Before we all realize, India will enter into yet another Crazy election cycle. The current BJP dispensation will be hoping to retain the power, while Congress & other regional parties will fight hard to dethrone BJP. One fears the kind of campaigns that will be carried out to attain power. We cannot hope that our leaders resort to civility in campaigns. The political discourse has been brought down by all the parties involved. Credit must be given to BJP, for ensuring that the other parties play to it’s tunes.
Currently, there is a no way for the citizens to know about the parties’ stand on the issues that affect people. One cannot rely on the interviews, as those might be scripted. Worse still the media can project one leader over other.
India doesn’t have something like US Presidential debates, where the running candidates are questioned on their policies. Even though, these televised debates are not holding the candidates to their claims/stand (both past & present) and sometimes superficial, they nevertheless provide at least a glimpse of the candidates’ nature/stand and their ability to project themselves as the next President.
Since India follows a parliamentary form of governance, it is hard to organize these debates. We Indians elect representatives, who in turn elect the Prime Minister. However the 2014 election was fought in Presidential style. I, for one, believe that people should elect representatives and not the Prime Minister. If one were to organize a debate, it has to be between the representatives of each constituency. And if needed, one can organize a debate between the leaders of the contesting parties on a national level. In a parallel universe, if there were such a debate, people should ask the representatives about their stand/view on the following topics. This is not in any particular order.
- Stand on Aadhar
- Solution to Agrarian crises
- Inclusive growth/Tackling inequality
- Job creation/Plans to tackle the job loss due to Automation
- Education/Health Care systems improvement plans
- Social welfare schemes
- Stand on FDIs?
- Addressing MSME issues
- Addressing river sharing issues between states
- Fuel prices
- Climate change – Promoting Green energy, reducing carbon foot print
- Plans & Steps to eradicate Manual Scavenging
- Addressing Caste issues & Reservation requests
- Institutional freedom
- Federalist structure
- Steps to curb/tackle lynching & communal violence
- Freedom of expression
- Retaining social fabric of India
- Stand on Secular Politics
- Proposal to handle J&K issues.
- Foreign policy
- Strengthening of RTI/Transparency in decision making
- Digital literacy & Privacy
- How do you curb corruption?
- What actions would be taken to tackle NPAs
- What is the source of your election funds
I know, this is not an extensive list. I am sure, I am unaware of many of the common citizens’ plights. Yet, I believe, this list could be a good starting point. Once a leader gives his/her vision about these topics, then we can hold the leader accountable.
I wish our leaders focus on the actual topics during the campaigns and not on the usual election rhetoric of Pakistan/Hindu – Muslim enmity/Cow Politics.