Sunday, September 18, 2011

Public, the 5th Pillar of India democracy

Public, the 5th Pillar of India democracy
Broadly we can say Anna agitation has two consequences:
1. Proved public is master and leaders are servant.
2. Mass leaders are more effective than elected representative i.e. mass opinion of public leaders is stronger than mandate of political representative.
3. What are the main differences between a public leader and a public representative?
In our constitution, we talk about three main pillars-Legislature, judiciary and executive. In addition, we treat free press/media as fourth pillar. Public who is the market for all four was in back as base. Public as base gives power to all to discharge some mandate. The distortion in assign mandate is more than tolerance capacity. Hence, public came out from base and took the shape of fifth pillar of democracy to show its strength.
Legislature is supreme among all five pillars being law makers. Constitution entrust it to frame welfare laws to run country smoothly in forward direction. But actions of our representatives are not satisfying the public. After election, they disregard public demand and opinion. And they are engaged more in self benefiting actions or no action. This affects citizens badly. In absence of needed law due to non performance of legislature, they suffer from different angles. Productivity of parliament has gone down. Recent corruptions highlighted their negative acts to intolerable limit of public.
Executive didn’t discharge their duties up to public expectations and as mandated by laws. Inactions and their corruptions corroded Indian steel frame and made this pillar very weak. Assessing this weak situation, our polity collaborated with this wing. Executive couldn’t refuse the association being weak and fear to be exposed by political class. Now in corruption, polity and executive are two sides of a coin. These two pillars did all big scams in partnership. One gets entry through selection to work up till the age of 60 while other through election for fixed five years tenure. An independent agency of Hang Kang conducted a survey of 13 Asian countries recently. It found India’s bureaucracy the worst and topper from bottom.
Fixed tenure of polity and executive and reduced accountability/transparency changed their mind set from servant mode to master mode. This change of mind set proved very dangerous to general pubic. Partnership reduced actions against corrupt activities to almost zero. No action boosted the corrupt practices among both. Slowly and slowly polity dominated and now has the lion share in corrupt produce. Weak executive couldn’t prevent the polity from taking the dominant position in corruption and its enhancing. Frequent transfer, workless and unimportant posting are other tools in hands of political bosses to bring executive to compromising point.
Fed up with polity and executive, pubic approached judiciary to get relief. Though general impression of judiciary is not better than these two at lower level, but top judiciary enjoys better public confidence. A few Supreme Court (SC) judges took a lead and started giving quality judgments. A step ahead, they monitored the implementation of their orders. By this procedure, SC compelled government to take proper actions. Actions helped in saving the hope of public. Recent judgments improved image of judiciary.
Free media as fourth pillar of our democracy has a very important role to play. More or less they are enjoying better reputation than others. Though, it is not criticism free. But by and large, it doing good job currently. Media is also suffering from the corrupt practice of the partnership firm of polity and executive. They alone are not in a position to challenge the partners. To challenge them, they need some good partners. Among all, they found the public and civil society their best friends. They associated with them and become partner in crusade against corruption.
Elected representative doesn’t give proper heed to public opinion once elected. Alone none is capable enough to fight and break the nexus of executive and politicians. Public Private Partnership (PPP) model helped them. This model is even promoted by United Nations. PPP model gives role to the societies to play in all walks of life. Government is reducing its role and shifting it to civil societies. It is associating with civil societies in almost all departments. Public and civil societies together started taking relief with the help of media and judiciary. Media highlighted the corrupt practice and judiciary gave the relief. Gradually civil societies snatched the politician’s ground of providing relief to public.
Public, civil society in association with media took some public issue to settle it. Centre for Public Interest litigation is a good example in proof. This center through judicial recourses compelled government to act to benefit the masses. Baba Ram through his Swabhiman trust took up black money issue and popularized it. Government took many steps in public pressure, after and during his agitation. Baba Ram Deo’s mass support and its pressure jolted the mandated political class. Civil societies are taking their ground and their mass supports are snatching their mandated power. Baba made a start. Annoyed government tried to suppress him with their mighty power. To some extent it is successful due to mishandling and lack of experience of Baba.
Anna an experienced social actor and leader along with its team took up the corruption issue. During his protest in April 2011, government made his team partner in drafting under public pressure. But, after a few meetings they divorced. Government representative did mistake in calculating his mass support. They administered same medicine tried with Baba. This didn’t work. Anna declared his agitation as second national movement to liberate the country from corruption. This helps in associating public emotionally with his movement. Media supported him beyond limit. This action of media annoyed political sector. These public and civil societies acted as fifth pillar of our democracy to decide the roles for representative.
Effective judicial actions, media publicity and civil societies mass catching issues, together, have created a history- Anna agitation. Government realized its mistake. It brought a resolution same day in after noon which was not proposed in the morning. This is done to meet mass demand. Elected representative passed it unanimously under the pressure of mass leader Anna unwillingly and send it to standing committee related to it. Here public shows they are with mass leader and not with their representative to whom they elected. Public set a norm by making mass leader stronger than elected representative. This has not been done earlier since 1947.
This jolted political actors in India. It compelled them to think about their wrongdoings. Hence it will result in to self corrective actions. This is a good precedent for the other democratic countries worldwide. Elected representative and selected executive are forced to think about their real role of services-servant role. It is all probable, they will think to discard their disguised role of master. Anna, a symbol of public, took master role and directed the public servants to pass a resolution which is in the favor of the country. And they did it first time. In past they didn’t, treating themselves master. Treating themselves master, they never give due regard to real master-public opinion. Thus this agitation is unique as it proved that public is the real master on ground. None can usurp this role with them.
Our elected political actors are representative first from public angle that elect them. For them, they are representative first and leaders latter. Social actors are leaders only for the public. They provide lead to their causes in different forums. The hair difference between leaders and representative is very important. Representative must give due regard to their need and opinion. They must act accordingly. They must serve the public by giving voice to their will in law making places. Leaders have slightly different role. They provide lead to their causes. For leaders unlimited area while for representative their services are limited to their constituency only.
Might and arrogance of government can’t subside easily. They would try to show their might like Baba Ram Deo- may be in disguise. They may try to revenge judiciary, media and civil societies. Some media reports indicate towards this. But any such move will be counter productive. India being a democratic country, the mass opinion of public is supreme. Any move against this, in the age communication revolution, will be a suicidal step politically.
(Views are personal and based on many sources)
Heera Lal

