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Re: Here is food for thought and reflection on the manifesto

[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
___Help make this manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!___
    Who gives a rat's (beep, you what) how other countries fare with India.
Why do we have such an inferiority complex where we need to compare to other
countries.  I didn't expect such mundane reply from an IIT

Vamsi M.

"Dr. Subroto Roy" wrote:

> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> [Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
> ___Help make this manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!___
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> >                        The Manifesto   PART I
> >                        GOOD GOVERNANCE
> >Today, India neither has good governance nor good economic policy.
> --- why is this statement here?   what is its exact purpose?  can it not
> be
> said of any country at any time? e.g. the USA, Switzerland, Japan,
> Nigeria,
> South Africa etc etc.  I.e. my point is that it is a pointless
> rhetorical
> statement which could be made about all countries at all times.
> We >need
> >to provide good governance first, which will be made possible by
> >implementing good economic policies simultaneously.
> >
> 1.      Individual Autonomy and Participative Democracy
> >We believe that a radical democratization of government in India is the
> >need
> >of the hour.
> --- why the need of the hour?  is it so urgent?  why not the need of
> e.g.
> the decade?
> The challenge before us, the citizens, is the creation of a
> >system of governance where the interests of all, rich and poor, the
> >educated >as well as the illiterate, are protected, and everyone gets a
> platform>to
> >raise his/her concerns.
> -- this is platitudinous, i.e. nobody will disagree
> Our government needs to protect the freedom and
> >autonomy of individuals and, by implication, that of all organizations
> >of
> >the people.
> A government that limits itself to fulfilling the basic >mandate
> >that it is entrusted to, by the ordinary citizens, the masters of our
> >democracy. The mandate that is limited to protecting individual
> freedom,
> >liberty, right to choice of enterprise, opportunity to earn a dignified
> >living, and order in the society to insure peaceful coexistence of all,
> >without regard to individual differences.
> >
> --- this is good above, draws upon the French and American revolutionary
> ideals
> In order to achieve the above mentioned objective,
> >
> a) Individuals willing
> -- why not wishing/wanting  to be?
> to become politicians and represent the people in
> >the
> >government, must state clearly their stand on specific critical policy
> >issues that are important for the citizen's day-to-day life. This
> >specific
> >information about the views of the candidates, along with a, published,
> >detailed background information of the candidate's recent past, must be
> >used
> >by the citizens to elect their best representative for the government.
> >b) All government control of the media must be released back to the
> >people.
> -- this is a touch of the concrete .. now debate is on going in India
> about
> Prashar Bharati... the IPI statement seems to be unaware that Indian
> newspapers are as free as anywhere else, that there are numerous foreign
> and
> domestic alternative newschannels today, and have been for five years
> or
> so...  .
> >c) Anything more then absolutely essential personal information on
> >private >citizens
> -- what does this mean, if anything?
> cannot be kept by the government, and the citizen would be
> >entitled
> >to receive a copy of any information about him/her, that the government
> >wants to keep.
> -- there is a long and ongoing debate in India on a Freedom of
> Information
> Act... why not refer to it concretely... the leading light is CR Irani.
> editor of the Statesman...
> >
> >d) Unless clearly defined and approved otherwise, every public office,
> >which
> >is essentially, by definition, created to serve the public, would have
> >to
> >have local control via a local board of representative(s),
> >selected/elected
> >from among the community of people such an organization claims to
> serve.
> --- what does this mean in practice in India, if anything?
> >e) Local bodies and groups which involve debate on public policy, to be
> >encouraged.
> --  to be encouraged by whom?  by the Union Government?  why?  how?
> using
> public funds?
> >
> >2.      National Reconciliation
> >The creation of a sense of fraternity amongst peoples of India is a
> task
> >long overdue.
> --- in what sense?   do we have Bengal at war with Bihar, Telegus at war
> with Kannadigas?  Maharathis at war with Gujaratis?  of course not...
> we
> have, in a country of subcontinental size, local civil conflicts and
> disturbances and insurgencies...  the statement makes it sound as if
> what is
> needed is a Saviour of India...
> The task of sitting down together and discussing things
> >out
> >has to be carried out very seriously. this can be done by
> >a) Fostering civic institutions and think tanks in all fields, which
> >will
> >interact with the people as well as with counterparts in other
> >countries.
> --- is this to be done with public money?   why?  seems to be a recipe
> for
> over-intellectualismand rent-seeking...
> >b) Promoting the spirit of volunteerism and thus enhancing social
> >capital.
> >3.      Electoral Reform
> >A legislation needs to be enacted that strictly requires individuals to
> >show
> >proof of no criminal record
> -- what does this mean, if anything?   no jail-time?  no charge-sheets?
> no
> FIRs?   a lot of people have spent time a little time in jail... as I
> recall
> for example Smt. Sheila Dixit was arrested by the BJP Govt in UP for a
> while
> in 1990... is that a criminal record?
> involving conviction of the candidate,
> -- this is even worse now... nobody gets convicted in India... certainly
> not
> political criminals... so by this criterion, no progress would have been
> made...
> as a
> >precondition for qualification to run for any elected public office.
> >Election Commission also needs a legislation requiring a mandatory
> >accounts
> >audit of every individual political campaign committee accounts.
