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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Jagdeep Chhokar's views on Indian governance and political parties

 Prof Jagdeep made some interesting points during his 1hr talk at IIM-A during the Ideafest here, organized by two student clubs Entre and Public Policy. He made some good points, which I reproduce below to the best of my ability.

  • Government size debate is really a misnomer, we should be concerned whether it governs appropriately, not about its size only. 
  • Where does the democracy begin and where it ends? High command…political parties are the pillars..should they not be democratic themselves in internal functioning=>choosing candidates at party member level should be done instead of at high command level
  •   Political parties are like corporate-single objective functions(profits aka winning seats). PSR and CSR..whatever it takes to win elections=>why is funding high? 
  •  MM Singh has lied only once-declaring himself as Guwhati resident for RS elections
  •  If you don’t care don’t crib
  •  If you don’t vote, don’t think you are not participating in the electrical process..especially in South India where ballots stuffed between 3pm-4pm. At best, you can say you participate unconsciously  not that you don’t participate.
  •  Fundamental duties are never pointed towards(not even right to vote)-time to make voting a fundamental duty in my opinion. 
  • When asked about critical mass, he said that if no one heeds your call, you walk alone…his view on need for critical mass! 
  •  Success has many fathers-so doing something breeds legitimacy
  •  Ideas come but if you sit and wait for the big idea, it may not..hence do what you can in your individual capacity
  •  What does it mean to be an active, informed and contributing citizen? Civics education is to be realigned from school
·       At the end of the talk, he said that politics is too important a business to be left to experts..the same is true for war as well(too important to be left to generals). That lesson is important for us.

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