Victor Hugo said, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
The National Agenda Forum (NAF) is the fruit borne at the intersection of two of the most significant events in India – the 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi and the upcoming general elections in 2019.
A decade ago, we could not have expected that digital movements as strong as #MeToo could mobilize netizens across the world to set the agenda and address various socio-political issues. The digital space has become more relevant than ever with active participation from millions to express opinions, conduct polls and in fact, even change the face of the entire political discourse.
Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary year beckons the onset of citizens’ dialogue and engagement embracing his vision and encompassing the entire nation. NAF, an initiative of Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) is a pan-India, citizen-centric movement to resurrect the conversation around Gandhiji’s 18-point Constructive Programme as envisioned in 1941 for Poorna Swaraj and use it to re-imagine and co-create priorities to formulate an actionable agenda for contemporary India.
More than 25,000 youth volunteers from 1,788 colleges spread over 530 districts across India came together to launch this platform. NAF aims at giving voice to the youth of India to commence a dialogue in the Indian electoral system by voting to set the agenda and choose a leader who can then implement it. It is quite intriguing how the non-exhaustive 18-point Constructive Programme is still relevant in the present day and how it continues to speak volumes of the developmental politics that prevail today.
The youth-run movement entails four action points for everyone who wish to participate:
Through these call-to-action steps, I-PAC aims to pay a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy, include the agenda points that pertain to the principles of the Constructive Programme and include items of critical national importance which require government action. Citizens are free to add other points they think are of importance too.
National Agenda Forum is a non-partisan citizens’ platform and the will of the participants would define the future course. This is an initiative of I-PAC, a platform of choice for educated youth and young professionals who want to participate in the Indian political system and contribute meaningfully in setting the agenda for incoming governments, without necessarily being part of a political party. Started as Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG) in 2013 by young individuals from renowned academic and professional backgrounds, I-PAC has transformed the way elections are fought in India by introducing professionalism and innovation at scale in campaigning.