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The vote and after: A post-poll special issue

Published: Jun. 28, 2024
Updated: Jun. 28, 2024

WHAT do the recent election results tell us? In our view people may care about India’s global aspirations, but not without their basic needs addressed. Of what use is economic growth that can’t bring people up socially and economically, or at least give them the hope that they are benefitting from a rising tide.

The results also tell us that people worry about too much power getting concentrated in one party or person. It is a lesson for politicians and parties in general. As large as India is, it needs multiple efforts and centres of power. Inner-party democracy is the correct place to begin. Letting go is the mantra of success. Aggrandizement doesn’t work. To be out there, one among many, empowering others and yet have a following is the challenge of leadership in modern India.

In this magazine we spend almost no time on or with politicians. It is not our job to advise them. But there is a strong case for politicians being more grounded and devoting time in legislatures and outside to matters of development.

To this end we have devoted this post-election special issue to spelling out in simple and achievable terms what politicians should take up and governments could do in the interests of the country.

We have brought in some of the most interesting people we know, who are also acknowledged in their spheres, to suggest just the five things which if implemented could make a difference.

It is not and couldn’t possibly be an exhaustive exercise. But from education to healthcare and road safety these are things we should be thinking about and implementing quickly in a bipartisan spirit. Aspirations to make India a global power must surely begin with the standards we maintain for ourselves in daily life. We should ask ourselves what we really have to show as of now.

The role voluntary organizations play in development is not always appreciated. They represent citizen efforts that succeed where governments cannot. For instance, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has played an important role in raising concerns associated with elections and politics. Cleaning up of public life and ensuring accountability has to be a continuous process. The people at ADR have pegged away with determination and lack of bias.

Another example of the voluntary sector’s contribution can be seen in the work done by Doctors For You (DFY). In the best spirit of the medical profession, these are physicians who have made themselves available during calamities. They were first in the Civil Society Hall of Fame a decade or so ago. In an interview in this issue, Rajat Jain, the DFY president, traces some of the new developments in  their journey.     


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