Every election is fought on polarities. Each election has its flavour or polarities. Not surprising that there are many polarities that Lok Sabha 2014 Elections will be fought on. Secularism Vs Communalism; Traditional Vs New; Corrupt Vs Clean; Centralization Vs Decentralization etc
I want to address the question of ‘Concentration of Power’. The BJP is showing its success in Gujarat where ONE Powerful Leader could transform the face of a state by effective management of the system. The Aam Aadmi Party proposes to decentralise and empower Ward Sabhas & Gram Sabhas to make their own decisions as a contrast to centrally governed systems.
My argument is simple: India needs to vote for decentralisation and usher in a departure from heavily centralised governance mechanisms.
Decentralization of Power: Good For All
Decentralization is a phenomenon that is very relevant in today’s times. Lets look beyond politics to find our answers. The business world represents that section of the society which is chasing efficiency at any cost. They are definitely decentralizing. A few examples from different industries:
Retail: Receiving feedback from twitter and not only through a central channel
E-Commerce: A seller network that is regulated through buyer feedback and providing the right education to sellers
Decentralization is good for the Aam Aadmi. Participating in many decisions that are immediately relevant to their wellbeing is truly empowering. For those not participating in their governance and not exercising their rights, it will incentivize making their voice heard. The Aam Aadmi can see where their taxes are working. This is an excellent way to make the democracy vibrant.
Decentralization is good for Governance. Good administrators at the grassroots already know that the best way to create wellbeing is to listen well to those they are serving. Good administrators already hold consultations between stakeholders and representatives to implement reform that is valuable. Decentralization will only institutionalise this practice. In a diverse country like India the problems and solutions are equally diverse. Decentralization will help take the right solution for the right problem in the right priority.
Decentralization: Only Good?
Decentralization is chaotic. It will not look orderly. But India is not orderly, its vibrant (just another word for a chaos of colour). The order is in the chaos, waiting to be discovered by the one with patience. India needs patience.
Decentralization is also tricky. There have already been voices dubbing it as majortism. It’s definitely a very logical statement. Only, I see it as made by someone who has really no experience of striving to decentralise. There are many examples of how reviving Indian systems like the panchayat has proved useful and is happening in India.
Discard the unproductive
The “Ramrajya” model definitely worked for the last century. There is an illustrious record of achievement in the last century by powerful leaders like Indira Gandhi, Stalin, Mao. But like any system that is living beyond its time, it has become heavy, unproductive and corrupt. It is not coincidence that movements like Nirbhaya & Arab Spring are common in this time, with no “leader” nor “conspirator” abut lead by the masses.
In Lok Sabha 2014, let us not allow ONE “Vikas Purush” to hold 120 crore Aam Aadmi’s to ransom. Let us make the best choice: where we rule, not one man.
By Venkata Sashank