Quick quiz – can you name your local Member of Parliament?
If you’re a young, urban Indian, chances are that you can’t. And it’s for good reason – while national politics often finds its way into Facebook timelines and Twitter conversations, local politics takes a backseat. That isn’t exactly ideal. Indians vote for their local Members of Parliament who ultimately constitute the Lok Sabha.
But it’s hard to find out information about local politicians. People normally vote on the basis of party allegiances, and politicians can conveniently hide behind their party symbols. The Election Commission does maintain a database of information about contesting politicians, but like most government websites, it isn’t exactly user friendly, or particularly easy on the eye.
This is where NetaFilter comes in. It tries to give you information about sitting MPs at a glance, and overlays their educational attributes, wealth, and even criminal record on an India map. Each constituency is covered, and hovering over a constituency gives you the name and party of the elected representative.
But what makes this site interesting is its India wide filters. So this is a view of the MPs with criminal cases across the country – the bigger the dot, the more cases a politician has leveled against them.
Rajasthan seems to have the least tainted politicians in the country, while predictably, Bihar and Jharkhand don’t fare quite as well. Maharashtra too seems to have its share of errant politicians.
As for educational qualifications, the north and the south seem to have the most well-educated politicians, while states like Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh seem to lag the rest.
Apart from being informative, the site is a lot of fun to play around with. Politics has always been alienating and hard to understand for the youth. This site speaks their language, and with its cool GUI and filters, can hopefully get them interested in better using one of their biggest strengths – their vote.