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Political marketing of Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat

Political marketing of Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Indida:

In general we follow 4Ps in commercial marketing.

1. Political Product: Narendra Modi as CM of good governance. There are two products which he is marketing as political product: his personality and good governance.
2. Price: If he will be voted to power as PM- just for the sake of saying, he will progress the country like Gujarat. He is offering his service to the nation in exchange of vote. He has proved his services in Gujarat as CM. Hence product reliability and quality are there.
And it will sustain in the market. His good governance is established and recognized by the society.
3. Place: His place of transaction is Gujarat now. He is now trying to promote his political product for other places of the country. Now he is aiming whole country as place of exchange and to position his product.
4. Promotion: His fast of three days started form 17 September 2011 is his promotional activity for selling his political product at national level.
When I compare his style of functioning and managing the political affair, I found many similarities with the US President Barack Obama. Just a few are:
1. Both are well read and having in depth knowledge of political sector.
2. Both are ICT savvy and using its beauty for the benefit of the society in good governance as modern tool.
3. Both are having bigger personality than their party.
4. Obama was having a big obstacle in the form Hillary. Likewise he is having here Advani.
5. Both are having authoritative and decisive personality.
6. Both are good orators and famous for their effective speeches.
7. Public see both as change agents.
8. Both are self-made.
Now seeing the situation and time period for next election, he will be able to carry forward his candidature for the post of PM. He is having problem with his universal acceptability. Riots in Gujarat are blots with him. Now he is focusing to remove that with full vigor. The way he is trying to get rid of this, there is all probability to get success- seeing his management capability and being a self-made man.
Above all he is now the best symbolic, mass and popular leader of his party. His competitors in party-L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitely, Nitin Gadkari- are not having all three required quality together. Here he is having edge over other colleagues in the party. He is a performer along with Lalu Prasad quality that is he is able to promote himself. He knows the tricks how to sell the political products and its timing.
There are two alliances in the country. One is led by congress and the other by BJP. If he will be able to get the party ticket from the party then he will have to appear in the test of alliance-in case of shortage of majority. This is very difficult.

