Well, I dont know about you but I am tensed as to what's going to happen after the elections in India in 2009. So, I decided to pour in all my thoughts in a separate blog :D !!
Here I go ...
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
It is never easy to walk the talk. Especially when there is money and power involved. In one of its television advertisement, Lok Satta offered a bribe to the voters. Infact it said, Lok Satta offers a bigger bribe than money and wine for your vote – the bright future of your children.
Imagine the kind of thinking that must have gone into coming up with that slogan. Now tell me, why wouldn’t we want to choose such leaders?
Post 26/11, the urban voter has been very vocal in demanding some drastic changes in the system. Urban India is frustrated at the kind of political culture prevailing at present. The lack of etiquette, the disregard for good manners, and disrespect to the law of the land is clearly getting on to the nerve of the Indian voter.
The urban voter wanted someone who had clarity in their thought process, conviction in their ideas and commitment to their policies. Jayaprakash Narayan (JP) and his party Lok Satta offered precisely this. It primarily wanted to usher in a new culture in politics and in governance, which is precisely what the urban voter was also demanding.
What started as a social movement in 1997 slowly transformed into a political party in 2006. JP was and is the chief propagator of the message of the party, and he did it with such clarity that slowly people began to take notice of what he is saying. Every argument of his is backed up with statistics, and is nearly very convincing. The unconventional style of the Lok Satta’s approach to politics might take a very long time to sink into the prevailing mindsets of the masses, but 2009 is surely the best time to make a beginning.
A closer look at JP’s speeches and Lok Satta’s policy documents reveal the huge amount of experience that has gone into writing and framing them. Promising decentralization of power to the village level, establishing district level cabinet committees, increasing accountability into the system, investing huge amounts in the development of infrastructure for schools and hospitals are all visionary ideas that will ensure that security of all people in the years to come. Unfortunately we all live in a world where solutions have to be instant and results have to be immediately imminent.
To integrate itself into the Indian political scenario is also a big task for Lok Satta. It cannot remain vary to the demands of the voters for long. The party needs leaders at the constituency and district level. The party needs other visible faces that are as articulate as JP is in spreading the message. In this election, Lok Satta will create a split in votes in most of the places, but is not going to win any of them. Some of the candidates are going to lose very badly too. And this is primarily because India lives in its villages and rural India is still not yearning for the kind of change urban India is.
Rural people identify the local candidate and the party in equal measure. Lok Satta does not have such identifiable leaders in these areas and that’s exactly why it cannot win any seats with a lot of rural population. Post this election, the immediate task on hand for the party is to build local leaders who can better identify with the specific problems of the area and provide unique solutions too.
To make that task easier, here’s what the urban voters should do – send a couple of representatives to the Assembly and let’s see for the next 5 years what kind of constructive role they play in the functioning of the assembly. Show Lok Satta that it need not lose heart. The disgruntled urban voter needs to allow Lok Satta to use these successful examples to better propagate their message, and thereby become part of a meaningful movement.