DailyPost 2744

National Democratic Debate should precede all Lok Sabha elections. You can call it some variant of the presidential debates in the US. Whether this nature of debates was required earlier or not is not a relevant question now but the emerging political situation in last few decades, makes it a must now for making our democracy more policy, delivery and target oriented. Gone are the days when timelessness was the norm, and issues / problems / targets could be pushed at the whims and facies of the powers that be. Not anymore.

Not doing the right thing can have only one result, that is losing out in the race. How much have we have talked about the about education in all these years and how little have we talk about the quality of education. How do we set it right? This becomes the biggest bottleneck in our development and negates the very concept of democratic dividend completely. Anyway, first things first, what credibility and value do we give to our political manifestoes? But for its release in a press function, does it even have any ornamental value. In an age where information is power and well established common denominators define our existence, can we remain devoid of valid substantiated information from political parties.

Can democracy leave its main proponents, scot-free over and over again to an extent that it has become the norm. Using whatever data, you lay your hands on and creating a false narrative cannot be our main democratic feed. It has to change. In a series of national democratic debates, the main contenders to the throne, will have air their views on national television, moderated by the best brains in the country, supported by best of the experts; national and international, who would provide research, data, case studies, concept, implication and even calculation support. The parameters remain same for both or all the parties and all big leaders would be grilled for the nature of duties they have performed in previous governments and what they are likely to, if their party comes to power.

The debates would veer more around governance, do-ability of promises, its backdrop, its need and viability. The politico part would just be a backdrop, that is what it is supposed to be. The gibberish would be forced to be completely done away with. What has not been done by the concerned parties and the leaders mostly deliberately or because of lack of effort, will have to be conclusively proven. The moderator and expert team can give their judgement at the end of an accepted process, norms pre-established. The debates would also cover all issues that are left deliberately or pushed under the carpet so diligently that no one is able to make out. With glitz, glamour and guile at their command, leaders dictate the narrative. Time some referees are needed to filter the data and commitments on behalf of the people. All the documents, calculations, recordings and doubts raised can later be used as substantive evidence against them, if they fail or go haywire.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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