Realizing the urgent need for electoral reforms in India towards a
proportionate electoral system, the Campaign for Electoral Reforms
in India, (CERI), and the Platform-Dalit Solidarity in Germany
together organized an International Workshop of experts on
electoral systems from Germany, Norway, The Netherlands, New
Zealand, Nepal and India.
The experts deliberated on the disadvantages of the British model
of the First Past the Post, (FPTP), electoral system for a fast
changing India and came to a conclusion that India must move at
the earliest towards a Mixed Member Proportionate electoral system
According to a Press release this Workshop was held in Berlin on
October 17,18 and 19. The Press release was jointly issued by Mr.
Walter Hahn and Mr. M. C. Raj, Coordinators of Platform-Dalit
Solidarity in Germany, Stuttgart, Germany & CERI, Tumkur, India
The Indian delegation also included a member of the Upper House in
India. These scholars were earlier involved in one way or other in
the many researches that CERI did in all these countries.
Technical details of implementing the MMP to the context of India
have also been worked out by experts and will be brought out as a
tailor-made policy document for India. Armed with such a document
CERI plans to make the next moves for electoral reforms in the
Parliament of India, the release said.
Meanwhile, from India Dr. Arshi Khan, Associate Professor in
Department of Political Science in Aligarh Muslim University,
presented the case for increasing the strength of Lok Sabha and to
introduce Proportional Representation electoral system for making
Indian Parliament more conducive to different sections of society.
Dr. Khan also reportedly said that the experiences of
representation since 1951-1952 has strengthened the majoritarian
model ignoring the rights of minorities particularly Muslim
community. It is important to change the strength and nature of
Lok Sabha so that it could be really representative of the people,
mainly of the weaker sections, he emphasized.
Even the Dalit parties under the FPTP electoral system, members of
Parliament seem to be loyal to Party rather than the community.
There must be a change for the good of the country, he added.
Meanwhile, the release stated that India is the largest democracy
in the world. One recognizes that it is a multi-cultural society,
which is in need of very special measures for democratic
governance. The complex reality of Indian society makes it
difficult even for experts to develop a clear understanding of the
undercurrents that guide its destiny. However, India’s electoral
system is neither an undercurrent nor a complex reality. The
praxis of the FPTP electoral system in India has further
accentuated the intricacies of its governance. Politically
speaking India has arrived at an era of coalition politics. One
may not see a reversal of this coalition politics in the near
future. It is a well recognized truth that FPTP system of
elections is best suited for countries that have two party system,
the release contended.
The release said: “FPTP electoral system vogue in India is a
legacy borrowed from the British. India has come a long way in its
political life from the time it got independence from the British.
It is now a major player in the Asian economic scenario. However,
the representative nature of its democratic governance leaves much
to be desired in terms of the results it produces for more than a
billion of its people. India, with its multi-party system and
coalition politics is in dire need of changing its electoral
system to a more inclusive representative system that also
addresses the needs of coalition politics in a multi-cultural
Later on, Dr. Arshi Khan attended a conference on Ataturk and
Turkey organized by the Government of Turkey and the Macedonian
Academy of Science and Arts from October 17-22 in the historic
city of Bitola of Macedonia. There he presented a paper on Turkish
foreign policy showing difference between the period of Ataturk
and the present period.
While, it may be mentioned here that Mr. M C Raj is a well-known
writer in India with more than 15 published books. He writes on
philosophy, psychology, spirituality, politics etc. He is a
frequent international traveller giving lectures in different
universities and Conferences. He is a reputed social activist with
the latest Karmaveer Puraskar award and Ambedkar International
Literary Award. He generally writes on Dalit issues and is an
international opinion leader. He leads a powerful Dalit Movement
Having done three researches in Germany, Norway and New Zealand he
has initiated a major national campaign for electoral reforms in
India known as CERI. He has brought together Indigenous
communities in ten countries in a historic First Round Table of
the World Parliament of Indigenous Peoples. He has also started
Booshakthi Kendra, the first ever Dalit Ashram in India.