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Sheila Dixit’s win in Delhi – a new voting era in India?

December 10, 2008
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If India had been Delhi we would be lucky wouldn’t we, because the Chief Minister there, Sheila Dikshit (Dixit) of the Congress, epitomizes everything that the middle class desires in their politician. She is educated, suave, with no allegations of being involved in crime or instigating riots, is known as an excellent administrator and remains untouched by corruption allegations.  Unfortunately she is one of a kind.
That poster above was one of those shown by the demonstrators at the Gateway of India after the Mumbai terror attacks and reflects the mood of the country after the terrorist attacks.

It stands to reason that the Delhi electorate showed their confidence in a clean politician like Sheila Dikshit and elected her for the third term. The fact that Delhi had a high voter turnout, the highest ever (63 percent) in the last 15 years,  is also put down by analysts to the terror in Mumbai. These attacks are believed to have roused the middle classes out of their slumber and made them come out to vote like never seen before.

Sure, Dikshit has won twice before, but a lot of people had expected Delhi’s government to fall this time, partly due to the anti-incumbency factor and partly due to disenchantment with the Congress party’s (soft) approach to terror.

But despite voters coming out in greater numbers, they elected her government. Despite the BJP claiming that Dikshit’s government, the Congress (which also rules at the centre), was ineffective in controlling terrorism and deserved to be thrown out, they voted for her party.  This according to some political analysts, means that the BJP’s election plank of national security flopped. But it’s too soon to assume that. After all, Delhites have voted just in an assembly poll. In fact I think that this election shows the  voters’ maturity, their understanding that in an assembly election local issues are paramount.

Voters have  shown confidence in Sheila Dikshit the person and her administration’s performance (Delhi is shining today, the metro is a huge achievement, and pollution has been controlled). I think this augurs well for our nation, that voters are rooting for an effective politician, even when face to face with terror.

Once we get more educated people coming out to vote we will get more leaders, and fewer wheelers and dealers. At present the situation isn’t good, but it is encouraging to know that in the just-finished state elections, four out five states that went to the polls showed an increase in voter turnout.

Here is some information of voter turnouts in some cities of India. I could not get all figures for the same period for similar elections, and some percentages are for a particular phase, but the figures do give a rough picture. The figures are  sourced from: [1], [2], [3],[4],[5], [6], [7], [8], [9],  [10] and [11].

Delhi: November 2008 Delhi state elections – the highest voter turnout in the last 15 years at 63 percent. Consider that voter turnout in Delhi had gone down by 20 percent before this election -from 65.75 percent in the 1993 state elections to just  43 percent in last year’s civic polls. So this increase is significant, as is the increase in voter turnout of all the 5 states that went to the polls for this years state polls.

Madhya Pradesh: 2008 state elections:  voter turnout of 69.31 per cent, highest ever.

Rajasthan: 2008 state elections – voter turnout between 65 to 68 per cent, again a record.  The average (for state elections) between 1989 and 2003 has been around 60.4 per cent. One does not know if the recent terror attacks played a role in the increase in Rajasthan as  voter turnout in this state has been rising steadily since 1980.

Mumbai: 2006 state elections – 50-55 percent turnout. However in the Civic/Municipal Polls of 2007 in Mumbai voter turnout was approximately 50 percent. Overall in Maharashtra, voter turnout was 58 per cent during these civic polls, for 10 municipal corporations.  Polling percentage in Pune was 57 percent and it was highest in smaller towns like Solapur (60) and Amravati (65) (figures for civic polls). Generally, the smaller the place, the higher the voter turnout.

Bangalore: May 2008 state elections – the voter turnout in Bangalore city was 44 percent, the lowest ever in the past five elections.
Voter turnout in Karnataka state as a whole was higher, at 66 percent, slightly higher than the turnout of 65 percent in the previous assembly elections in 2004. So again it is the big cities which show a reluctance to vote. And whether it is Mumbai or Bangalore, it is the poorer areas in the cities which show the highest voter turnouts.

Chennai2006 state elections – voter turnout believed to be over 60 percent, an increase over the 2001 turnout, which was just 43.73 per cent. But even then Chennai voters come out in smaller numbers than their counterparts in other parts of their state, where in some districts voter percentage was 70-80 percent.

Kolkata: 2006 state elections – While some sources say that West Bengal had an average of 81.62 per cent votes cast, other sources say that it was 76 percent. I was not able to get reliable figures for Kolkata city but it is certainly higher than all other Indian cities. In fact from what I could find on the net, West Bengal as a state has the highest voter turnout of all states.

Kerala: 2006 state elections – voter turnout was 68 percent in the state overall.

Assam: 2006 state elections – voter turnout was 65 percent in the state overall.

If we take just the five states that just went to the polls to vote in their state government during/after the Mumbai terror attacks (Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and Mizoram), about four of them recorded a higher than a 14-year average turnout. Only Mizoram bucked the trend, but then its turnout at 70 per cent is still the highest amongst the five!

Overall in the last Lok Sabha (national elections, 2004) about 45 to 50 per cent of the electorate voted. But after seeing the huge jump in voters in Delhi and in other parts I am beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. After all we have a large educated middle class (250-300m) and if they all come out to vote we can change the face of this country forever. And the fact that a large chunk of our population is young means that they will certainly vote for change.

The change will happen slowly because the people standing for elections will have to change for any real change to take place. But it’s natural that tickets will be given to those who have a better chance of winning. Once those politicians know who (WE!!) they are facing, they will put up the right candidates and the revolution will start. Through the ballot. We need just 2-3 general elections to see the changing face of our politicians. I think we will look back in history and see the Mumbai terror attacks the turning point in our voting history. Lets make it happen.

(All photographs have been taken by an unknown person and forwarded to me by email by a friend)

Related Reading: Registering your no-vote stops proxy voting
What role did we play in the Mumbai terror attack (guest post)
Narendra Modi gets elected for the third time in Gujarat
The Congress losing civic polls in Mumbai and Pune…a portent for the future?
The middle-classes need to vote
Bal Thackeray’s election campaign ads are funny

Read other posts on the subject of Politics and others on Terrorism

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33 Comments leave one →
  1. stud.boy99 permalink
    December 10, 2008 11:30 pm

    Its a very good news.. sheila dikshit is indeed a politician focussed on development.

    But before we hope it to replicate for entire country, I would like to point the reasons why it happened. First, there is high literacy rate in delhi (about 80%), so politicians find it difficult to raise issues like caste/religion etc bcos ppl can see through it easily. And second, there is huge presence of government infrastructure (like police, government offices), so no big riots etc happen, and peace prevails. I think these two factors made the change possible.

    The communal politicians depend on the illiterate (read gullible) masses as its easier to garner votes without doing any actual development when the voters are illiterate. for example- Bihar (or take any other constituency for that matter which las low literacy rates)

    Another reason, 2010 commonwealth games are to be held in delhi and this infrastructure is being built to cater to that. I guess pressure from middleclass might not have been sufficient to improve delhi’s infrastructure.

    so, while its heartening to see the silver lining, one should not miss seeing the clouds🙂

  2. December 11, 2008 1:58 am

    Nita:

    I was discussing exactly this issue with a friend in Delhi today.

    Voter turnout – or the reversal in voter apathy – is a good sign I think. It does however need to sustain until the general elections.

    At the other end, the issue of the ‘choices’ available remains open though. Most of the politicians are just a case of the ‘less-worse’ choice rather than an absolute ‘good’ choice. That pipeline, if you will, of leaders is something many of us are hoping will emerge.

    Petit a petit, I think change will come. I believe sustainable change has to be in incremental steps so it is slow but endures.

  3. locutus83 permalink
    December 11, 2008 2:00 am

    This is my first major comment!

    Interesting. I liked the way you highlighted the increase in voter turnout with numbers, and it’s possible correlation with the Mumbai terror attacks.

    I too hope that the criterion for electoral success in India slowly shifts from petty politics, corruption, ‘goondaism’ and caste/religion/regionalism to legislative and executive performance and statemanship.

    This shift can only happen if the ‘right’ people are voted to power, for the ‘right’ reasons, which can only happen when a larger educated, broad-minded and aware mass of voters votes.

    (This also proves why widespread education, literacy and awareness is so VITALLY IMPORTANT for India’s progress and development!)

    Unfortunately, the educated Indian middle class has been lazy and apathetic all these years, totally ignorant of the fact that it has the power to make changes in the ‘rotten’ system; the politicians HAVE to perform when they know a large share of votes will come from a non-gullible, sensible, rational, educated class which cannot be swayed by religious jingoism, caste affiliations or by a wad of hundred rupee notes and a bottle of desi liquor.

