We need to understand that change in India can only happen through the ballot box. We cannot think of overthrowing governments through coups like some of our neighbours have done in the past. We cannot have military intervention. We have only one instrument in our hands – our vote. That vote has been so far exercised without adequate thought or understanding of its power. That is what needs to change.
Two elements need to be combined to change India’s political and policy future. The first is the need for awareness – people need to understand that we are on the wrong track. Some of this has started to seep into public consciousness, but the reasons and solutions are not clear. What is needed are neighbourhood “networks and conversations” to educate people. We don’t necessarily need mass media to support us – and they are unlikely to, since the government remains the richest advertiser.
The second element is to aggregate citizens together into votebanks. This is the idea of United Voters of India, proposed by Atanu Dey. Parties have their diehard supporters – we don’t need to bother about them. What we need to focus on are the ones in the centre (undecided) and those on the margins (less convinced supporters of specific political parties). This is the segment that can swing the election.