Urban Predictions

 ”…the impact of this [delimitation] commission on India’s politics  will be at least as far reaching as that of the Mandal commission.”  

Now that we have seen the impact of the delimitation and increased representation for urban areas in the Karnataka election results, there will be increased talk of this phenomenon, but I just want to place on record that I had talked of this back in January 2008. I am not sure if I was the first one to talk of this, but just in case I was, let the date be noted.

I must also point out that I am not sure what the impact will be.  I have been speculating quite a bit and much of the speculation will prove to be wrong. I am more likely to be correct about generalities (“national parties will benefit”) than about the particulars (“BJP will benefit”). My reasoning is more likely to be correct than the conclusions, because a small error in reasoning is likely to result in large errors in conclusions.  But I am most confident about the statement made above – i.e. in time, the impact of urbanization on India’s politics will be as large, if not larger than the impact due to the Mandal politics introduced by V P Singh.

What’s New in Karnataka

About the elections in Karnataka, Neel asks:  “Once again. So whats new? Nothing much.”

Ah, but there is something new this time.  Over 30 years back, a constitutional amendment had frozen the map of India’s parliamentary and legislative constituencies to reflect the India of 1971. The moratorium has now ended, and the picture has moved forward to reflect the India of 2001, an India that is much more urban than it was in 1971.  I have reflected briefly on what urbanization means for India’s politics in the January 2008 Pragati 

Karnataka is the first state to go to the polls after the delimitation. Of course, both voters and politicians will take time to adjust to the new situation, but if I am right, this will be the beginning of one of the most significant changes in India’s politics, rivalling the change brought about by VP Singh in 1991.