26/11 and the political response to it made me realise how hollow and shallow our own leadership was. The elections provided an opportunity to do something. A question I asked myself was: What can we do? This is how I answered it in early Jan 2009:
There are about 100 days to the elections in India. These will be be the 15th national elections in India’s history. I like to think that the 2004 elections were the last of the 20th century elections, and these will be the first of the 21st century. We, the People, need to give a decisive mandate in this election. India cannot afford another five years of fragmented, coalition politics. So, the question to ponder is: what can we do? How can each of us make a difference – besides casting our one vote?
India needs an engaged civil society. Politics cannot be bifurcated completely from our lives. So, what can each of us do? What can we do as a group? Is there a way to create a bottom-up, emergent organisation using next-generation community and interaction tools to amplify messages? Given than 42% of India did not vote last time, can these “non-consumers” create a decisive swing?
Only 100 days stand between us and a new government coming to power. Whom would we like to see form the next government? Given that the India of 2009 is very much different from 2004, can we really make a difference? Whatever our decisions and answers, we need to make it quick.