Sunday, April 10, 2011

Five questions for India's leaders

Since we are having elections shortly; and our state's ruling family now has the pride of being the "invisible hand" behind the 2G scam, here are a few questions for India's "smarter" political leaders:
1. What do you think Government's role is, in society? Do you think government's focus should be on revenue or in ensuring long-term happiness of citizens?
If a neighborhood has a park, owned by the government; and that park is in a prime area of the city; do you think government should set up an SEZ there and bring more corporations and thus boost revenue? Or do you think the park should be available for the citizens to use?

2. Is due-process more important to you? Or are immediate benefits more important to you?
Let us say that you are offering a piece of government land. A corporation offers to provide a lot of benefits to the local community. Therefore, would you bypass an actual auction or bidding process and make the land available to the the said corporation? Let us say the bidding process takes more time; while the corporation can start providing benefits immediately. What is your role as a minister? Would you make sure due process is followed, or would you "cut" the process short?

3. Are party and the government the same?
Let us say that your actions as a minister affects a corporation. Let us say that corporation donates money to your party. Do you consider it necessary to act against the corporation? Let us then say that your party's success is crucial for the next elections and even for the future of India; and let us say the alternative party is horrible. Would you still act against the corporation?

4. Do you think government should be run like a company? Do you agree with the "CEO" title given to Chief Ministers? In other words, do you think the goals of a company and a government are the same?

5. Do you think political parties are open institutions, that are the first level of defense, when appointing a candidate? Or do you think it is the people who should decide if a candidate is fit or now?
In other words, if a candidate with somewhat shady dealings, was likely to win in a constituency, would you still choose them? Do you think people are the ultimate judge of a candidate or do political parties have a role in filtering candidates?

Those are my five questions for Karunanidhi, Jayalalitha, Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi,Modi and all of the rest. I think answers to these are at the heart of the current "ideology" in India.

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