Reserved political positions in India
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An electorate is a group of voters, namely, all the officially qualified voters within a particular country or area or for a particular election.
A joint electorate is one where the entire voting population of a country or region is part of a single electorate, and the entire electorate votes for the candidates who contest elections.
In the case of separate electorates, the voting population of a country or region is divided into different electorates, based on certain factors such as religion, caste, gender, and occupation. Here, members of each electorate votes only to elect representatives for their electorate. Separate electorates are usually demanded by minorities who feel it would otherwise be difficult for them to get fair representation in government. separate electorate for Muslims means that Muslims will choose their separate leader by separate elections for Muslims.
Under the British Raj
In India’s pre-independence era, when the Muslims in India demanded fair representation in power-sharing with the British government along with the Hindus, the British government provided for a separate electorate system for the Muslims. As a result, of the total 250 seats of the Bengal Legislative Assembly, 117 seats were kept reserved for the Muslims. Accordingly, the general elections of 1937 were held on the basis of the extended separate electorates, where only the Muslims voted for the 117 seats, in Bengal.
Again, in the Round Table Conferences in 1930-32, the concept of separate electorates for the dalits (also called Dalits) was raised by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, as a way to ensure sufficient representation for the minority Dalits, in government. This provision was strongly opposed by Mahatma Gandhi on the grounds that the move would disintegrate Hindu society. If the Dalits were given a separate electorate, then certain constituencies would have been reserved for them, and only the Dalits would have been able to vote for the candidates contesting those seats, thus alienating the rest of the Hindus. Finally, a compromise was reached where there were certain constituencies reserved for the Dalits, where the Dalits could elect 4 candidates per constituency who would then be candidates for election by the joint electorate.
After the Independence
The Anglo-Indian community is the only Indian community that has its own representatives nominated to the Lok Sabha (Lower House) in India's Parliament. This right was secured from Nehru by Frank Anthony, the first and longtime president of the All India Anglo-Indian Association. The community is represented by two members. This is done because the community has no native state of its own. States like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Karnataka and Kerala also have a nominated member each in their respective State Legislatures.
Scheduled Castes and tribes
15% of seats in the Parliament of the country, State Assemblies, Local Municipal Bodies and Village level institutions are reserved for Dalits or Scheduled Castes. Similarly 7.5% are reserved for tribes or the aborigines. The election of Dalits and Tribes candidates is by a Joint or mixed electorate, which includes all religions voters like Hindu, Muslim etc. and all castes including Untouchables and tribes, vote.
Women get one-third reservation in gram panchayat (meaning village assembly, which is a form of local village government) and municipal elections. There is a long-term plan to extend this reservation to parliament and legislative assemblies. The Women's Reservation Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 9 March 2010 by a majority vote of 186 members in favor and 1 against. It will now go to the Lok Sabha, and if passed there, would be implemented.
- pakistan studies by dr. M. Azam Chaudhary