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things to do



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Was out of town for a week. On my return I find a lot of discussion in IPI
archives on what action are we taking. Well: I don't know about IPI. This
is what I have done this week:

* I asked Mr. Pani, Dy. Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission,
about why I could not get a copy of the election expenses of political
parties. He said they are not willing to do that. Mr. Arun Kumar in his
book, Black Economy in India has given answers which I had requested
Arindam Roy (TOI) to prepare: election expense survey. Avg. cost PER
candidate is abt. Rs. 1.3 crores per MP constituency. I gave him a copy of
the "Fundamental Law of Corruption" on IPI's website and wanted his
feedback. He asked me to approach Mr.Vittal, CVC. 

* Also tried to get the free and frank discussion of our politics and
bureaucracy written in the NN Vohra committee report. Have arranged to
secure it soon. Will try to put it up on the web since it has been tabled
in the Parliament and is a public document.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

* STEP 1 : Write to CEC seeking a copy of the political parties electoral
accounts. Let us know why we are being 'mystified' as citizens by all
politcal parties. We need to know the truth about each parties expenses in
order to vote correctly. Also, seek clarification on WHY there is no
linkage between what is spent on elections and the remuneration given to
MPs/ MLAs. Refer to the fundamental law of corruption.

* STEP 2: Write to the President of India asking him to drastically
increase the remuneration of MPs and MLAs. MPs and MLAs are reluctant to do
that since they expect people to not understand. We need to do that for them.

*  STEP 3: Write out the draft constitution of an ideal political party
which has complete inner party democracy and transparency. Sauvik
Chakravarti (editor, Economic Times) and I are trying to work on this. Once
a draft is ready, it will be put up to all for debate. Suggestions are
welcome.

* STEP 4: Liaise with like-minded people. I met Jaiprakash Narayan of
Andhra, SV Raju of Bombay, Iris Madeira of Bombay, among others, in the
National Symposium on LIberal values for the 21st century organized at
Delhi. Let us all sit on IPI and talk. Form local branches of IPI/ any
other such forum and TALK person to person. 

* STEP 5: Write content. Barun and I worked on a note about the need to
create content for a larger debate. More on this later.

* STEP 6: Read Sauvik's new book (released on 24th), entitled "Antidote"
published by MacMillan. Read at least one book per week. Be abreast with
the facts and knowledge of India.

* STEP 7. write your views to autorities concerned with a copy to IPI. IPI
will put them up for larger circulation.

THESE, AND MUCH OTHERS, ARE THINGS TO DO. Don't cry about what IPI (or
others) are doing or not doing. Let us DO something ourselves and not ask
OTHERS to do something. All action combined together will lead to concrete
work.JUST DO IT!

no magic wand. ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP is the need of the hour. DEMAND a clean
and good country and governance. don't sit and watch others try (and mostly
fail) in this effort.


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