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Friday, April 24, 2009

Indian elections and my thoughts

As the world’s largest democracy, conducting elections to 700 million electorate is not easy but it is underway now and the process is to last for more than a month. I am a believer that it is the leaders that make or break the nation. It is encouraging to see lot of well-established new faces contesting in these elections as independents.

There are lots of entrepreneurs contesting. Problem with the entrepreneurs is that they think running a political office is like running a business enterprise but it is not. Succeeding in a business world is very different than succeeding in political life. Success in politics requires track record in the political office.

If only these new people’s idea is to bring the change, then they must embrace to bring the needed change in their own surroundings to begin with by contesting the local elections like Panchayat, Zilla Parishad, and Corporation etc to establish track record and to win over the hearts of people. When this approach is followed, success does the rounds in the higher established political parties and when the times comes, it is they who will come calling on you than the other way.

More you serve your community and market yourself effectively; more good in you is noticed and it is just a matter of time before people themselves push you to the higher offices and that’s the right approach. It is sickening to see how most of the contestants have so little experience in public policy making but have strong desire to run for an office and I cannot help thinking WHY? It is like saying someone wants to fly a rocket without knowing how it works. Does that work? You decide.

Second issue I want to talk about is the influence of money in politics. It is alleged that lot of contestants are distributing money to the voters to get their vote. I like to suggest using some common sense. Think how many times you would come across someone that just meets you on the street and gives you money for no reason? Probably never. If they do (like in this elections), they have a motive. Prospective politician wants to give you money so that he can make more money in political office by several times. That’s your money. Basically, if you accept his money for your vote, you’re signing off for him/ her to rob you naked. You decide if you want to accept or deny the money with rebuke.

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