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population



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Administrative Note:
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Week's Agenda: Population
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Sanjeev, I clearly accept the literal position you put out, but I wonder 
how readily it will be accepted in a place like India, where every 
subgroup is vying for separate and guarded benefits to itself. One man, 
one vote, is not really fair to Kerala or Tamilnadu, which may be 
working hard to get their folks up with sound population policies. The 
only way they are then able to protect their particular interests is by 
controlling the ingress of people from other parts of India. And that is 
a whole new Pandora's box. 

In a policy statement, it is important to distinguish good policy from 
bad, I believe. A number-neutral policy on representation merely dodges 
the question. 

Perhaps this problem, as you say, has not been solved anywhere 
satisfactorily. Our own experiment with delimitation has fixed 
representation at the level of the 1971 census, and is about to be 
re-jiggled in a couple of years. I am pretty sure that southern leaders 
and those from some northern smaller states will fight tooth and nail to 
keep their representative strengths. Also, merely increasing the number 
of seats is no solution, for in these things it is relative strengths 
that matter. I'm not very optimistic on this front, and it will be 
interesting to see how this is resolved. 

Decentralization may be the answer, since it really reduces the power of 
the centre, and makes it quite irrelevant how opinions of numerical 
majorities can hold sway over those of others.

Still thinking out loud.

Ash

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