Daily Post 1487


We have to give it to the tenacity, perseverance, magnanimity and humility of the Indian electorate that they have been able to bear the burden of election manifestoes for the last 7 decades and still have a smile on their face. Whether the manifestos are an important talking point, only an in-depth research will be able to find out? Are they being compared? Or is the electorate just manifestoed all this while? Manifestoed is a political exercise to create a fanciful document to catch media imagination and score brownie points in an ongoing campaigning, preceding any election. The people are at the other other end. This document is supposed to create the magical connect.

How many voters would have read even one manifesto, leave aside reading all & then decide upon the candidate he should vote for? Might be candidates themselves would not be familiar. The manifesto is of the party, in the fitness of things there should also be a manifesto of every candidate of every constituency. In case national parties, the individual, district, state and national manifestos should work in tandem, playing complementary and supplementary roles and finally achieving all the goals at different levels. This should correspond to the district (panchayati raj), state and central levels in an organic manner. This is what planning is all about, to connect the people to political, then to the executive & the bureaucratic and make it happen.

The primary job of a legislator and a parliamentarian is enactment of laws, how many times do we find any mention of the legal landscape and where we intend to take it? There is no mention of this basic role in any manifesto whatsoever. While ten percent of the legislators become a part of the Govt., rest are full time law makers. Their role and control over the govt. is through the legislature or lots of via media, that is established. Given the nature of legislative powers being paramount, the manifesto being enacted as the first law (Act) post electoral victory, would give teeth to the manifesto and immense comfort level to the electorate, who gave this victory. This can treated as an official acknowledgement of the commitment. This can be done by the elected representatives themselves and it becomes legally binding on all.

An audit of the manifestos added together (without the compliance) part would indicate that India is not left with any issue to ponder, tackle or execute. Cross referencing of manifesto points would also clarify that parties have been criss crossing the same points. A research of the delivery on the manifesto points is the true reflection on the health of our democracy, even with delays. We would also get an idea as what all has never been attempted, though finding a mention in the manifesto, on a regular basis. Lots unconnected stuff to quality of life, security, human development indices and economic growth, add decorative value to the manifestoes. A manifesto is a politically correct document, unconnected to governance or execution, seems to the fate of the day.


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