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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How do we change the focus of politics from caste/religion to grassroot issues?

In order for politics to change the focus from caste/religion to grassroot level, we have to change the focus of society from them. Society got an unhealthy fixation with those topics and it is constantly being forced to remain focussed on them by media, the vested interest, whose business will shutdown in absence of divisive news.

Why is society fixated on these issues. The reason is of resource allocation and usage. Every individual likes to stick with his own caste/religion so that he can corner a bigger share of resources and therein lies the problem. The problem is accentuated by the fact that we do not have clear cut data on the resources and requirements. All the plannings and other activities are carried out based on approximations. If we can get rid of these approximations then we will be through. with complete knowledge of our resources and requirements we will be able to do proper allocation of resources. This will take away the very reasoning behind caste/religion based alliances and politics will be forced to change accordingly. Because Politics is a reaction to the society's state and not vice-versa.

How to achieve it?

We must use IT - Information Technology for this purpose. We can have a system designed which has a computer in each of the villages. This system will capture all the local data, i.e., individual's birth, death, education, finances, agriculture, rainfall, land utilization, crop pattern and so on, at the minutest level.

Then this computer will upload that data to a block level database which will further upload to District, then district to state and finally state to National.

This will ensure that we always have exact data about resources and requirements. It might look like a lot of data entry, but it is not. To prove a point, everyday thousands and thousands take birth in our country, but on a village level, the births are once in a quarter or half-yearly.

Then during the budgeting, village creates its budget, which flows up to block, to district to state and to nation. And the allocations flow down to the village level. Expenditures accounted for at the village level.

some projects will be there like infrastructure for whole state or nation or district which will need to be carried out at respective layer.

This bottom up approach will ensure a proper utilization of resources and overall growth of the nation. this will result in making caste/religion based politics redundant.

Moreover, such a system will be more powerful in terms of response in natural emergencies and other problems which plague us.

The problem with our country has been that all the plannings have always been done in a top-down manner, thereby creating the ridiculous scenarion that a minister and his bureaucrats plan for rice cultivation, whereas, they have never touched a rice plant and do not even know whether rice grows on the top or below the ground. this urban centric, politician centric model has to go and then only the problems of divisive politics will go away.

regarding infrastructure for this, we can ask the industry to donate older computers, have solar powered systems, get networks extended to every village by service providers, sell partial data to banks and others to generate revenue which can be used for maintaining the data. Do away with voter-id, pan cards etc. Use a single number for every individual.

This will result in growth. And Growth will take away these divisive factors.


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