Let the Race Begin… but Early!

Also available in: हिन्दी मराठी

Every time elections happen in India, the country is thrown into a cauldron of corruption with party-hopping, rebellion, chaos, crime and confusion reigning supreme. Often nominations are announced at the last moment and many voters don’t even get an opportunity to see the faces of their future leaders let alone interact with them.

Does the largest democracy of the world need this chaos? Or can we bring in some reforms? Here we cannot forget the revolutionary changes ushered in by the tenth election commissioner T N Seshan. He put checks on the spending in elections and indiscriminate use of posters and vehicles for promotion.

As elections approach, there is a spurt in illegal activities such as horse trading and money laundering. During ticket distribution, crores of rupees change hands. Either the candidates are looking to make money or the parties are looking for moneyed candidates!

The process can be cleaned up to a large extent if candidates are announced 6 months in advance. On average, a Lok Sabha candidate has to cover 12000 to 14000 villages in his constituency. He/she has to connect with anywhere from 10 to 15 lakh voters. The candidates would need time to at least shake hands with 10% of them, if not all. How can one reach out to so many people in just three to four weeks?

A sustained exposure will also give enough time for people to figure out the character and attitude of the leaders they are going to elect. The one who connects with them well will end up leading them. It helps the political parties as well. If the candidate is found inefficient or unacceptable by the people or if there are complaints about him/her, the party has time to rethink and nominate a different candidate. It gives people time to understand their differences, sort them out or agree to live with them.

A leader should rise from the bottom winning the hearts of people rather than being imposed by the party high command. In a democracy, it is very important that the representatives understand who they represent and vice versa.

Often ticket distribution is done without understanding the ground reality. Many party workers are upset with the final list of candidates and turn rebellious as despite having worked hard, their voices are not heard. It is not that the candidate has to be a local always but even if someone from outside is nominated, they have to stay in the constituency, work, connect with people and prove themselves. This needs time.

Currently, the situation is that party election committees select candidates looking at caste equations, financial muscle or even due to whims and fancies of the members. Many times weak candidates are fielded so that the opponent can win. This unholy nexus between the parties can be exposed and avoided with a long lead time. It would be ideal if every party decentralized the selection process to involve the panchayats and zila parishads also.

Many times ticket distribution is a money-making racket. Sometimes, even opposition candidates are bought out by rival parties. If the ticket distribution system is streamlined and conducted well in advance, the election process will become simpler and a lot of election-related crimes and violence can be avoided. Indonesia is also going to elections this month like India and the list of contesting candidates was out as early as August last year.

If the candidates know their opponents well in advance, there will be a spirit of positive competition among them to serve the people in their electorate.

It takes a whole nation, with all its civil, legislative and judicial bodies, to make a healthy democracy. The question is do we really deserve a better government? Are we really serious about it?  Can we ever get out of caste and religion based politics? We have more questions than answers. Nevertheless we should keep asking ourselves these questions.

[Note: This article was published in DNA on April 6, 2014: http://bit.ly/1eikDMQ]

More Comments

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  2. rajendra rao

    If election notification itself is issued 6months before polling date and filing nomination is about five and half months before polling automatically all parties/individuals will be forced to comply.No one can spend endlessly/for protracted period to influence voters thus forcing personal contact whereby better assesment can be made by voter as well as candidate regarding ground reality.Only worry would be deliberate attempt to countermand polls by frustrated criminal elements.

  3. Pavani

    This is an issue regarding better options for a better India and I couldn’t understand why people move away from the issue and talk about person and that too with suggestions. If you could add some suggestions that is appropriate and no one forced to participate in this. And what guruji suggested seems very appropriate for the present is my opinion too also many more are needed and wish guruji could suggest in detail many more. And if not modi or bjp who could lead better? I feel the person who has interest in country without disturbing or separating people are needed. When we see congress, it show bjp as a non secular one and create insecurity to Muslims to gain votes from that community. And it even created inferiority in the backward and scheduled castes showing bjp as it is against to them and made them weak and this insecurity and inferiority created is the cause for present day caste and religious fights. When we consider the communist parties they part the working class and the management and that anything which part create a disturbance and same with aamaadmi party too which is between middle class and rich class and other parties like samajwadi or Muslim parties emerged with this insecurities. And bjp is the one which separated India from other countries and is better at present. Of course one world family a dream of many gurus is the ultimate and for which sri sri too is working and we people feel with all our narrow thinking to blame or defame such divine works. I feel rather than pointing to someone first let us become something at least to work for others welfare and then talk. Ambani or some rich person ,is there any need to eliminate? And spirituality is not excluding it is inclusive and acceptance with appropriateness . The present day parties are representing the Indians in various categories and we all fall in some party and that is our nature and a mirror to aware ourselves to better. And nothing is right or wrong .it is a journey towards our self and guruji is all ready there and it is our choice whether to be with him or not rather than criticising let us make effort to think why we are opposing him and maybe a better thing happens .all the best for all of us.

  4. concernedguy

    Who is guruji to comment on Indian Political scenario and why should we take his advice. How does he qualify to give political advices? Just because he runs a cult does not make him the master if all domain. Why cant he stick to his magical kriyas and avoid politics.

    1. Concerned Indian

      Just like you have exercised your freedom to comment on something you ran into (this blog post) Sri Sri has exercised his.

      Regarding his credentials, well, quite a lot is available on this site, and google. Would help to read everything; moreover, physically getting involved in some service activity would give a better idea about who he is.

      What is posted seems to make sense. Even if you dont agree with Sri Sri and his activities, there is wisdom in adapting good ideas irrespective of their source.

      And, because, ‘magical kriyas’ and politics have an effect on everyone irrespective of their birth, background, views, up-bringing, lifestyle, etc, it makes sense to ensure they are being practised correctly.

  5. wakeup

    lol ,”Netas” like modi who walks out of interview running scared ,chellas of adani,ambani,spending god knows how much on ads,campaign ,this much amount of money could easily feed hundreds of poor people.sad but truth

  6. Dr Babankumar

    Jgd! No one is real good out of all politicians. They are all corrupt from top to bottom. Kejriwal seems clean but is not matured, can’t handle country at the moment. But then alone he is good too, can’t do everything. Best would be having an option of Global Team kind of possibility. I mean if we can select best of all and allow such a happening, best of all party for India. Anyways, that looks far fetched dream. But, I don’t understand one thing even an appointment of a ” chaparrasi” needs educational qualification but these politicians don’t. After all education makes them sane and enhances consciousness. Having said all that, presently, we need to respect sentiments of the time that goes Modi way. After all, Modi demonstrated it in Gujarat. He seem to have got much needed vision. Moreover, congress ruled more than 50 years and made India begger. BJP for that matters has got less chance. It’s their turn because congress has been complacent. It’s just like cricket, if one player is not performing, call next player. And it is BJPs turn this time. It’s ok. Sky is not falling. We are habitual of getting milked. That is the current sentiment. No system is 100% perfect. Congress has enjoyed too much of it. Enough of it. Enough of dynasty. Lets BJP try this time, it’s just taking chance because Modi has done it. And don’t fight over parties, don’t stoop low and create religious divides by saying Guruji endorses because Modi is Hindu. The one who says must interospect to see what Guruji did through AOL and what he could do. It’s not that all AOL people are good, ignorants are everywhere . But what matters is their leader is incomparable. Dr. Babankumar



  8. Nikhilesh Shah

    I think there is never late. We dont know how soon will be next election. I think VBI should file some petitions as soon as possible. JGD.

  9. P.K.Radhakrishnan Nair

    It is too late to implement the reforms suggested by Guruji. Let us hope that such reforms will be implemented in future. I would like to suggest the following reforms also in addition to what Guruji has suggested:-1) It could have been better if the state could fund the election expenses of the candidates of Recognized National/ Regional parties by providing provision in the budget, so that lot of corruptions/ favoritism arising in this regards could be avoided. 2)There should be a total ban on independent candidates to contest the election.3) Each Party/candidate has to strictly spend only a limited amount for election work, which has been allotted by the state.
    At present, I only hope that after the election we get a Prime Minister, who can make India a corruption free nation and lead the country to become a super power.

  10. Vindhya

    Very valid points Guruji. Your sincerity & commitment towards our country is commendable.

    Thanks for inspiring so many of us who were so apathetic towards the state of affairs and urging us to volunteer for a better India. We are with you.

  11. KBM

    It IS very necessary that the nominations of candidates must be done as Guruji suggests, at least six months prior to elections. also the candidate should compulsorily belong to that constituency with a record of the work they have done since the last elections till the present one.

  12. Ravi P P

    Its good that Guruji and the wise like him are serious about the reforms of the mess that we are in now; ours is a religious people, who exhort Great sayings from upanishads,`Satyameve Jayate` and Loka samastha sukhino Bhavantu`. But havent reformed anything. The karma and the consequence theory will suffice to make amends; but everyone of us should stand against corrupt practices. We dont go deeper when it comes of personal gains; everyone of us has to have the cognisance, that this life in the present form is only a passing and momentary one and the real self is the eternal consciousness, which never get corrupted.. A bit of spirituality and reality will keep all of us happy hearted. Thanks for the forum !!

  13. K. V. Manjrekar

    This is hypocracy at its best. Guruji supports because Modi because of the Hindu tag. And also because BJP has the largest number of criminals at 38% of its candidates. They include rapists and murderers also. Modi’s best friends Babubhai Vakharia and Purshottam Solanki, the most corrupt of Gujrat politicians, are still in his ministry. Guruji supports Ambani because he enjoys his hopitality. Unfortunately he is a guru of the rich people who are not necessarily good people. I have learnt this because I had been part of the AOL cult for a long time. I disassociated myself when I came to know the real face of this cult.
    Till recently I thought that BJP would be a good alternative. But it has given 30% of tickets to former Congressmen.
    A spiritual leader should be apolitical. But openly endorsing Modi, a dictator he has lost respect among many of his followers also.
    It is a shame that spiritual leaders like Imam and Sri Guruji interfere in politics. A Big Shame.

    1. Akshay

      You are speaking of fantasy and idealism. Guruji supports the best available alternative we have. His comments are very rational. Can you identify a single point in the article or in any of his blog which is detrimental for a better India? There is a difference between constructive criticsm and compulsive sickness of criticism. Guruji is the one who has been trying to propagate humanitarism throughout the world. Why dont you suggest who shd be the next PM who can lead the pack of good, bad and average MPs we have. There are rotten ones and need to be managed for the larger good of the country. We are now caught between polarisation of religion and caste. No one talks about education, innovation, talent development. So in a country of chaos try to stick to the good. The 62% good ones will eventually take care of the 38% BAD ones. And the money that goes to AOL is utilised in providing a education and spiritualism to the poor who cannot afford basic sustainance. He does not need an Ambani for hospitality if thats what you have learnt over your association with AOL. Go back and relearn the essence, not the rituals and with knowledge will come wisdom. Do not resort to cheap criticism without doing thorough research, because that will only make our mind smaller and waste a beautiful life we have. Life is to expand our vision, and lead prople and surrounding. To make world better and we all are responsible for the society, for the world. And thats what Guruji has been propagating, awakening our sleeping conscious.

    2. India First

      @ K.V. Manjrekar because of people like you India has become contemptible. Your kind of people can just sit back at home and criticize wise people. I still can’t find any link in this post where Guruji has
      pointed his support towards any particular party.

  14. Senthil

    Well said Guruji.This approach will give way for cleaning up the political system.Good candidate in wrong party,wrong candidate in good party issues can be resolved.People don’t have clarity on what factors to be considered while voting for MP.Political parties r taking this advantage to gain vote based on local issues.National & international vision for India & long term benefits on economy & security should be the focus for general elections.Responsibilities of central vs state govt vs corporation/municipality etc r Not known to public.


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