Agriculturists steer India's destiny in Parliament

Thursday, 27 February 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Agriculturists have not only given India self-sufficiency in food but have been increasingly steering its destiny by entering Parliament in greater numbers over the years since independence.

If it was lawyers who dominated the first couple of Lok Sabhas, the directly elected lower house of Parliament, it is agriculturists who have the largest presence now.

According to a study by the Lok Sabha Secretariat based on the bio-data of members of all 13 Lok Sabhas so far, there has been a steep fall in the presence of lawyers in the house, but a gradual rise in that of agriculturists.

While the percentage of agriculturists has gone up from 22.45 in the first Lok Sabha to 43.67 percent in the current 13th house, the presence of lawyers has come down from 35.42 percent to 12.24 percent.

Lawyers constituted the bulk of members in the first and second Lok Sabha. That was perhaps because a large number of people in the legal profession had participated in the freedom struggle.

The number of elected seats in the Lok Sabha has gone up from 489 in 1952 to 543 at present. The house currently has 545 members, two of whom are nominated.

The representation of journalists has come down drastically over the years. There were 45 journalists/writers in the first Lok Sabha, 50 in the second Lok Sabha and only nine in the present Lok Sabha. But there is an increase in the number of doctors in the present house.

No religious leader or missionary entered politics till the third Lok Sabha was constituted in 1962. The third, fifth, seventh, eighth and 11th Lok Sabha had one religious leader each, the fourth and 12th four each and the 10th house had three religious leaders in it. The current house has only two religious leaders/missionaries, according to the records.

While no businessman was there in the Lok Sabha till 1991, 23 entrepreneurs entered the 10th house. The number increased in the 11th house to 29 whereas the current Lok Sabha has 22 businessmen.

The category of political and social workers has been included in the study from the third Lok Sabha onwards. Their representation touched the highest point in the fourth Lok Sabha with 22.86 percent.

In all 13 Lok Sabhas, graduates have had the largest presence, far higher than under-matriculates or undergraduates. As compared to 58.08 percent in the first Lok Sabha, 80.29 percent of MPs in the 13th Lok Sabha have studies up to university graduation and above.

Though there has been a considerable fall in the presence of members in the age group of 25-35 years over various Lok Sabhas, MPs between 46 and 55 years of age have outnumbered others in the majority of the 13 houses.

"Preponderance of this age group in the membership profile of the Lok Sabha is reflective of the electorate's preference for youthfulness coupled with experience and maturity in the personalities of their representatives," the Lok Sabha Secretariat study said.

Source: IANS
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