Reality Check India

Real political news

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on November 20, 2007

What is happening on 22nd November ?

On November 22, the first week of the winter session of the legislative assembly, BJP leader 50-year-old Syeed Pasha Patel Pasha will hold a rally with the support of one lakh Muslims demanding the implementation of Sachar recomendations in Nagpur. He is the only Muslim MLC from Maharashtra BJP.

Source : HT

How this plays out will have a major socio-political impact ?

Issues like farmers suicides, effectiveness of NREGA, woes of the Mumbai city, Sri Krishna report on the Bombay riots,  lack of progress in the Mumbai trains blast case, corruption, bankruptcy of co-operatives, multi-hour daily power outages – all put together pale in comparison to this seeming non-descript gathering by Mr Pasha of the BJP. Mr Pasha Patel (BJP) is the political entrepreneur of the season.

Why is this so ? Why do seemingly small but exclusive benefits appeal more than giant public good projects ? For example : The Muslim and Christian quota in TN would just create about 70-80 doctors from each community. Yet, this is a landmark event compared to multi thousand crore rural schemes. This could mean the difference between survival and death of entire political movements.

I am a great fan of the American economist  Mancur Olsen (via these two books  Logic of Collective Action  , Rise and Decline of Nations ) I have mentioned his works many times in this blog.

Recently, I came across the works of Russell Hardin. I am fascinated by his writings – which mostly address this issue. Read his take on the “Free riders problem“.  In a sense, Indians of all kinds suffer from this problem. 

Coming back to Olsen, he notes that : Only a separate and ‘selective’ incentive will stimulate a rational individual in a latent group to act in a group-oriented way. He also conceived of political entrepreneurs for large groups as engaged entirely in the enterprise of producing selective incentives.

Could anything explain the Indian situation better ?


Mr Patel Pasha, we applaud your efforts to implement Sachar in your state of Maharashtra.  Could you also explain the Muslim literacy rate figures in the same Sachar report. Muslims in Maharashtra have a literacy rate of 78.1% compared to SC/ST 64.3% and the Average 76.9%

You would probably shoot back : If TN, KA, KE, and AP (Sachar reports Muslim TN literacy of 82.9% vs 62% SC/ST and 72% Hindus) can have a muslim quota why not MH?)

You would be absolutely correct of course. No one can respond to that one.

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