    The Mumbai blasts, however horrific and tragic, may hopefully shake the educated Indian middle class out of its slumber – and may bring about change through the electoral channels. Am eagerly waiting for the 2009 National elections.

    P.S. – Nita – Please don’t read too much into West Bengal’s high voter turnout. A huge amount of bogus voting occurs in the rural areas of W.B. during elections, with thousands of C.P.M. ‘cadre-goondas’ running the show.

  4. Vinod permalink
    December 11, 2008 8:56 am

    I’ve often heard of Indians talking about education bringing enlightenment – a higher plane of thought that rises above caste, colour, religion and perhaps nation. But I have serious doubts about it. I have seen highly educated casteists, racists, religious fundamentalists, economic fundamentalists and narrow minded nationalists. Education can produce and enhance bigotry. After all, aren’t the leaders of IMF and World Bank so blinded by free market fundamentalism that they turn a a blind eye to the mass child deaths caused in African countries as a result of the SAPs. Education per se need not bring enlightenment. Enlightened education brings true awakening. But perhaps this is only an observation at an individual level and at a social level it may be working. I’m not so sure though.

  5. December 11, 2008 9:37 am

    I agree with you completely Nita. I am confident that we will see this change happening all over India. The Mumbai Terror Attacks will go down in Indian History as the turning point in the urban middle class’s attitude towards elections and politics.

    The outrage and frustration, with a lot of hope, was already building since Obama’s victory, and the whole urban middle class watched it live on their television screens and realised what can be achieved with active voter participation. The discontent, the violence, the corruption and incompetence had us all wishing for an Obama for India, these attacks were the last straw I think.

    Now all we need to do now is to keep this fire burning, and like you say “Once those politicians know who (WE!!) they are facing, they will put up the right candidates and the revolution will start. Through the ballot.”

    Yes we will see this happen🙂

  6. Chirag permalink
    December 11, 2008 9:47 am

    Kind of funny. We don’t even have a democracy now in India. Looks more like a monarchy of a few individual and groups. We are in dire need of a lot of employment opportunity. Being an almost optimist the voter turn out is good start atleast, given they are not bogus votes.

    Hey Nita, but do you think voting solves the problem? I mean you have choice between someone who has served 5 years or 3 years in jail.

  7. December 11, 2008 11:00 am

    Studboy, true the literacy rate in Delhi is high but then it is high in some localities in other metros too. For example in cuffe parade, one of the poshest areas in Mumbai voter turnout has often been 15-20%!! And once it was 30% and it was considered good. Overall in metros like Mumbai or Bangalore it is the slum dwellers who come out to vote. And even if the commonwealth games was a goal that Dikshit had in mind, she did it. But what you say is right, these things helped, but nothing would have helped the public if she had been corrupt!🙂

    Shefaly, thanks for sharing my optimism. I too believe that changes cannot happen overnight.

    locutus83, you are right about the proxy votes. But the no-vote option that everyone is talking about these days will help prevent this. In fact I wrote about this last year (just found the post amidst a lot of clutter!) when CNN-IBN had come out with a series of ads urging citizens to register their no-vote so proxy votes are not given. I agree with all your other points as well.

    Vinod, ofcourse educated people can be casteist and communal too. But I think that finally people vote because they can get something from politicians, whether it is development, security, bijli, paani. So educated people who are working hard to succeed, who already have opportunities to grow in life, will be less tempted to vote for a politician from their own caste, however communal he is at heart. Finally he will also understand that overall development which results in better roads, better security, better colleges, schools etc will help him.

    indianhomemaker, I always love optimism because I sincerely believe that without positive thinking we cannot progress.

    Chirag, these things take time to change. In any election if the goondas know that they are going to face a decent educated lot who won’t be threatened by goons and who won’t be bribed, and can’t be fooled, then better candidates will emerge. It cannot happen overnight…it’s all a vicious cycle and it is up to us to stop it.

  8. December 11, 2008 11:19 am

    Hey Nita ..

    Well, I, being a politics lover, have analyzed these recent election results ..

    1) Indian People have immnesly matured with time .. They know that internal security and terrorism are the issues which central government take care of .. State government even cannot stand a chance in those matters .. Hence sadak, pani and bijli were the primary issues with which people went to cast their votes .. That is why good administrator like Shivraj, Raman Singh and Shilaji won .. But if congress becomes over-confident and if they throw the lok-sabha election early this year, they will have to pay the price .. I firmly believe that ..

