Elections 2009: What can we do?

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.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.

21 thoughts on “Elections 2009: What can we do?”

  1. Rajesh –
    Good post!
    I would say for the 21st century elections we need a “Information explosion” on performance of each of our nominated representatives and broadcast it to as many people we can.
    The focus has to be on the individual person standing for the election and not on the party.
    I will rather vote for a communist Buddhadev rather than a crook of BJP or Congress. The point is if know more about the person then I will make a more informed choice.

    To make all this happen we need two simple steps.

    1. Have a detailed database of all the people standing for elections.

    2. Broadcast this information to people on different mediums Mobile, Internet, TV.
    Mobile can be the most powerful consumer of the information as it will reach many people.

    The challenge will be how to get the database
    up to date with information ?
    The other challenge will be the way how this information is sent to people is a easy language
    so that people can make right decisions.

    The triumph of good over evil, efficient over inefficient, honest over corrupt will happen when people have the information to make decisions. I am sure people will rise over caste,religion once they have information.
    It may take some time and may sound utopian but India will vote in very near future on performance rather than caste,religion.
    We just need to give them information.


  2. I don’t think this will make any difference this time either….(sorry but I’ve the reasons to say so)
    Absorb this – 42% people didn’t vote last time, considering only 20% of the ones who voted were educated. Balance were still illiterate population. So we know what will be the results this year as well….(but we can hope this doesn’t happen this time).
    On the other hand what I fail to understand is – why doesn’t our corporate ppl like ex CEO’s, present CEOs take time out from making/developing companies and start building the nation rather? Because that ways the nation will get what it really needs and companies will get the right government, favorable policies to grow bigger and better.
    Imagine – N.Murthy (ex CEO Infosys) becoming the CM of Karnataka. Will there be anyone else who can understand the b’lore better than him? Let it be a common man on road or be any CEO of any company. They will not have to come on to streets and protest for anything. Infact, the state will be taken to a level which is beyond imagination.
    And I can bet if He is standing in elections – he doesn’t need an introduction to get votes. Only if the working class alone goes and votes for him (who is surely aware who he is) he’ll be a winner and will stay like that unless he decides to step down on his own.
    Think about it!
    PS – Mr. Jain – I finally noticed a nova PC ad in the news paper y’dy, guess things are about to get evolved very soon. All the best!

  3. Good Article , I think it is possible to do some thing in the neutral fashion without supporting any party line. Our Agenda should be single point like not to elect any MPs whose background is Criminal/Corrupt/NON-Competent.

    For this we have to profile each Candidates past and current history, Organize this info in such way that common man can understand it.

    Internet can not reach all the Indians , should find out way to deliver this information using Media (like TV , Radio , News Paper etc.) and Mobile phones locally.

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  5. I am not sure what is to be done short term to help BJP in the 2009 elections – maybe we should jointly approach the BJP office bearers and ask them for some suggestions?

    In the long term – as individuals and as a group, I think we need to contribute towards providing quality education – based on Indian values, to the underprivileged children in remote areas, and poorer urban areas. This is where long term gains are to be made. Unfortunately, education, like all other essential commodities, is now in the hands of political mafia.

    Good education is out of bounds for ordinary citizens, and missionaries/political mafia is exploiting.

    Are we upo for any actions? Or this is will be one of the numerous blogging sites?

  6. I am gungho about the elections, I have worked towards getting voters registered in Mumbai. These are people living in the same area and had no clue on how to go about. I did it for them, 759 in all.
    Not enough to win elections 🙂
    However, this is my little bit for BJP.

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