> -- what is the present position?  What would Shri Gill say about this?
> Such
> >accounts must document every small
> -- I gave Rs 20 to a volunteer from the extreme leftist SUCI the other
> day... because they re-introduced English into CPM run Bengal's schools;
> are
> you saying you want them to account for it?
> as well as large donation from
> >citizens
> >as well as organizations.
> Such political donation records containing
> >information about donors as well as the amounts donated, should
> >automatically become a public property accessible to all.
> >
> >Election Commission must impose a strict upper ceiling on the amount of
> >money a single individual or organizational donor can donate to a
> >political
> >campaign.
> --- what is the present practice of the Election Commission?  does
> anyone
> know?
> Such limit should be revised every ten years in order to
> >adjust
> >the limit with inflation.
> >
> >Elected representatives of the people in the government need to be
> >rewarded
> >with good remuneration. Public service should be made attractive enough
> >to
> >retain talented and people of honor in its fold. However, the
> >compensation
> >needs to be strictly defined without any loopholes for the politicians
> >to
> >exploit for their benefits. Transparency needs  to be the norm here
> >rather
> >then exception.
> >
> >Summary information totaling Income from all sources, including gifts
> >etc.,
> >and the taxes paid by the people holding elected public offices, should
> >become public property accessible to all. This step can help reduce the
> >amount of corruption in politics.
> >
> >
>  Bureaucrats would be given  incentives to document corruption by
> elected
> >representatives (including taped evidence).
> --- what does this mean if anything?  elected representatives are the
> masters of bureaucrats I am afraid in a democratic system, like it or
> not...
> They would have the power to
> >present such  evidence to the Lok Pal who, in turn, would have the
> power
> >to
> >protect the bureaucrat as well as to reward such effort if found to be
> >true.
> -- why has the Lok Pal suddenly appeared beside rthe Election
> Commissioner?
> these are two distinct jobs...>
> >
> >
> >Law regarding State & National Political Parties :
> >
> >Nominations of the official candidates of individual political parties
> >for
> >contesting elections, should be democratically done by conducting
> >preliminary rounds of elections, where only the party members residing
> >in
> >the constituency under consideration would be eligible to vote. This
> >should
> >be done no sooner then four months and no later then six weeks before
> >actual
> >elections to the constituency are due.
> >
> -- I have already stated in a previous message that this is based ona
> muddle:There are in India and
> elsewhere political formations which would normally be called
> dictatorial
> and/or totalitarian.   The basis of the dictatorship may be ideology or
> religion or merely personality cult.   Such a party might subjectively
> consider itself democratic (while considering one another
> anti-democratic),
> and even have some semblance of intra party voting.    Political
> philosophy
> has known and defined the "paradox of democracy" for a long time, by
> which
> democratic institutions are used to bring an anti-democratic party into
> power.    The task of public policy would be not to chatter on about
> intra-party democracy but rather to see that all political parties,
> whether
> democratic or not, play by democratic rules against one another, and
> further
> that the paradox of democracy be recognised and countered to the extent
> possible.
> >4.         Parliamentary Reform
> >
> >Voting records of each and every MP/MLA on each and every Bill would be
> >publicly available
> -- they already are
> on the internet,
> -- not necessary if they are already available
> so that citizens could determine how
> >well their interests were represented by the said representative.
> >5.      Defence
> >Constant preparedness is needed to keep our defense forces in the state
> >of
> >readiness to defend our borders. Availability of sufficient funding has
> >to
> >be ensured for investment in personnel, modern weaponry, and suitable
> >technology in accordance with current military needs.
> --- this is platitudinous... like saying all Indians would like India to
> win
> at cricket.
> >6.        Foreign Policy
> >
> >We should try to find common interests with nations that have similar
> >democratic norms of government.
> --  does this mean we may not ally with e.g. Russia and China regarding
> Kosovo?
> Remember Lord Palmerston:  nations do not have permanent friends, but
> permanent interests...
> This would include extraditing criminals
> >from other nations who are sought by their police, shutting down
> >operations
> >of foreign terrorists on Indian soil, signing extradition treaties with
> >more
> >nations.
> -- extradition is the main plank of foreign policy?
> >
> >We advocate the goal of global disarmament by all nations and the
> >banning of
> >all weapons of mass destruction. The sole purpose of creating a nuclear
> >weapon must be to help the world understand the futility of trying to
> >hold
> >on to existing power structures in perpetuity, and to insist that
> >everyone
> >in the world will be better off with complete disarmament. India would
> >never
> >be the first to use nuclear weapons in the event of a conflict with
> >another
> >country.
> >
> -- this is all standard policy now...
> >With over 20% of the world's population, India deserves a place in the
> >permanent membership of the UN Security Council. Indian foreign policy
> >must
> >mature with the aim of leading the international community in the 21st
> >century. India must work with friends and supporters in the United
> >Nation to
> >make it happen. Indian foreign policy needs to focus on protecting
> >Indian
> >interests abroad, as well as better promoting/protecting Indian
> business
> >and
> >trade interests.
> >
> ---  I can go on and on... my point would be to show that this, while a
> worthwhile endeavour, is far from being a mature, well-thought out
> document
> at professional standards.
> Subroto Roy
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
> Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Vamsi M.

This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/