The biggest outsider competitor is Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. No doubt the acceptability and performance of Kumar is better than Modi on many counts. But party strength wise not comparable. Modi has to work hard on two fronts together. He needs to enhance his acceptability in public and NDA allies.
His 3 day fast is a well chalk out plan to start on these two front. Wooing Muslims through their grater participation is the first strategy. The Muslim participation is up to the expected level. And greater participation of allies is second steps planned. TN Chief Minister sends her representative and CM Punjab participated. He is successful in his mission.
All circumstances in view and his growing personality, I am for sure, he is next Atal Bajpai of BJP. It is a matter of time only. He is trying to position his candidature for PM by applying all concepts of commercial marketing with help of ICT tools.

(Views are personal and based on many sources)

Heera Lal

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Land Bill of 1894 in house after 117 years.

It is true that if RG would have not taken it, it would have not moved an inch like past. It is a bill enacted in 1894 and since then remains same for last 117 years. But question is why it is now and not before. Country freed in 1947. What compelled congress to wait since 1947 till now for this amendment. Except a full term of Atal, congress ruled the country after independence. So, in blame game sharing, 90% share of blame goes to congress.
We must thanked RG and Jairam too for his good intended actions. If good actions will not be applauded, it will die- a dangerous situation will come very soon. We must praise all good steps and actions of anyone without political marketing.
If it will be passed, this will be the first big achievement of RG as leader. This will be a political product which he can market in future.

Reforms to the rescue

Very nice article but you are talking only one side of the story. It’s fine to resort economic reform in 1991. It brought fruits to the country and helped in reducing corruption. Is there any fiscal reform without its negative effect? Its simple answer is “No”. In every economic reform, we evaluate both the sides and tried to minimize the negative one.
Why, then FM and now PM, didn’t perceived the ill effects of growing corruption along with growing economy after 1991.
Why he didn’t take appropriate steps to reduce this by product- corruption- by legislating acts to retard the growth of this future graft in parallel with GDP. LokPal may be an act to say which is pending long before 1991.
Why he ignored demerit (expected corruption growth as by product of reform) and talking only about merits (high GDP). This proves flaws in reform and skewed one. Being a world renowned economist,he can’t blame anyone for this. He has to take this blame in right spirit and take corrective measure to rectify this mistake which done in 1991.
Agreed to your proposal that he should continue reforms. And the wish of public in symbolic Anna should get due respect. Political reform must be on the top of agenda to avoid any further long agitation. This is the next agenda point of Anna team as they announced.

No other govt has shown more will to fight corruption

It is very hard to agree with your pleas. What is the meaning of no other government? Which party ruled India 90% of the time, after 1947? Except a full term of Atal, congress ruled the country after independence all along.
After 1947, some intermittent interval came to refresh congress rule. If we divide the credit to develop corruption among governments as you said, 90% share is yours. And rest 10% is of Atal, Deovogowda, Inder Gujral, Charn Singh etc- Other governments in your language. Hence accusing others didn’t convince like your general oratory.
RTI act was passed after a long battle of more than 10 years started by Aruna Roy in Rajsthan. Congress passed it when no option was left. It tried to delay it to the extant possible. If Corruption is harming all, then why Lokpal is kept pending for last 43 years. For sure, now you will clear this pendency as no other way out to delay it- in view of Anna shadow and do or die.
Corruption, in our supreme pillar of democracy, is rampant. For the first time, you mentioned about political reform in this write-up- seeing the announcement of Anna team as their next issue after Lokpal. Why congress didn’t give heed to this very urgent issue. Albeit, ADR and ECI in tandem spearheading for this reform and lobbying hard for long.
Now, a good chance is there for this reform to see the light of day. Why? Its answer is very easy to find. You are not going to take it willingly. Anna team has announced it as next agenda after Lokpal. In view of perceive heat of Anna, a beginning has been made by you.
All above- a few from a long list- prove otherwise what you said.
Congress’ established formula Talk-and-Walk days has gone long back. Please follow the new Walk-then-Talk, like Bihar to regain public faith as you desire in this article.
Thanks to accept reality.