Sathyamurthi's Blog

February 12, 2015

Another chance to advance participatory democracy in India …

Filed under: Chennai — Sathyamurthi Thambusamy @ 1:15 am

It took me a whole day before the enormity of Delhi verdict hit on me, It is a big step towards the kind of India I want to see in my life time.

I have always had the following premise #1 people from every walk of life should join and make India a participate democracy for change to happen  #2 we need to start eliminating low level corruption and create transparency #3 we will need to reform judiciary and guilty will be punished in a timely manner and #4  Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs  – given % of folks living in poverty or barely meeting basic needs, they would have to first experience economic change before they fight corruption.

While I still think all 4 of pretty valid, at least in Delhi people have started realizing they best way to ensure economic advancement is to take-on corruption. There where probably lots of factors that resulted in historic sweep but this was by all measures good example of what a participate democracy should be plus people banking on APP to eliminate low level corruption.

Few other random thought  to ponder

  • When is last time leader of political party apologized for a mistake ?
  • Just because to pay for ad in every newspaper a lie (or stretching of facts) will not become a truth
  • Indians cynical about people aspiring to change ?
  • These are experiments and why do we expect these to be perfect ?
  • We are not going to find a straight road to Improved India
  • why do we demand purity and perfection in those who try to change – Martin Luther King, Mahatma were not perfect
  • Elite complaining about subsidy, while happy clinging on to their own entitlements and privileges

When I hearing sneering upper middle class elite claim poor voted for freebies, it infuriates me when these same class of people who further corruption (because they do not want to be in-convinced)  and disrespectful of laws (traffic laws, tax laws) and do no accept they use money to their advantage. They are not empathetic to crushing Impact of sustained (decade long) high-inflation has on under privileged and conveniently ignore power and water is highly regulated even in most advanced economy, here we have crony capitalism and half implemented reforms that bestow powers on private companies guess what they will think of profits and not welfare of people. While AAP folks made tall claims, it matter of fact power companies are causing damage and this is something that resonated with lots of folks. While those have bought 1 cr apartments in Chennai can afford to have water entirely delivered on trucks, how can poor people not have access to clean water and we still expect them to get out of less hygienic environment ? It is not that aspire to live in these conditions – it is a brutal fact that they cannot escape it.

There are lots of challenges for this Government

  • First and foremost the cynics are going pick on petty things and no matter what they accomplish the focus will be on what they did not accomplish(like last time they sneered when Arvind accepted a spacious accommodation, spartan lifestyle not equal to monks lifestyle).
  • Modi is very vindictive person, he is going to take this loss personal and do everything to stop AAP. Given Delhi is not even a state this is going to be huge but AAP can get creative and go after what they can control.
  • There is whole bunch of first legislators (though they have learnt from 49 day adventure), they are going to be making mistakes and media will gleefully highlight them.
  • People with honest intentions change along the way, so can these folks stay the course for 5 years ?

Here are my hope for some of the easy things this AAP government will do

  • Use Information Technology to bring Transparency in policy making and implementation, this is a must for Participatory democracy
  • why not emulate passport Seva Kendra model and modernize (simplify) government services – this will make services available to people and eliminate very low level corruption
  • they can demonstrate they can govern and not show-off trapping of power, they all signed “No Lal-Batti ” pledge . Time to uphold the pledge set a precedent become leaders whom common people can strive to emulate.

Improvements and changes are never linear but there is sense and hope this time we have taken one big step forward, it is upon everyone of us to do our part which ever part of India we live-in

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