Care to guess the most valuable item in independent India?
Gold - Nope. Folks have tons (if not Kgs at home!)
Water - Getting close. But inspite of the perennial Cauvery, Krishna, Ganga water fights, it isn't Water.
The answer: MP seat. Yup. Do you disagree?
When the Lok Sabha was created, the founding fathers divided the kitty to states by their population representation assuming that each of these states will have near-equal status in various parameters like Growth, wealth, HDI etc. And why not? If the Gangetic & Indus plain was good for agriculture, the south had their own Godavari, Krishna & Cauvery basins. States that lacked good agricultural area had natural resources wealth - Jharkhand, Orissa, Rajasthan. However, the last 20 years has shown how there is a huge North-South divide in terms of revenue generation. So, i wonder - why should we still use population as the only criteria for allocating MP seats. Why not use more progressive elements as well - GDP & HDI came to my mind.
So, i did a quick calculation. Let me not bore you with the gory details but the weightage for Population, GDP & HDI were equal. If you need more clarification, revert back to me.
The results are startling. I wasn't expecting what i saw. Check for yourselves.
What was i expecting? Southern states to be the victims of the system while UP & Bihar were the major beneficieries. But, i was astounded to see that Maharastra (16 lost seats), Gujarat (6 seats), Delhi (5 seats) and Harayana (4 seats) have been the losers. The only Southern Indian state that can harbour a grudge - Karnataka (robbed of 3 seats). AP & TN have a long way to catch up on HDI & GDP parameters with the rest of the country.
What's more - UP & Bihar have been the greatest robbers. UP deserves no more than 66 seats while Bihar should receive only 29 seats. That's a reduction of 25 seats or 20.8% of their current quota.
Will our politicians agree to such an excercise, where the MP seats are decided by factors other than plain population? I am not going to hold my breath for that to happen.
Till then, let us enjoy the next episode of "Greatest robbery show"