Wednesday, December 03, 2008

what can we do?

i didn't want to blog about it... about the mayhem and madness that ripped through the city last week... because i didn't know what to say that's not already being said... and i didn't have any meaningful suggestions or answers or solutions!

and although i still don't have a tv set at home i kept getting regular updates on sms and through the various web-sites i was checking regularly... (it was like some morbid cricket match that people were glued on to through the day!)

and now in the aftermath the city is on the boil... and a little of people are worried that the anger will cool off like it always does... and all of us will go back to our usual ways... and so will the politicians and the state and the police force ...

there are numerous smses being forwarded, online petitions being signed, candle marches being organised, signature campaigns being conducted... everybody wants to do something... some action to express their anger and frustration... hoping to send a message to the authorities ...

i am also forwarding all the messages i am getting, reading all the articles & blogs, signing all the petitions... but i am not convinced... i don't see any of this making any difference whatsoever... we have seen all this before and we will see it again... there will be a lot of public posturing and frantic behind-the-scene negotiations... who stays and who goes... a lot of announcements will be made... a lot of initiatives will be announced... and all of them will fizzle out before the year ends!

am i sounding too cynical? what do you expect?

is there something we can do?

here's a list of things you could do (thanks to mathatheist for sharing this with me!so we all have to make sure we vote the next time... even if it means to go and reject all the candidates... but that's not enough, let us try find some good candidates in our constituencies who can be motivated to contest... or maybe some among us...

but that too might be too little and would take too long to make an impact at a national level... it would also require a lot of funding in today's age to come up with a viable alternative...

the other option would be for a forum to be created which carries on a dialog with all the candidates before elections and the office bearers after the elections. here are some ideas for such a forum -
  • it should be non-partisan, not backed by any specific business house or media group or political party
  • it should have representation from across various states/ religions/ economic backgrounds/ urban & rural backgrounds/ educational backgrounds/ age groups/ etc.
  • it should be governed by a simple charter and should have its presence across the country in towns and cities
  • it should define a list of specific concerns & issues of the public and engage each political party representative in each constituency in a public dialog; it should also be allowed to demand transparency from each candidate about their background, etc.
  • this will help the public decided on the relative merits of each party and local candidate
  • after the elections this forum would demand a quarterly review with the parties at a national level as well as at a local level to track the performance of each party and candidate
  • a 'report card' would then be published which would help the ruling & opposition parties to focus on relevant issues and adopt necessary corrective measures
the idea of such a forum is not to relentlessly bash the politicians but to create a mechanism which will help in accountability and a meaningful dialog to help the politicians also serve the constituency better!

does anyone know of any such initiative being taken up by anyone? do you have any ideas of how this can be done? i would be keen to help in this kind of action!

p.s. also make sure we all pay our taxes to the government and demand accountability... let us all learn about the rti act so that we can use it effectively in our wards and areas!


Kumar Chainani said...

This is the emails circulated and rcvd by me (many times over from different people )


Dear Mr. Prime minister

I am a typical mouse from Mumbai. In the local train compartment which has
capacity of 100 persons, I travel with 500 more mouse. Mouse at least
squeak but we don't even do that.

Today I heard your speech. In which you said 'NO BODY WOULD BE SPARED'. I
would like to remind you that fourteen years has passed since serial bomb
blast in Mumbai took place. Dawood was the main conspirator. Till today he
is not caught. All our bolywood actors, our builders, our Gutka king meets
him but your Government can not catch him. Reason is simple; all your
ministers are hand in glove with him. If any attempt is made to catch him
everybody will be exposed. Your statement 'NOBODY WOULD BE SPARED' is
nothing but a cruel joke on this unfortunate people of India.

Enough is enough. As such after seeing terrorist attack carried out by
about a dozen young boys I realize that if same thing continues days are
not away when terrorist will attack by air, destroy our nuclear reactor and
there will be one more Hiroshima.

We the people are left with only one mantra. Womb to Bomb to Tomb. You
promised Mumbaikar Shanghai what you have given us is Jalianwala Baug.

Today only your home minister resigned. What took you so long to kick out
this joker? Only reason was that he was loyal to Gandhi family. Loyalty to
Gandhi family is more important than blood of innocent people, isn't it?

