Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Elections 2009: An Opportunity to Learn

February 24th, 2009 · 30 Comments

The past month has been quite an experience in doing multiple things at the same — something I have not been particularly good at in the past. Spending time on “Friends of BJP” is almost like doing a startup. There are about 6-7 of us who are all putting in time whenever possible to get it off the ground. There are no hierarchies, and everyone has to do whatever is needed. It is very unstructured at this point of time — and it is probably 15 years since I’ve had this kind of experience! As a friend put it, getting work done with peers whose salaries you do not pay requires a very different skillset.

And in all of this, some of the NetCore commitments in terms of meetings (internal and external) are still there. There, I am trying to let others take more and more of the decisions, and yet be around in case I am needed. It is not easy letting go. Luckily, in may cases, I have no choice. Maybe, I will finally learn delegation!

I really wish many more of us would take these kinds of opportunities — to bring about change, one needs to first understand how things function. Some commented on my post yesterday that I should be supporting a new political party. Consider the realities of Indian politics — there have been only two new national parties that have really emerged in the past 30 years (BJP and BSP). Change in India cannot wait for another generation. We have to work with one of the two national parties, and bring our mindset and skills to help them do things better.

These elections offer a great opportunity to do an ‘internship.’ Indian elections will be over by early May, so its only a couple more months that are left. I am sure both the Congress and the BJP can do with all the help people like us can provide. We may have our issues with both parties, but they remain the only real options for India at this point of time. So, if you can do it, take the first step. Leave ego at the door, and go to work with an attitude to learn. We will end up with a better understanding of what makes India run. And that is what will help us bring about the change India needs — not in a generation, but between two elections.

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30 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Roy // Feb 24, 2009 at 10:51 am

    @ GP: no offence mate, but an alternative like the Third Front in the late 90s just for the sake of being anti-congress and to stay away from the clearly saffron BJP is just delaying action. We should have realised that it is not a viable option and will most probably lead to another impotent government when what this country sorely needs is strong leadership.

  • 2 Vishal // Feb 24, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    People who don’t know much about BJP I will say two things – BJP is made of people from pure RSS background and _middle class businessmen_ . People from RSS background are one of the most didicactd and honest people you will find thet why it use to call it party with a difference, its when the business community came in the fold some became corrupt as we know power make you corrupt. Having said that in todays environment i will say BJP has some really god thoughts about the nation development and the will to caryy out, with in 60 yrs they have served in 6 yrs in coalition and achieved a lot and with 50 + yrs congress hasnt achieved what we could have. If you look at the basics of their party as institution, it supports democracy and hard work at the core, look at congress and it will tell one party high command and dynasty.

    Anyway Rajesh – If I can be of any help in helping doing some work from outside the country pl let me know .

  • 3 sm // Feb 25, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Bjp or congress are are just two sides of same coin, does any party is doing any social reforms,
    any reforms in judiciary, they do not fight with each other on the good causes like envirment, these parties can only fight on the isuue of sex and religion and caste, without trying to make any changes, before independance there were few castes but this political parites have now created such a situation that one has to know subcaste also.
    next point is i will think we should support only parties who has clear cut vision, like
    economic reservation, retirement age for politicians, more courts and judges, in other countries for 1 million people they got 50 to 100 judges ,in india we got only 13 judges for 1 million indians,
    bjp or congress both and there friends are just same

  • 4 Suhit Anantula // Feb 26, 2009 at 4:48 am

    Good to see the progress Rajesh.

    I totally agree with the logic of going with BJP. The whole idealistic viewpoint of creating a new party is just not possible.

    In a nice Telugu movie released a while back called Godavari, the hero of the movie is a MBA, educated in the US.

    He is shown as a idealistic guy and his main goal is to join politics. He tries his best to meet the Chief Minister and join the party.

    The party members he meets are suspicious of him. Why should a decent, American educated middle class Indian want to join politics. It does not make sense.

    After much persuasion, he does get an opportunity to discuss his plans.

    The first question is? What can you do to contribute to the party? Can you shout? Can you bring supporters by the truck load?

    What is that you can do as a basic party worker?

    That throws him off.

    It will be really interesting to see how you plan to influence and get things going in the next 2 months.


  • 5 sm // Feb 27, 2009 at 1:58 am

    suhit it will be interesting to know the experience of rajesh . i hope you will share more and more your expeience as a party worker because i feel that congress or bjp both party or any other indian party they work same way.

  • 6 udayapg // Mar 1, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Seems Plato said…

    “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.”

    Seems relevant even now…

  • 7 Blog Past: An Opportunity to Learn // May 16, 2010 at 5:00 am

    […] to Come Together (Mar 9) – A Manifesto for Middle India (Mar 5) – Engaging Ourselves (Mar 3) – An Opportunity to Learn (Feb 24) – Friends of BJP (Feb 23) – We Can’t Look Forward Because We Look Back (Feb 9) – Vision […]

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