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!
- where voters can register - www.jaagore.com
- info on electoral candidates - http://www.adrindia.org/home/
- the right to go to the polling booth and reject all candidates - http://eci.gov.in/PROPOSED_
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
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!