Elections 2009: An Opportunity to Learn

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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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.