The Alternative Approach to Indian Politics

Posted on April 10, 2009 in Politics

By Kiran Rao

And you thought Indian politics was all about 60-plus politicians whose only aim in life was to die rich and powerful, while at the same time, leave the nation in dire straits? Think again.

An article titled “Neither Left nor Right” appeared in Bangalore Times supplement of the Times of India dated 9th April 2009 (I am trying to find the article online — I will update this post with the permalink if and when I do find it). The article mentions several young-blood parties and organizations which aim to turn Indian politics on its head. They aim to follow an approach which is diametrically opposite to the one being followed currently. In essence, they all envision a corruption-free and equality-centric India — which are the seeds to economic development, safety and general prosperity.

I would say that this approach comes as a whiff of fresh air for those of us who are being fed the stale diet of political parties whose promises and actions will only take the nation down the doomsday highway.


A List of out-of-the-box-thinking political parties:

Here is a list of such new-age parties and organizations, what I have collectively termed as the Alternative Front (although these parties have not come together to actually form a “front” – more about this towards the end of the post). Please do visit the home links of these parties/organizations to know more about their history, mission, agenda and such.

* Lok Paritran
* Jago Party
* Bharat Punarnirman Dal (BPD)
* Bharatirya Rashtravadi Samanata Party (BRSP)
* Professionals Party of India (PPI)
* Youth For Equality (not a political party)
* JaagoRe (a website which helps people to register to vote)

A cursory glance through these sites reveals a common thread:

* Most of them are development-oriented (both urban and rural).
* Most of them promise accountability in politics.
* Most of them believe that its not the politician — rather its the citizen who is at the centre of governance (both in terms of rights and responsibilities).
* Most importantly, most of them shun the divide and rule policies of the current crop of politicians. They envisage a society in which everyone is equal— irrespective of religion, caste, gender, language or any other divisive factor which is currently being exploited.

Not Just more of “Those” Parties!

I know what you are thinking — does this mean we have half-a-dozen more parties to add to the rot which is Indian politics? On the contrary, or so I think (very strongly, if I may add).

In my opinion, these parties are different from the run-of-the-mill political parties we have grown used to. These parties have been formed by highly educated people, and in some cases, by people who have worked at the grass-roots level (albeit in a non-political capacity). Some of them have among their ranks, ex-professionals for whom accountability is the mantra.

I think we should give this new-age politics a chance to prove its mettle. Some of the parties listed above have contested polls in the past. Some are fielding their candidates in the upcoming Parliamentary elections, including in Bangalore. I urge one and all to go through the web sites of various parties and seriously consider voting for their candidates. This is all the more important as in many constituencies, none of the “conventional” candidates are worth even a single vote!

But Why So Many Parties?

There is one caveat though. If these parties converge in their vision and thought process, then why so many parties? Make no mistake, they are up against behemoths. It is definitely going to be an uphill task to secure even a single Lok Sabha seat. When such is the case, why the fragmentation? Would it not be better if all of these parties came together to fight the might of the conventional parties? Of course, there is bound to be differences of opinion amongst them, but there will be room for all of that down the line.

The need of the hour is for these parties to come together and form an “Alternative Front” (I call it that for lack of a more creative name!). The need of the hour is to give the people of India a dose of this new-age governance model. The need of the hour is to give Indians the hope — that all is not lost, that there are parties with honestly patriotic intentions.

I can promise that once the public sees first hand, the benefits of this model, they will never go back to vote for petty politics. And this is where the beauty of the new model lies — once people get used to all-round development, the competition among the parties will increase — to be more competitive, to give more to the nation, to take the country faster on the path to development!

Hoping, in the near term, that the Alternative Front materializes, and even if it does not, that these alternative parties are successful in winning at least a handful of seats in the upcoming elections.

Hoping, in the longer term, that development and equality become the pillars of Indian politics.