Bharat Nirman

India.A nation with a history spanning civilizations. Witness to myriad cultures,diverse life forms,part of a vast geography.A nation that started its journey as distinct entity 63 years ago. However, there truly seems a crisis looming large in horizon. The country’s future seems uncertain. A growing sense of impatience and intolerance is wrecking the nation from within (the enemies from outside the borders are just the tip of the ice berg). The present mode of governance (or the lack of it) prompted me to think, does India lack leaders? Have we, Indians, become so self centered that service to the nation has taken a back seat? Where do we see India in future? And what is our role to make that dream a reality? What about the political class? Is democracy safe in India? There is no end to these volley of questions. I tried to extract a few answers from the people i know, and wish to share my findings with you all.

Service of the people, that is the motto of our political class. Politics is a vocation, not a profession. Providing good governance is the duty of the people at the helm of power, and that power is vested into them by our constitution. Elections decide which person will be entrusted with the work of catering to the needs of the masses. Thus elections play an important role in democracy.

A government is accountable only to the people. The people decide who stays in power. Only 48% of the adult respondents to the survey done by the writer of this blog said that they had voted in past elections. While 6% were minors, and 6% just turned 18, rest of the 40% of the urban, educated youth did not consider it necessary to take part in deciding the fate of the nation. Even more alarming was the finding that most of them (51%) do not wish to vote in forthcoming elections. As many as 32% of the people did not even know the name of their ward Councillor. Sigh, in their bid to show how concerned they are for the nation, they forgot that charity begins at home, and good governance can be delivered only through decentralization of power.

Indian politicians have failed the people, that is beyond doubt. But we as a nation must never forget our duty as citizen. Remember, you get a right to protest when you are a part of the syste,. Being cynical about the state of affairs and passing judgments on government’s failures is easy. But my friend, by refusing to vote, you have done a disservice to the nation too. And that like corruption is unpardonable.

Many readers would jump out of their seats and say that they do not have any choice, the present set of politicians do not kindle any interest in them. That brings me to the second question. Who do we see as a leader in the future? What qualities set him/her apart from others? Well, if you ask me the question now, i will not be able to take any particular name but share my idea of a perfect leader. Like an assembled computer, (s)he would be a mixture of qualities from different leaders.

My readers unanimously voted in favour of Rahul Gandhi as a leader in the future. His dynamism, persona and sincerity towards the issue he concentrates impressed 34% of my respondents. His mother Sonia Gandhi continues to inspire 12% of the Indians while Narendra Modi seems to be the choice of leader for 4% of them. Leaders like Manmohan Singh and A P J Abdul Kalam still earn people’s respects for their integrity.

Do the results show a supposed bias towards a particular party? Is it possible the sample size was not random at all? I doubted the results myself! For one, i have lost my fondness for the Gandhi scion after his inaction over a lot of issues that required immediate attention from someone who is slated to be India’s next PM. My doubts were put to rest when i found that most people (65%) who responded also said it is not the party but the deliverance of promises that makes people vote for a candidate in an election. Only a minority (8%) support the party.

Now after elections are done with and the government is formed, what do we expect them to do? What are the most pressing issues challenging us? The lack of infrastructure for education, poverty eradication, less focus on the social sector and Corruption emerged as the frontrunners in the race. Terrorism and naxal menace found place too but the voices were not loud enough to be heard.

If we need to strengthen our democracy we need to rein in our politicians who have turned the system to their advantage. To that effect i asked my readers whether the American Presidential system of governance could bring the much needed breath of fresh air. While most (88%) respondents felt the idea needed serious consideration and debate, 3% voted in favaour of the proposal and 3% against it. The writing on the wall is clear. People want change and are ready to experiment with new ideas.

The last part of the survey concentrated on the fourth pillar of democracy : people’s participation in governance. The media acts as a bridge between the people and government. Tracking the latest happenings and opinionate  can improve people’s understanding of the functioning of our system as well as prepare us for a future tryst in the corridors of power. However it was really sad to discover that 58% of the people find  the sports page in the newspapers worth spending time on. Well, in today’s age of breaking news it does not come as a surprise. What does is the fact that 67% of the people never took up the pen to write to the editor of any newspaper. That reflects a sense of indifference in our psyche. Entertainment, sports, gossip is what we want, and in the ever expanding competitive market, the media is serving us what we deserve. Next time India TV comes up with an atrocious breaking news, can we complain?

To build a better India we need to be involved in her service. We can sit in the comfort of our rooms and crib about what is wrong around us, nothing will change. We do not want to change. When asked “Do you wish to enter politics”, 81% of the respondents said NO. No one wishes to clean the house, they want a house maid to handle the muck. Hope the 19% who said yes can really change the conditions we live in and engage in true “Bharat Nirman”.

About Agnivo Niyogi

Typical Aantel, reader, blogger, news addict, opinionated. Digital media enthusiast. Didi fanboi. Joy Bangla!

Posted on September 5, 2010, in Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. what a awesome survey…. nice to read the facts….
    apj fact was too good… thanks for sharing

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  2. Good work and palpably hard work is visible here…

    Usual patterns we see… Rahul G is undeniably India’s Next Big Thing in politics…we respect honest (but passive) politicians/leaders… failing infrastructure… majority want good or better or best to happen with least of their required participation.

