Thursday, January 21, 2010

Democracy and Empowering the Diaspora

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    • Meghnad Desai (India)
    • My view is that it may not matter much whether the NRIs have a vote or not if they are scattered around the constituencies where they originally come from. Their numbers are too small. But if the country wants to recognise the special interests of NRIs as part of India’s interests then there could be a better way of benefiting from the vote. We should think of NRIs as a special minority and give it representation as a single group. They could have one or may be two seats in the Rajya Sabha.

      The entire NRI constituency could be registered to vote online and candidates could be thrown up from within the NRI community or even from local Indian citizens. A Rajya Sabha seat or two would give better representation to the NRI interest in as much they have needs which are distinct from those of local citizens. Giving them a separate constituency and special seats will also mark them away from local issues, which seldom concern them.

    • Eminent economist Lord MeghnadDesai is a professor emeritus of theLondon School of Economics

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