Democracy and its Discontents State Focus: Chattisgarh

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Chattisgarh’s Assembly Elections are around the corner and all parties have been calling upon their star ralliers to rustle up the votes. Personally, I think the Chattisgarh elections are particularly important. Not because of what it means for the general elections, but because of what it means for the Indian Union itself. Chattisgarh has been the site of one of India’s most contentious and violent internal conflicts. While the government has fumbled through its response (including the truly appalling arming of the Salwa Judum),  we are at a critical juncture and policies in the next few years will have far reaching impacts for this conflict and separatist tendencies elsewhere in the nation too. There are crucial questions we must ask ourselves in responding to the Naxal threat: Why would a whole belt of the nation revolt against a freely elected, democratic government? What can the Indian government do to peacefully bring people back into the fold?

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Where are the women? And why should we care?

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female vtersWhile the democratic model is based on the idea of representational equality, it often ends up privileging the traditional social order. A diverse and truly representative elected body is reflective of an inclusive and progressive society. Under-representation of certain groups in politics, and in polling, is generally reflective of their depressed societal status.This post explores the space that women occupy in the Indian political system.

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Where were we?

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In this post, I present a constituency level map of the 2009 General Elections.

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The Big Prize

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The Indian General Elections are held every 5 years and decide the composition of the Lok Sabha, i.e., the lower house of the Indian Parliament. The Lok Sabha can consist of a maximum of 552 representatives to represent the states and Union Territories. Each state gets a share of seats that is proportional to its population (more or less). Currently, 38 different parties have members in the Lok Sabha.
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