    2) There were anti-incumbancy factors in Delhi such as BRTS failure, high crime rate in delhi,noida sector, unsafety of women but the clean and honest image of Shilaji overshadowed all those and did the trick for congress..

    3) I strongly feel that if Arun Jaitley would hv been projected as CM canditate then I guess the outcome would have been different ..

    But all said and done, to win the elections for third consecutive time, it is a huge huge achievement .. Even though I hv always been a pro-BJP, I do like Shilaji for her personality and her way of working ..

    We need people like her .. Seriously !!

  9. December 11, 2008 12:20 pm

    @ Nita : Ah the dear old Ms. Dixit. Yeah I would vote for her :p She is totally sassy! I agree Delhi has improved a lot and I have been watching it for more than a decade now. You know what if not the whole of India but at least the bigger cities need Mayors/Local leaders like her. Things would change. Basically and I hate to put it like this but as long as people crap where they eat, things are not likely to improve in this country. A long time ago I read something about the Koreans. They are an immensely corrupt country and were far more corrupt than they are today but a Korean would never take a bribe lets say for building a bridge because he or she would realise that one day his or her family may have to pass over the same bridge as well. Now I do not know whether this is a fact or not but if only we realised this India would start changing sooner than you or me can begin to imagine because this is a country where people profess to love their families.

    Yeah I liked the results of the elections this time. I am also happy that somewhere people did not get swayed by the terror attack so much as to change their already made up minds on voting. Shows maturity that even the US electorate failed to show with Bush Jr.

  10. December 11, 2008 12:25 pm

    Nita, there were many reasons behind Shila Dixit’s success. Development in Delhi is visible everywhere, this is despite divisions within the Congress ranks. Her perseverance is also commendable. There were protests all over Delhi when the decision to privatise power distribution was taken, but she didn’t budge and the result is for everyone to see. When CNG was introduced and forced on commercial vehicles( the courts deserve the credit) there were protests but she took a strong view and the result is that Delhi air is much much cleaner now. She is pursuing with BRT corridor, so far nobody seems to be happy, I hope the end result is good this time also. Her image is clean, despite her son being a very actice politician and legislator from East Delhi.
    Yo have to give some credit to the main opposition party, BJP also. Their house is completely divided. Their choice of Chief Minister was 77 year old VK Malhotra, a guy who never smiles. A journalist remarked, you cannot win by using an expired medicine.

  11. December 11, 2008 1:26 pm

    Well it is the people who talk all day long are the ones who don’t come out and vote…maybe they should stand in the elections…

  12. December 11, 2008 1:53 pm

    Great post Nita, completely agree with your opinions. I guess in order to make change a possible agenda, we need to be positive and strong in our approach and beliefs. Change is long overdue, and we shouldn’t sit and think that it is impossible. It is time for leaders to start making decisions for others, and not for them selves.

  13. blumen permalink
    December 11, 2008 3:07 pm

    I agree that Delhi is administered better and has improved despite the BRT mess which has to be solved.
    But Delhiites have voted more on a local issue. The terrorist attack in Mumbai has not affected them as they are far away. This feeling has dangerous trends as it shows that we still do not come together as ‘ONE ‘nation. The media projected that the Mumbai terrorist attack was an attack on the whole of India and not on Mumbai alone but the results in the capital of India tell us a different tale. The danger lies in the people of Delhi thinking differently from the people in Mumbai on this issue.

  14. December 11, 2008 5:44 pm

    I completely agree with you, as well as the commenters. Regarding bogus voting being high in West Bengal (as locutus83 points out) – being a Delhiite, I can say that for Delhi too! I have heard instances of voting on behalf of dead people! I wonder how will they send out their no-votes…🙂

    P.S: Those who do not make it a point to remove the names of their dead kin from the voter’s list are equally responsible for contributing towards bogus voting.

  15. December 11, 2008 6:12 pm

    With many voters have turned out, we are able to see what majority of the people wants. And it is good to see that people have voted for the politicians who have done good and rejected the ineffective administrators(Rajasthan).
    And after the Mumbai terror attacks, people have realised that no good will happen by continously blaming the responsibles and they have to show their responsibility by casting votes which is also their duty. A very good thing for the future of India.

