On August 15, 2006 it will be the 59 th anniversary of India’s Independence. Though 59 years are nothing big for a country as big as ours, let us look at India through some statistics:
India has the world’s largest electorate- 671 m voters in 2004 with 322 m female.
4,663 the total number of elected Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha representatives. Britain has only 643 MPs.
283 assembly elections held in India apart from 14 general elections
8% women’s representation in the 14th Lok Sabha, while 34 per cent of India’s 3.5 million village legislators are women
India’s largest in size parliamentary constituency is Ladakh with 1,73,000 sq km. The largest in the world, Kalgoorlie in western Australia, is 22,55,000 sq km.
58.07% of eligible Indian voters cast their ballot in the 2004 general elections (64 per cent in the 2004 US presidential elections).
2 independent MPs in the 14th Lok Sabha, compared to 37 in the first
6 the number of times both the Congress and the Janata Dal have split. The Communist Party of India has split only twice.
3.37 m voters in Outer Delhi parliamentary constituency, the largest number in the world.
93 amendments in the Indian Constitution, compared to 27 in the US Constitution in 217 years.
12.83% of members between the ages of 25 and 40 in the 14th Lok Sabha. The first Lok Sabha was younger, with 25.85% in the same age group.
14th Lok Sabha has 134 MPs with criminal backgrounds. The first Lok Sabha had none.
147 postgraduate Lok Sabha MPs in 2004, compared to 85 in 1952
—-From ‘India Today’
What do these statistics of a 60-year old democracy tell us? We are certainly huge. We conduct our election using electronics voting machines that perhaps US also doesn’t do. But should we worry more for the increasing number of criminals in Lok Sabha or should we celebrate the increasing number of postgraduates? Should we feel bad about the very frequent amendments in constitution, perhaps because of easier process?