Verdict 2014

Modi wave sweeps away Muslim representation in Lok Sabha

Only 4.05% of the members of the new Lok Sabha are Muslim – the lowest figure in five decades.

India’s 150 million Muslims will have only 22 representatives in the 16th Lok Sabha.

As the Bharatiya Janta Party forms India's first single-party majority government in 30 years, Muslims have been eclipsed. Only 4.05% of the members of the new Lok Sabha are Muslim – the lowest figure in 50 years. The 2009 polls saw 30 MPs being elected. Muslim representation in the Lok Sabha has hovered at around 5-6% for the last 25 years, with the highest number of 49 MPs (10%) being recorded in 1980.

This year's figure is a result of the decimation of the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, which had driven Muslim participation in recent elections

The state-wise contribution to Muslim representatives is not encouraging – all the 22 MPs hail from only seven states and one Union Territory. Fourteen states have not elected a single Muslim MP over the last 25 years.

In an unexpected turn of events, Uttar Pradesh has no Muslim MPs for the first time since Independence. This time, 34 parties had fielded 144 Muslim candidates in the state, which has an 18.5% Muslim population. Over the last 25 years, UP has sent more Muslims to the Lok Sabha – 45 – than any other state. The UP result is surprising because in the 2012 assembly elections, Muslims had achieved for the first time a representation (17%), close to their population (18.5%).

The polarisation of voters on religious lines in Western Uttar Pradesh, which has the highest ratio of Muslim voters, seems to have paid off for the BJP, as they won everywhere, including in constituencies with 40% or more Muslims.

West Bengal has elected 8 Muslim MPs, more than any other state this year, followed by Jammu & Kashmir (3) and Bihar (4).

Maharashtra, with a Muslim population of around 11%, did not vote in any Muslims in this time. In fact, the state has sent only one Muslim to the Lok Sabha since 1989.



The BJP fielded seven Muslims in its list of 428 candidates (1.63%) – none of whom won. The Congress pool of 462 candidates featured  27 Muslims (6%) , of whom three won. The BJP lost its sole Muslim MP Shahnawaz Hussain from Bhagalpur in Bihar, to Shailesh Kumar of the Rashtriya Janata Dal with a margin of 9,485 votes.



Among the seven successful Muslim incumbents was All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen’s Asaduddin Owaisi, who scored a hat-trick in Hyderabad. He defeated his nearest rival Bhagvanth Rao of the BJP by a margin of nearly two lakh votes. Veteran Muslim parliamentarian E Ahmed of the Indian Union Muslim League also walked away with a winning majority, towards his seventh innings in parliament.

Moving beyond the arithmetic, what does the BJP victory hold for India’s minorities? There are fears among the community that a BJP-led government will neglect them, thus reinforcing their sense of marginalisation. Others fear that the BJP might take advantage of its majority to pass contentious laws to proceed with building a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya over the demolished Babri Masjid, or to impose a uniform civil code. Regardless of these fears, the fact that India’s largest minority community does not have an effective voice in the people’s assembly does not bode well for India's pluralism.



 
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content  BY 

Understanding the engineering behind race cars

Every little element in these machines is designed to achieve power and speed.

All racing cars including stock, rally or Formula 1 cars are specially built to push the limits of achievable speed. F1 cars can accelerate to 90 km/h in less than two seconds and touch top speeds of over 320 km/h. Stock cars also typically achieve over 300 km/h. So what makes these cars go so fast? A powerful engine is combined with several other components that are relentlessly optimized to contribute to the vehicle’s speed. All these components can be grouped under four crucial elements:

Aerodynamics 

The fastest cars are the most aerodynamic. A sleek, streamlined design is a head-turner, but its primary function is to limit wind resistance against the vehicle. If a car is built to cut through the wind rather than push against it, it will travel faster and also use less fuel in the process. To further improve the aerodynamic quality of the car, everything from the wheel arcs and lights to the door handles and side mirrors are integrated into the overall structure to reduce the drag - the friction and resistance of the wind. For some varieties of race cars, automobile designers also reduce the shape and size of the car rear by designing the back of the car so that it tapers. This design innovation is called a lift-back or Kammback. Since aerodynamics is crucial to the speed of cars, many sports cars are even tested in wind tunnels

Power

All race car engines are designed to provide more horsepower to the car and propel it further, faster. The engines are designed with carburetors to allow more air and fuel to flow into them. Many sports and racing cars also have a dual-shift gear system that allows drivers to change gears faster. The shift time—or the brief time interval between gear changes when power delivery is momentarily interrupted—can be as little as 8 milliseconds with this gear system. Faster gear shifts enable the car to travel at their fastest possible speeds in shorter times.

Control

The ability to turn corners at higher speeds is crucial while racing and racing cars are often designed so that their floors are flat to maximize the downforce. Downforce is a downwards thrust that is created in a vehicle when it is in motion. This force exerts more pressure on the tyres increasing their grip on the road, and thereby enabling the car to travel faster through corners. The downforce can be so strong that at around 175 km/h, even if the road surface were turned upside down, the car would stick to the surface. Many racing cars like the Volkswagen Polo R WRC are even equipped with a large rear wing that helps generate extra downforce.

Weight

The total weight of the car and its distribution is a critical part of race car design. All race cars are made of durable but extremely light material that reduces the weight of the vehicle. Every part of the vehicle is evaluated and components that are not strictly required in the race car—such as trunks or back seats—are eliminated. The weight distribution in these cars is carefully calibrated since at high speeds it proves crucial to car control. As a result, almost all racing cars have an RMR configuration or a Rear Mid-engine, Rear-wheel-drive layout where the engine is situated at around the middle of the car (but closer to the rear than the front), just behind the passenger compartment. This layout where the car is a little heavier towards the rear than the front allows for better control of the car at high speeds.

Only the most cutting edge technology is used to develop modern race cars and as a result, they are normally far more expensive to buy and more difficult to maintain than regular ones. But your dream of owning a race car does not need to remain a dream. The Volkswagen GTI, part of the award-winning VW GTI family, is now coming to India. Since 1979, these sporty and powerful cars have been dominating roads and rally race tracks.

With a sleek aerodynamic build, a great power-to-weight ratio and 7-speed dual-shift gears, the Volkswagen GTI is the most accessible race car experience available in India. Packed with 189 bhp/ 192 PS, the car is capable of doing 0-100 km/h in just 7.2 seconds and boasts a top speed of 233 km/h. And though the car is built to be quick and powerful, it is also strong on fuel economy with an outstanding mileage of 16.34 km/l. To experience what it is like to drive a race car, book a test drive now.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Volkswagen and not by the Scroll editorial team.