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  3. Politics is NOT the only way to influence people and bring changes to the society. Therefore your hypocrite remark “No one wishes to clean the house, they want a house maid to handle the muck” in not quite justified regarding peoples’ views about joining politics.

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    • The whole post was written with a view that good governance and leadership can improve the pitiable condition India is in. And to run the country people must think seriously about politics at some point of time. However people seemed most disinterested in running the nation.

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  4. hmm .. the figures are quite surprising .. Janta Janardhan !

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  5. Awasome survey.. It is very true that people want change.. But this is India.. Change hoga.. Lekin slowly and steadly.. Not in days.. In years…

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  6. Hmm,, i think government should go through this🙂 Awesomely written as always!! and yeah the survey has shocking results which is an eye opener for me!!

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  7. Well well well its impossible to pass a judgement with such less No. of samples. I even don trust survey of news channels. Above all I must say b4 holdin politicians responsible 4 every wrong doin in nation, ppl must look into themselves. I’ll only hold ppl of this nation 4 what they r having. I’ve no doubt that RG is destiny of this nation, even if he don’t wanna, but he lacks political maturity 4 sure. As far as modi is concern, well I really want ppl to broaden their understandi abt his style of admin. U cant hold baton of past in present 4 d sake of future. All in all I dont believe in samples u’ve collected but ur analyses is almost true n alarmin 4 sure. But mind u, I see no changes in any future. These animals have born as animals n will die so.

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  8. How sample can change results: I had conducted a survey some days ago, and there was one question that was also in your survey: ‘Will you join politics?’ And the result were diametrically opposite. (Full results of my survey: http://thenewdimension.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/independence-for-indian-youth/) So i think it would have been better if the sample size would have been larger.

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  9. Well planned work. Read the analysis and the comments there on. I’m the guy who does not know my ward councillor but know a bit about Rajiv. And that is called politics!

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  10. “mere lack of data is not enough to stop fools from inventing theories.”

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  11. Don’t mind Agniva. You are a very good friend of mine, and I appreciate your concern for this country. But somehow I found your post too much politically biased and somehow offensive.
    I agree completely with Debsuvra…


    Debsuvra:

    Politics is NOT the only way to influence people and bring changes to the society. Therefore your hypocrite remark “No one wishes to clean the house, they want a house maid to handle the muck” in not quite justified regarding peoples’ views about joining politics.

    It’s funny when you said

    ” But my friend, by refusing to vote, you have done a disservice to the nation too. And that like corruption is unpardonable.”

    You made me feel as if I am same sinner as the politicians who could sell this country for his own profit. And I am also surprised that you think if a person vote for some candidate, he is doing some service to the country. Lol!

    Oh! Another one “67% of the people never took up the pen to write to the editor of any newspaper. That reflects a sense of indifference in our psyche.” Boss, if media would had responded to common people’s letters rather than Rahul Mahajan’s swayambar then today many politicians should had been in jail, or had got a slap on their bloody face.

    And Agnivo, though I don’t love beating drums, I want share with you something, that may give you idea that many people who have no interest in politics, can also do something for this country.

    With God’s grace, I had a very good academic track record with class V-XII in Narendrapur Ramakrishna Mission and then B.Tech(ECE) in BESU, Shibpur; but I kicked my academic career and joined hand with many youth like me to promote education and self-employment to masses. And for that I faced more challenges from my family than you can imagine. Even when my Dad said he would suicide if I don’t get a job, I was firm with my mission.
    So when you say, we are indifferent and not concerned for our country, it hurts like hell brother.
    To me voting for some politician or writing to a news paper editor means nothing, as I would rather prefer visiting common people and try to help them hand in hand. And that’s what I did. See these:

    http://www.orkut.co.in/Main#Album?uid=4369878212965407867&aid=1209939515
    http://www.orkut.co.in/Main#Album?uid=4369878212965407867&aid=1227735987

    Long story short: progress of a country doesn’t depend on a group of people (read politicians), rather it depends on us-the common people of India. We who are little privileged in any respect than others, can extend our helping hand to underprivileged and take our country to heights beyond our imaginations.

    This is not my dream, neither my proposal, this is my promise- I won’t die before fulfilling it.

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  12. A really stupid article, who doesnt know these things?? your surveys are based on common sense and nothing else.. tell me one thing- what have you yourself done for the cause of nation?? Please stop writting shi* and get a life budd ..

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  13. Awesomely written. What I like about it all is that u didnt wait 4 sum1 2 give u an opportunity or sumthng, but used ur twtr, fb cntcts well. As rightly pointd out, the sample size mite b small, but what matters is the will and intention. Keep it up!

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  14. LoL! There was no need for survey to come to this conclusion, I was surprised that most people were honest about the survey! And one more thing, though people might be living in a city as per their mail address, but they might not have a ward representative at all! This tends to happen in cities which have grown fast in past few years, and some parts of city which are termed part of city are not actually part of municipal limits. (Builders use terms like “Annex” to sell there flats as part of city premises!)🙂

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  15. Good work bhai…u must have taken lots of pain doing this survey…liked the line “Many readers would jump out of their seats and say that they do not have any choice, the present set of politicians do not kindle any interest in them”…I personally feel the so-called self proclaimed Intellectual class of our Nation’s apathy towards voting and all other fundamental rights, the very typical “hota hai” attitude needs a serious overhaul…..

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  16. This was an interesting read, thank you

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  19. Hi – I am definitely glad to discover this. cool job!

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