DailyPost 1621

An expression that is generally in the mode of lamenting, if there was political will, this would have happened. Nobody has ever defined political will but everybody broadly knows what it actually connotes. This is one trait which is more defined by its absence and the negative consequences that are its fall out. Without getting into the technicalities of it, it means the support of the government and / or support of the ruling political party by which a project, program, activity or change can be got through the approval process and of budgeting /provisioning of  necessary wherewithal for its execution, launch and further support. People try ways and means to garner political will and more often than not, it fails.

Democracy is all about consensus. Cabinets and as its logical corollary the governments work on collective responsibility. At the back end, this collective responsibility necessarily should have the support of the political party in power. What is political will then? It is the coming together of these convergent and divergent political and governmental thought processes for the fulfillment of a common objective, which is in general public interest. Political will devoid of public interest is not a political will, from our point of view. The challenge is that lots of issues which deserve govt’s interest does not reach there. The converse is also true that lots of issues which has the political will, sees success, for right or wrong reasons is a different story.

The transformation of Political Will into utilitarian will is never going to happen. Democratic aspirations and political will turn out to be diametrically opposite most of the times. If we were to decide on a common agenda for Political Will, that would never happen. It would be lost in the democratic wilderness. The other challenge, the areas which have to be prioritized for humungous Political Will support are different for different sectors, communities, states and also lobbying groups. The natural inclination is for the tasks which politicians find to be important. As they are the repositories of Political Will, it becomes easy for them. There can still be large number of bottlenecks which the democratic process can throw up.

There are systemic issues coming in way of everything we do. Till its not sorted out, we cannot move further. That is  never on the political radar. Time taking, arduous and complex issues with huge investment of intellectual capital and needing endless levels of patience and perseverance does not fall in the Political Will Agenda. Deciding the agenda of the nation is the first challenge, if that is attended to, sooner of later the Political Will has to follow. Even poll manifestoes are mostly bereft of political will. New areas are anyway left to fend for themselves, notwithstanding the immense damage it does to the nation. The fall out of Cyber Security and Data Protection & Privacy has the potential to make us look puny.


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