Tuesday, May 20, 2008


The K – Factor

This K is not for Kashmir nor the K obsession of Ekta Kapoor Soaps, this is the new K-factor in the Indian Political Context … the Karnataka Factor … having spent a lot of my time in Bangalore, I had this inclination on what’s happening there in terms of political and social development. The elections provide a great deal on how our political system is working … Few of the things that really blew me off …

Karnataka is limited to Bangalore and is limited to the IT populations (!!) – given the fact that 50% of the IT population is from outside state and doesn’t have voting powers, focusing on just one small segment of the state population is suicidal. (surprisingly media is too obsessed with the Bangalore and IT factor)

There is no intention of developing the city infrastructure (roads, flyovers), water, electricity, local/mass transportation, etc. And there was no mention of developing Tier 2 cities like Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli, etc – which can ease off little chaos present in Bangalore.

There was a mail chain floated about the awareness of Section 49-O of the election process – which indicates right to not to choose … given the current state of affairs in terms of election process, I have my doubts about the availability of the forms at all the booths, secondly the number of people exercising 49-O would be too less than total votes casted (or the winners’ votes) with the kind of booth capturing and malfunctioning of system, and lastly (not the least) half of the regular voters don’t find their names in the voting list they are supposed to go and vote!!! (Why NR Murthy (and family) didn’t go to vote – he did go, but couldn’t find his (and his family member’s) name on the voting list!!!). When people like Murthy won’t have their names – you can imagine the condition – and when you will exercise 49-O if you don’t have right to enter the premise!

My take on the whole of election process … there should not be more than 3 nationalized party for the election process. All the regional parties must be aligned to any of the three parties and must declare their stance on alliance before election. This goes for the individuals contestants too – this would increase the risk of losing and reduce the greed of being in the power (shuttling from one party to another just for sake of being in power)

The party manifesto should define categories (like education, infra, societal, municipal, agri, industrial, power, transportation, metro, etc) and stance and action plan (with time lines) on each of the categories. In addition to this – individual / regional parties can add / vary the manifesto on few of the detailed aspects (not on the broad out line).

I somehow liked the way UP elections happened last time (though the results were really shocking) – it was lot more credible than the usual ones – for once there was a lot more security and strictness during the poll. I wish that can be repeated everywhere.

Another aspect – which can be really off beat and has too many loop holes – online voting, voting from any booth (that can create possibility of multiple voting – but can be tackled using IT), and voting be anyone who has been staying in the place for more than a year in that place – this would enable significant non-local population which are dynamic because of their profession.

Comments / arguments welcome …

It would be good if all residents of Blore got a say in selecting the Mayor - isn't that directly relevant for the city's development?
that also call for the same Qs ... who do we define "residents"
What I meant by residents was anyone who stays in the city - whether they are from Kerala or TN or AP doesn't matter cause they currently work and improve (and also strain, that's another matter) the economy of Blore.

London went into it's Mayor election here this month, and that's how it's done here. I could vote cause I live in London. There were even debates on whether people who live outside London, but work in London, should be allowed to vote.
i don't know abt london, but in India, it won't be a very good idea - given the fact the "political" nature of all the elections (politics at individual level), how would you stop people from neighborhood areas coming and voting (for their beloved candidate) irrespective of them being (not) part of the city. its a tricky question and boils down to proper execution of the policy ...
In TN, they gave away TV sets and free ration. Karnataka should consider free PCs.
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