I am born and bought up in Mumbai for last fifty eight years. Believe me
corruption in Maharashtra is worse than that in Bihar. Look at all the
politician, Sharad Pawar, Chagan Bhujbal, Narayan Rane, Bal Thackray ,
Gopinath Munde, Raj Thackray, Vilasrao Deshmukh all are rolling in money.
Vilasrao Deshmukh is one of the worst Chief minister I have seen. His only
business is to increase the FSI every other day, make money and send it to
Delhi so Congress can fight next election. Now the clown has found new way
and will increase FSI for fisherman so they can build concrete house right
on sea shore. Next time terrorist can comfortably live in those house ,
enjoy the beauty of sea and then attack the Mumbai at their will.

Recently I had to purchase house in Mumbai. I met about two dozen builders.
Everybody wanted about 30% in black. A common person like me knows this and
with all your intelligent agency & CBI you and your finance minister are
not aware of it. Where all the black money goes? To the underworld isn't
it? Our politicians take help of these goondas to vacate people by force. I
myself was victim of it. If you have time please come to me, I will tell
you everything.

If this has been land of fools, idiots then I would not have ever cared to
write you this letter. Just see the tragedy, on one side we are reaching
moon, people are so intelligent and on other side you politician has
converted nectar into deadly poison. I am everything Hindu, Muslim,
Christian, Schedule caste, OBC, Muslim OBC, Christian Schedule caste,
Creamy Schedule caste only what I am not is INDIAN. You politician have
raped every part of mother India by your policy of divide and rule.

Take example of former president Abdul Kalam. Such a intelligent person,
such a fine human being. You politician didn't even spare him. Your party
along with opposition joined the hands, because politician feels they are
supreme and there is no place for good person.

Dear Mr Prime minister you are one of the most intelligent person, most
learned person. Just wake up, be a real SARDAR. First and foremost expose
all selfish politician. Ask Swiss bank to give name of all Indian account
holder. Give reins of CBI to independent agency. Let them find wolf among
us. There will be political upheaval but that will better than dance of
death which we are witnessing every day. Just give us ambient where we can
work honestly and without fear. Let there be rule of law. Everything else
will be taken care of.

Choice is yours Mr. Prime Minister. Do you want to be lead by one person or
you want to lead the nation of 100 Crore people?

Tys on Ice said...

nation of 100 crore ! and this is the best lot of jokers we could come up with....

u r rite, guru...time to use the power of vote...have never voted in my life becoz i didnt want to be responsible for the clowns tht has stood in power...i didnt want to vote for the next best thing...i wanted someone out there who will lead, far havent seen anyone worth it...but now i realize that abstaining from voting itself is a cause for this kind of people to come into power...

ur idea seems plausible...iam sure some of these can work....havent yet seen a body that has the power to hold poiliticians responsible and accountable...need to study this...will get back

Prats said...

I have stopped voting too...'cos I feel so decieved and of course thats not enough....I really wish they would start letting only well educated deserving candidates to contest...but what about the endless rural population who get lured by the rice, sarees, money, and the truck drives to whereever???? All this is so damn frustrating....

Suma said...

isn't it scary when you consider the magnitude, the vastness of this country, the poor who are swayed by freebies, the religious fanatics, the caste cards being played..etc..probably this is how it feels being thrown in a swamp, struggling to come up for air...

but yes, its time to start something right...

Gazal said...

those of us glued to the tv all through three days were witness to the media gorging and screaming,not for news but TRP'S.

silent marches,angry people,hasty resignations.....will all this help

its a matter of time and we shall be struck again...

i feel its a lost battle !!!

Guruprasad said...

@kumar : hey buddy, thanks for sharing this letter!

@tys on ice : i am also trying to find out how we can go about this. am speaking to people and will keep you posted.

@prats : this is how most of us feel... but at least now we are aware of the option of voting to reject all candidates!

@suma : true... i am looking around to see if there's any such meaningful exercise being done... will keep you posted.

@gazal : i hope not... i think there is still some hope...

Achintya said...

It's been over a year. What has changed?