Month: April 2014

It’s all in the Family

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family1In a recent panel on the Indian elections, dynastic politics was brought up as a consistent theme.  I decided to dig a little deeper and see how pervasive this phenomenon is. I looked at state, party and age segregated data on hereditary MPs. I then discuss why the trends aren’t that surprising and what they tell us about social mobility in India. As always, click on the graphs to get an enlarged view.

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Bijli, Sadak, Pani

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PaniIn a recent interview, tech mogul and Lok Sabha candidate Nandan Nilekani claimed that the motto of ‘bijli, sadak, pani‘ (electricity, road, water) was passe. But is it really? In today’s post, I look at statewise data for access to electricity, roads and sanitation. How many Indians can lay claim to electricity, roads and water?

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Violence, Violence, Everywhere

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InjuredMany skeptics of the BJP point towards their dubious attitude on secularism and the risk they pose to the social fabric of the country. Is this true? Do the numbers back this up?  Today, I look at state-wise instances of communal violence between 2010-2013. I also look at the number of people killed and injured to test the intensity of each of these riots. All data was obtained from this reply to a question in the Lok Sabha. Graph 1 looks at the instances of communal violence, Graph 2 plots the number of people killed and Graph 3 looks at the number injured in these instances.

Finally, I talk about the importance of these numbers and why we should be paying attention to them. 
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Karnataka: Who are you voting for?

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CriminalWhile casting a vote is a great moment in the democratic process, the quality of democracy depends on the choice that is being offered. The vote is as important as the person it is being cast for. Who are we casting our vote for? My home state of Karnataka goes to polls on the 17th of April. For this post, I look at economic and social statistics on leading parties and candidates in the state of Karnataka. I find that most candidates are overwhelmingly rich, incredibly violent and predominantly male.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Growth Mantra

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If I haveNSDP heard it once, I have heard it a thousand times: Gujarat is a model state for economic development. The whole campaign seems to be run on this one irrefutable fact. But is it fact? To answer this question, I decided to look at the facts. I mined data from the RBI website and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. I compared the economic growth rates of 4 states: Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. I chose these states because they are generally considered better performers amongst Indian states. While Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra started at a higher base, Bihar represents a state which was in the doldrums a decade back but has fast caught up.  Read the rest of this entry »