July 25, 2021
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My Request To Team Anna

My Request To Team Anna

Yes, they are totally right in their demand for an independent CBI, and on most other contentious points of the Lokpal Bill

Yes, we need not put too fine a point on this —the whole posturing with reservations and particularly the controversy over "minorities" in the Lokpal Panel is usual cynical delaying tactics by Congress with an eye to UP elections.

Yes, while the BJP is (correctly) tarred with being communal, the Congress's own "electoral communalism" in particular, and tokenism has always been at least as blatant. And even more brazen.

Yes, we could get into which communalism is more dangerous, and how these two parties fuel each other's competitive communalism, but those debates are meaningless. 

For now, in addition to asking for a strong Lokpal, with all the safeguards they are insisting on, Team Anna would be well-advised to also demand at least one basic electoral reform.

I am not asking for right to recall, option to vote for none, state funding, restoring representative ness by removal of party whips etc., important though they are. We can debate those later.

For now, all I am asking for is going back to a system where at least all Assembly and Parliament elections, if not all —including local and municipal and panchayat elections — are held simultaneously.

You cannot stop politicians from trying to play to what they consider are their constituencies. But what you can do is to minimise the need for them to do so: this way, it would only be once in five years.

We need to stop the 'permanent election mode' in the country. That alone would be a step towards getting out of policy paralysis and competitive populism because of some upcoming state election or the other.

Also read: On Quotas in general, an old Pratap Bhanu Mehta's 2010 article: Our wonderful quotocracy

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