Expert view: Why current electoral system fails Dalit representation in politics
Raja Sekhar Vundru, an IAS officer and writer who holds a doctorate on Ambedkar’s ideas, believes discussions are required to find alternatives within the system to address the concernsUpdated: Jan 06, 2018 16:56 IST
The current electoral system has failed to ensure proportionate representation of Dalits in Indian politics and discussions are required to find alternatives within the system to address the concern, said Raja Sekhar Vundru, an IAS officer and writer who holds a doctorate on Ambedkar’s ideas.
Vundru was speaking to the gathering at the launch of his book Ambedkar, Gandhi And Patel: The Making Of India’s Electoral System at Manuski Centre in Yerawada recently. Centre for Dalit Studies (CDS) Hyderabad, chairman, Mallepalli Laxmaiah; Indian Law Society’s Law College professor Nitish Navsagare and Department of African and African American Studies, Harvard University, associate scholar Suraj Yengde were also present at the launch event.
Vundru said, “The book is a pointer towards taking steps for ensuring proportional political representation of Dalits.”
Sharing his views, Navsagare said, “It can be seen in the present electoral system that the percentage of votes received by a political party is not in proportion to the seat sharing. For example, in the recent Uttar Pradesh elections, BJP got 39.7 per cent votes and its seat sharing was 77 per cent while BSP had 22.2 per cent votes and its seat sharing was just 4.7 per cent.”
He said that the architect of the Indian Constitution, BR Ambedkar, had proposed a qualified electorate system which must be considered. Yengde too said that even today Dalits remain a hopeless minority as they fail to get adequate representation in the current electoral system.
Laxmaiah underlined that Vundru’s book should be read by Dalits alone but discussed amongst non-Dalits as well.
Bhima Koregaon violence
When asked about the clashes in Bhima Koregaon, Vundru said, “The Dalit group is celebrating valour and marshal character which is required. Certain other communities too have been celebrating their valour and marshal character. Hence, there would be certain conflicts with the administration. Here, seeking equality has become a conflict.”