The paradox of voters and the voted in Pune and Mumbai

Just a thought:

Both Pune’s and Mumbai’s citizens blame their elected representatives from not caring a damn for the city. It’s true – in both cities, the elected representatives – policymakers – have little incentive to work for the betterment of the city’s residents. The reasons for this, in the two cities, however, are exactly the opposite:

In Pune, since a significant percentage of the population – more so the educated/”influential” population – are not registered voters in Pune, the elected representatives of areas within the city are not accountable to this section of people – they are not the ones who get them (the legislators) elected. A majority of those that are indeed registered voters, (especially in the fringe areas of Kothrud, Aundh, Vimannagar, Wanawadi, Kondhwa) are low-income natives, people who have lived in these areas since they were little more than villages, who are usually swayed by populist policies, or can simply be bought. In central areas of Pune (what used to consitute the “old Pune” city), the infrastructure is typically better, and “quality of life” is significantly higher, than in these fringe areas.

Summary – elected representatives are natives, citizens are not.

In Mumbai, most of the population (that is, excluding the natives from up North) are locals. However, those that frame policies for the incredibly complex web that is Mumbai, are usually not elected from Mumbai. Hence the demand from the citizens for Mumbai to be made a separate administrative region, where representatives would be accountable to the local populace, and hence also the vociferous opposition from the administrators to grant that stauts (given their propensity to treat the city as a cash cow). Indeed, why would the Chief Minister of Maharashtra care a damn about investing so much time and money into efforts to dig the city out of the morass it is in? After all, he is elected from Latur. (We have had, as far as I can remember, only one CM – Manohar Joshi – whose constituency was Mumbai – and only during his Government’s reign did we see any noticable work in Mumbai in terms of infrastructure development – overlooking all of that Government’s other failures).

Summary – elected representatives are not natives, although citizens are.

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