5 bad ideas for Indian elections…

india-7724137_12801. Compulsory voting: Recently Gujarat passed a bill to make voting compulsory. That is extremely problematic, especially for a populous and diverse country like India. For one, how will that increase the quality of candidates in any way?

If all the candidates are not worthy then what difference does it make if one person votes or one million? Secondly, how will you punish those who don’t vote? In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections hundreds of millions didn’t vote? How will you chase all of them?

Then what if you fall ill? How will you get away? Will you have to give a doctor’s certificate? If that’s the case, then what prevents millions of fake doctor certificates from flooding the EC offices?

The Indian police force and judicial process is as it is burdened. Adding more such “crimes” would be a choking of the system. Lok Sabha/Assembly/municipal elections keep taking all over India. Having hundreds of millions of habitual offenders will be a nightmare.

Then what about the poor who find the booth too far away or those who find voting will take away one day’s earnings? Compulsory voting may work in developed sparsely populated countries, but definitely not in India.

In developed countries the level of fraud is less as mentioned by the ease of getting fake medical certificates in India. And what if during this period you have to visit a foreign country or get married or do some urgent business?

A better way would be to make it easier for defence services personnel and NRIs to vote to boost the numbers.

2. Impotent NOTA button: In the original proposal, if NOTA got maximum votes, then all the candidates would get disqualified and new ones would have to be put up. In the current system if NOTA gets a million votes and even one candidate gets one vote, he gets elected.

Basically that means if you sit at home and not vote or go to the booth and press NOTA, then it is one and the same thing.

3. Banning chargesheeted politicians: This “hundreds of MPs/MLAs are criminals as they have been chargesheeted” is way over-rated. Like did you know that it even included Bollywood star Govinda because someone found a song that he danced to obscene?

Most are chargesheeted due to political protests. If that happens, then the ruling government would simply file hundreds of chargesheets against its opponents just before nomination day.

A better thing would be to just concentrate on serious crimes like rape, murder and corruption and disqualify if a court accepts a case and not a chargesheeted case.

That would be much more genuine and that would weed out the black sheep among politicians.

4. Low campaign amounts per candidate: This is supposed to make a level-playing field, but the rich candidates spend more black money anyway. That way the American system is the best. You can spend as much as you want, but you have to give detailed accounts.

In such a system an honest candidate would have incentive to expose a rich candidate using black money. That is how a rank outsider and underdog like Barack Obama could raise $500 million in 2008.

If you back unlimited funds in white money, then the brighter and more charismatic candidates get more funds. There is no shortage of money in India. Converting black money to white should be more important and not the actual amount.

5. No regular delimitations: The 1951 census found 361 million Indians and the Lok Sabha had 489 seats. The 1971 census found 548 million Indians and the 1977 Lok Sabha had 542 seats. The population has more than doubled since 1977 and yet the Lok Sabha seats have not increased.

At the outset, rural areas had about 80% Lok Sabha seats thanks to the population distribution of India. Now by some estimates 40% of India lives in cities and yet the number of Lok Sabha seats in the cities has not caught up.

We probably need a Lok Sabha of 700 seats today to truly represent India and many more in the cities. Then only justice will be done to each and every district in India.

(This article appeared in Sify.com)

Latest round of political musings…

Not only is Gujarat a BJP-ruled State, but all its neighbours (Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra) are BJP-ruled States too.

At this rate Pappu will suggest that King Bharat’s surname was actually Nehru.

What destruction in West Bengal CPM couldn’t do in 34 years, the Trinamool has done in 34 months.

Democracy, Dynasty style…
Nehru: 1st Amendment curtailing free speech.
Indira: Emergency.
Rajiv: Anti-defamation Bill (aborted).
Sonia: Section 66A.

The Saga of SoGa has ended and the Rage of RaGa has begun.
Backup: PriVa aur uska PriVaTe Citizen hai na!

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

Latest round of match-fixing musings…

Scamster ho ya match-fixer ho…
Aakhir chhoot jaata hai, chhoot jata hai…

Reporter: Srini?
Mudgal: Sriknew.
‪#‎IPL‬ ‪#‎MudgalReport‬

Selector: Did you check out Powerplay 1, Powerplay 2 and Powerplay 3?
Official: No, I was checking out Individual 1, Individual 2 and Individual 3.

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

My Contrary Sachin articles…

Sachin book: Well left (Not 1, but all the balls!)
November 8, 2014, Sify.com

And why shouldn’t Chappell have played politics?
November 5, 2014, Sify.com

7 failures of Sachin Tendulkar
22 November, 2013, Sify.com

Padma Bhushan for world beaters…
Bharat Ratna for cricket!
17 November, 2013, Sify.com

Thank God Sachin is retiring!
13 November, 2013, Sify.com

It’s painful to watch Sachin struggle like this
25 March, 2012, Sify.com

2012: Sachin’s worst year ever
18 December, 2012, Sify.com

Sachin vs Ponting: Who’s the greatest?
30 November, 2012

Should Sachin make way for younger blood?
19 November, 2012

Tendulkar is well past his sell-by date
03 September, 2012, Sify.com

8 question marks for Sachin’s all-time great status
19 March, 2012, Sify.com

Time for Sachin to go
17 March, 2012, Sify.com

Is Sachin really the greatest batsman of all time?
Sify.com, 2 March, 2010

The Paradox that is Pappu…

Pappu in 2011 after a trip to Amethi…
You feel angry if you visit the homes of the poor.
(This even though it is the Congress that has impoverished the nation by failing spectacularly from 1947-2011.)

But then…
2012: Modi practices politics of anger.
2013: Anger in India must be cooled.
2014: Angry people running nation.

All this said with great rage and bluster.
Paraphrasing Shakespeare…
His every speech is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

Nehru and Pappu musings…

If Nehru’s birthday is celebrated as Children’s Day, then Pappu’s birthday should be celebrated as Babies’ Day.

Jawaharlal Nehru’s legacy…
Confused foreign policy.
Kashmir dispute.
Chinese humiliation.
Economic policy that crashed in 1991.
Delhi durbar.
First Amendment that curtailed free speech.

Pappu is like Kumbhakaran.
Sleeps for months, gets up and rages like hell, sleeps for months again, gets up…
Meanwhile all Congress chances have gone permanently to sleep.

The Congress is just short of coining the slogan…
Mera Nehru Mahaan.
(All senior leaders as it is swear by…
Mera Dynasty Mahaan.)

These versions by Sunil Rajguru