MINORITY REPRESENTATION :
The word minority is used in more than one sense. In the legislature, the majority becomes the ruling party and the minority party becomes opposition. Apart from this political minority, there are several other minorities like, linguistic, racial and communal.
Thus, in India, Hindus are in majority and Christians, Anglo - Indians and Muslims are in minority. This is religious or communal minority. In Tamilnadu, Tamils are in majority and Telugu people are in minority. This is linguistic minority.
The political minority should be represented in the national legislature. They along with the majority should participate in the law making process.
One way of securing representation for minorities is adopting proportional representation.
Another method is communal representation. Under this system special arrangements are made for minority representation. There may be separate electorates for separate communities. Such a provision was made during the British rule in India.
It provided for representation for each community. The Hindu voted for Hindu and the Muslim voted for Muslim candidates. This was popularly known as communal representation. Another method of communal representation is to provide for reservation of seats. Even though, this communal reservation was not followed in the independent India, the Indian constitution does provide for reservation of seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the legislatures and in the Lok Sabha. Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act, also provide for reservation of seats for s.cs' and s.ts' in the local bodies.
It is true, in a democracy, wider participation should be allowed. No section of the society should go without representation. However, as provided and in dealing with proportional representation, reservation of any kind will only promote division among the society. Any system of minority representation only divides people into hostile camps.
It also develops hatred among minority and majority against each other. Consequently, democracy, which implies the existence of common will suffer most under a system of minority representation.
Minority representation does not provide the answer to the basic problem of democracy. The problem is how can every group be given an opportunity to participate or influence the process of legislation. The answer lies in creating avenues for the minority to express themselves.