ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Electoral Exclusion?


The article “Electoral Exclusion of Muslims Continues to Plague Indian Democracy” by Abusaleh Shariff and Khalid Saifullah (EPW Engage, 19 May 2018) is the result of considerable effort in analysing electoral roll data of 25 Karnataka legislative assembly constituencies (of which six have been reserved for Scheduled Caste [SC] and one for Scheduled Tribe [ST] candidates). The hypothesis driving the effort seems to be that Muslims—and it is hinted that this may apply to SCs as well—are being systematically deprived of their electoral representation in Karnataka and, perhaps, elsewhere.  For such a thing to happen uniformly across an entire state and the country, one would need to assume some secret conspiracy by the government machinery, motivated by bad intentions of the different ruling parties in the states. While intentions can be questioned, the degree of efficiency that is needed to carry out such a hidden effort is not possible in our present open system of government, apart from the ability to keep this exercise secret, that is. 

It has been pointed out by the authors that the number of single-voter households is also underestimated in the electoral roll for the non-Muslim population.  It is unlikely that the ruling Congress party in Karnataka would have made a systematic attempt to deprive this vote-bank community of their votes. 

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Updated On : 15th Jun, 2018
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