  16. December 11, 2008 6:13 pm

    A very well written and informative post, Nita🙂

  17. wishtobeanon permalink
    December 11, 2008 6:31 pm

    Wow, I like your optimism, Nita. I really do hope it’s not just a new voting era, but also a new system of governance and thinking.
    I am sure blogs like yours are really helping – the internet could really bring about a new revolution in Indian politics.

  18. genosign permalink
    December 11, 2008 7:39 pm

    I am not sure this voting era extends to TN. For the most part, the majority who vote are live below the poverty line, who are lured by freebies and money at the time of election by the parties. The educated here rarely bother to vote even when people campaigned door to door for the same. It is practically a goonda raj without any visible signs.

  19. December 11, 2008 8:09 pm

    Interesting to note West Bengal always has a highest turnout. I am glad that the voter turnouts are increasing. But what choice do people have other than Congress Vs BJP or One Old Local party vs Another old Local Party? We can probably go by the candidate who competes in that constituency but again like Shefaly said the choice is more like “Less Worse” of the lot. Can we look at Independents? Will that be a wise thing to do? I am sure it will be different from state to state but either way if this voter turnout brings the change we need then that’s all I am asking for.

  20. December 11, 2008 10:17 pm

    Soham, I agree with you that the Delhi voters could well vote differently in the national elections. In fact one has a strong feeling that they will.

    Odzer, I actually dreamt that Sheila Dixit was the CM of Maharashtra!!🙂 🙂

    Prerna, she is sure an iron lady and she also happens to be from my college, Miranda House!🙂

    Vishesh, yeah, their talking might make them fit right in with the politicians!🙂

    Kiran, thanks. I agree that change is long overdue. Just today I read another group of IIT’s starting a new party called Revolt India. Thats what we need, a revolt!

    blumen, I think the terror in Mumbai did affect them, the voters in Delhi came out like never before. And I think they will vote in large numbers in the Lok Sabha elections too. I doubt that people want to see young Rajiv Gandhi as PM, however good his intentions.

    Rajat, this whole election name business reeks of inefficiency. Last election many names were missing in the election list in our area and I fear something like that will happen this time too. And that’s a point, dead people’s names should be removed.

    Kanagu, thanks. I agree that voters have shown that they can vote for the right people.

    wishtobeanon, yes the internet is doing a great job of connecting all of us. We tend to infect each other with our enthusiasm…!

    genosign, same thing all over the place, the poorer lot being bribed. In my area goons on motorbikes go around with booze bottles and yes, non-veg food and five hundred rupee notes!! It’s a shame isn’t it that the well-to-do don’t bother to vote. But lets hope that this will change in the next election. Don’t give up hope. Start a campaign in your neighborhood to get people to vote. If one person in each colony did it, everyone in the city would vote!

    Dineshbabu, as you said there are always independents. We have to choose the best we can and if all are criminals then register the no-vote which will prevent proxy voting. Finally we deserve the politicians we get.

  21. December 11, 2008 10:39 pm

    We can offer a rating system for current politicians. There shall be a transparent system to rate a current MLa or MPs, so a good and bad politician can be easily saggrigate. We shall make the rating so popular that even the parties cant ignore the outcome. So they have to think before giving tickets to the aspirants for next election.

    Rating huh! Like credit ratings given to companies! Sounds like an interesting idea! We will need objective and unbiased agencies doing that, but knowing the current scenario that will be difficult. – Nita.

  22. December 11, 2008 10:53 pm

    Yes, Congress has been elemental in Delhi’s development but I wonder how much of this would have been done if the Commonwealth games were not slated for 2010. Maybe I am talking like a pessimist but I would really like the government to put some strong measures against terrorism besides all the development work.
    The good thing which came out of this election was that people came out of their houses. Although I was too angry at that time to vote at that time but I admit that I would have felt angrier if BJP would have won.
    I was going to add that – We deserve the politicians we get but you already said that.🙂

    Amit, I guess she was driven by the Commonwealth games, but she isn’t known to take bribes and that is a relief. I agree that the main thing is that people got off their backsides and voted! – Nita.

  23. December 11, 2008 11:17 pm

    nita, if i had the voting right at this age i would have surely voted for BJP. i think the city has been “perfectly” mismanaged by the congress govt. sure, sheila dixit might be having a clean background but i think her govt has been a total failure. have you been to delhi ever? as a delhiite i just feel that congress has given us only the metro and it is for this reason that it has captured major vote banks……..but when security lapses are concerned congress is to be solely held responsible…….it only shows up the posh and well doing parts of the city….where as other areas still remain out of sight
    ……but i just hope that since it has again come back to power….they learn from their past mistakes and work more strategically.

