Politicians, Mark Your Change

Written by SONICA MALHOTRA KANDHARI
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A LOT—A MIND-BOGGLING array of words—has been written on facebook, twitter and all manners of social media about a voter’s duty. I think the time is right for an Indian politician to ask himself or herself who are the voters and what do they want?

Yes, sirs and madams, who are your voters? He is your gardener who wants you to stop people from stealing his tax money. He also hopes for better schools, so that his boy or girl, when all grown up, does not have to follow in papa’s footsteps. Or she could be your tailor who makes your shirt fit so well when you appear before the camera. Perhaps she wants her village to get better roads so that her little brother can visit more often. She could also be your niece’s best friend. All she wants is to be left alone as she walks back from her tutorials. She wants you to ensure her safety in that particular stretch of road between her home and the bus stop. All these people who would be braving the weather, the summer heat and will be lining up to get that bit of ink on their fingers are people—non-homogenous mass of living, breathing, aspiring groups who make your nation. Yes, they serve your interests. As long as you serve theirs. The key to a responsive administration is a responsible electorate and it is vice-versa.

Our interview with Vinita Bali, Board Member of Britannia, was enlightening in this regard. During the conversation, Bali, a woman of power and prestige pointed out one problem the people in India–that we hesitate to demand more. Demand better administrators, politicians, bureaucrats and do your own job, with pride and honesty; Bali believes that India could compete with the best of the nations. Yes, we have a long way to go, but surely we are getting there. Read the interview on Page 12.

We also look at one of the Prime Ministerial candidates, Mr Narendra Modi, a little more closely this month (in the Issue section) and a glance at a beautiful love story of an expatriate in the Foreign Despatches. All three hopefully provide fodder for thought. Think—and justify our status as citizens of the world’s largest democracy.

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