the other. Assume that Algebra is not a type of bra.

We can now proceed to build the algorithm. Start with the OBCs. Feed in the creamy layer. The Yadavs are orthogonal, particularly the Kamariya sub-caste, but do not neglect the Ghosi Yadavs. The Most Backward Castes are not an imaginary number. Take n+1 times the Jats, the Kurmis, the Kushwahas. Take the asymptote of the Gujjars and Thakurs. Differentiate the Baniyas and the Rajputs. Use a convergent series for Muslim Ansaris, Muslim non-Ansaris, Shias and Sunnis. Feed the regression into the computer, assigning the right weights for relatives of MLAs, for job quotas, for food and electricity subsidies and other handouts. Try your best to add Naresh Agarwal to the mix, as they say the party he joins forms the government. Do not forget that other parties too are doing the calculus, so adopt a game-theoretic matrix to arrive at a caste equilibrium. The final solution looks like this: , though I might have dropped a function or two.

And finally, for luck, put in: Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog/ Wool of Bat, and Tongue of Dog/Adder's Fork, and Blind-worm's Sting/ Lizard's leg, and Owlet's wing. Add my secret exponential sauce, throw development out of the window and voila, victory is assured.

Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. Views expressed by the author are personal.

First Published: Jan 07, 2012 21:21 IST