    Arpit, I was in college in Delhi and even before that and after that!🙂 Delhi was pretty bad in those days, polluted, and the transport system sucked. So I think Delhi has come a long way since then and is today worthy of being India’s capital city. Sure, more needs to be done, particularly in the poorer areas, but a beginning has been made. – Nita.

  24. blumen permalink
    December 12, 2008 10:17 am

    Nita, my fears are justified where the Delhiite is concerned. According to a poll conducted by the Times dated 11th Dec., a majority of Indians want to snap ties with Pakistan but Delhiites are less enthusiastic about it and where the question of trading Kashmir to buy peace for India is concerned, again Delhiites are willing to do it. On both these important counts where our national interest is at stake and the rest of India is united against Pakistan, the Delhiite has a soft attitude towards our enemy. If some Indians have such a soft attitude towards our enemy then forget waging a war against Pakistan.

    I haven’t read that poll and I am surprised that Delhites are willing to give up Kashmir. I hope this is not the case, because giving up Kashmir will certainly not buy us peace, it will instead cause internal problems, maybe even civil war. – Nita.

  25. December 12, 2008 11:44 am

    Sheila Dixit is one women that i truly look upto…

    Me too! – Nita.

  26. December 12, 2008 6:40 pm

    Yes, the winds are changing.. perhaps…
    Indifference is the greatest destroyer of all. We have to start caring.
    Thanks for a nice post, I enjoyed it.

    Thanks Nomad. Yes I agree, we have to feel and act on it, positively! – Nita.

  27. December 12, 2008 7:25 pm

    Brilliant one, again! Another blogger had expressed his concern on similar lines, and I think these images are proof that people are waking up to the fact that we will no longer remain a country destined to be ruled by criminals!😀

    Criminals and buffoons need to become a thing of the past! If guys like you vote, we will certainly see an improvement! – Nita.

  28. December 12, 2008 9:23 pm

    Just wanted to congratulate you on your well deserved Avant Garde honors🙂 You are a great and inspiring writer. Keep us, your readers, very well informed. Thank you and your blog is on my blogroll Nita🙂 You can count me as one of your regular reader!

    Kiran, thanks.🙂 – Nita.

  29. December 13, 2008 10:58 am

    Nice post Nita. I just landed in Mumbai and this city has really been hard done by. There is a thick smog here and although a lot of road construction seems to be going on, it doesnt seem to me that people in charge of Maharashtra care much about the electorate of this city. I have been in interior Maharashtra yet, but from what I hear the cities there are much better taken care of.

    Why does Delhi get to choose its administrators and Mumbai not ?

    Thanks Vikram and welcome to MH! Well, in Mumbai if more of the electorate votes then perhaps we will have better administrators instead of goons and buffoons! – Nita.

  30. December 13, 2008 4:03 pm

    Voting Itself will not solve the problem, Although I think people who wont value their vote shall not allow to vote. Value of vote of a thinking litterate person and person who just vote for a Drink shall not be same. Its good to value your vote but we shall have some system to check those who wont value their vote and same time candidate who bribe them. A Suspension of Voter right can be a option. Same time it shall also apply on the people who wont come to vote. Some sort of disadvanage shall be levid on them.

  31. taz permalink
    December 14, 2008 2:56 am

    nita,
    this is a distress call. please write an article about misuse of dowry law(s.498A) and its remedies. iam a regular reader of yours and need immediate help!especially the remedies!

    taz, I have written about this here:
    https://nitawriter.wordpress.com/2008/01/22/men-being-implicated-in-false-dowry-cases/
    Where remedies are concerned, I am not sure about them taz. But the impression I got was that this law is used when relationships sour, it’s a method used to hit out at the other, sometimes unfairly. – Nita.

  32. December 14, 2008 7:38 am

    Nita, true, voter and citizen apathy in Mumbai is a big contributing factor. But I was referring to the special status Delhi has as a city in India. It gets to elect its own government and admininster its own territory. The other big cities in India dont have this status. I dont know if you read Nandan Nilekani’s article in the ToI the other day, where he talked about the imcomplete decentralization process in India. The media has to do its bit in highlighting this important and negelected systemic defect in India’s administration.

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