Friday, October 9, 2009

ADR, NEW and The Business Model of Politics

For a Marathi Version of this article click here!
Inspired from P.Sainath's article. Read it here!
Starting a new business, we think about profit and growth. Entrepreneurs across the world are innovating different business models to solve the complex challenges that our world is facing. P. Sainath's article and the efforts of NEW (National Election Watch)   have brought forth this revolutionary new business model. (Not that it was completely unknown, but now we have numbers to back our intuition)
Got introduced to some innovative social initiatives. ADR (Association of Democratic Reform) filed a PIL in response to which the Supreme Court resolved that candidates standing for elections have to declare their assets, education and criminal record. To know the historical journey of this PIL visit here! NEW is a collective effort by 1200 organizations who are organizing this information for public viewing.
Some facts and numbers
In Hariyana 42 MLA's who are re contesting have astonishing information to share.
  • Average wealth has grown by 4.8 crore Rs
  • i.e. average rise of 388%
  • i.e. average rise of  8 lakh Rs/month
  • i.e about 1,100 Rs/day
  • The top four MLAs (considering growth rate) have a growth of 800%
  • The topper amongst them has an astonishing growth of 5000% which means from an initial of 1 lakh Rs it is now 50 lakh Rs
Learning from these numbers P. Sainath suggests that every citizen should become an MLA atleast once. It would be the most promising poverty alleviation program. Even if we consider the recently increased minimum wage of NREGA of Rs 100, a worker turned MLA would earn in a months time what he/she aould have earned in 8000 days (20 years). An Information Revolution
To access information of a candidate from your constituency, visit Info on most candidates is available. See and be aware... as I did :) 
Challenges ahead
The work done by ADR is very inspiring. They have not stopped at filing the PIL. Through NEW they are also documenting the information in a relevant format. Two very important milestones in strengthening the democracy of our country. This power of information has greatly empowered us. So where do we go from here?  Currently I'm spreading this information to as many people as I can. 
I still have some questions
  • What happens of the MLA whos wealth grows from 1 lakh to 50 lakh?
  • What is the mystery behind this?
  • How does Govinda work in films even when he is elected representative?
  • What can I do?
Looking forward to ideas, suggestions, questions... 

Optimistic Inspite,

No comments: