Veena Ramanna writes in the Indian Express:
The urban educated class in India is beginning to show renewed interest in the political process. While there are some groups that have chosen to take a plunge into the political arena head on by contesting elections, several others are choosing to engage with the electoral process in different ways. In this election season, it is not just the political parties who are preparing to reach out to the masses. A host of other professionals are getting involved in their own ways to be part of the process.
She goes on to enumerate and describe the work of some of these groups. While some of these are well-known enough, it'd be useful to record them here for reference.
Association for Democratic Reforms: Founded in August 1, 1999 by a group of Professors from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad and National Institute of Design and some alumni of IIM to work towards strengthening democracy and governance in India by focusing on fair and transparent electoral processes. Its PIL filed in Dec 1999 culminated in a Supreme Court order on Mar 13, 2003 requiring disclosure of criminal, financial and educational background of all contesting candidates. Since then ADR has done Election Watches in almost all State Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. For the current elections, there is a National Election Watch which has regularly been putting out press-releases on candidates with criminal records. These are revealing lists as they show the rot cutting across party lines. Click here for the latest list:
SmartVote.in is focusing on three constituencies in urban Bangalore
Mumbaivotes.com is focusing on six constituencies in Mumbai city
Jaago Re began as an effort to enable new voters to register. In its work over the past several weeks, JaagoRe has over four lakh people registered on its website from across the country.
Still cynical? Read Veena Ramanna's full article: It's Your Vote.
Please help us expand this database. Tell us about more such groups and your experiences with them.