An Urban Voter’s Manifesto

We are urban Indians and we number around 400 million. Our aspirations are principally related to working hard for a living, caring for our families, educating our children, and being good and responsible citizens.

As an urban Indian, I will vote for a party that promotes the values that matter to my country, my family, and me. I address this open letter to the political parties who seek my vote in the upcoming elections. Drop me a line if you can credibly demonstrate that you share the concerns and values that we have.

Here are my concerns.

1. Economic freedom.

  • I want a government which generally leaves us alone. I don’t want a government that interferes in every aspect of our economic lives.
  • I want a government that does not excessively tax my hard-earned money to fund wasteful expenditures.
  • By chaining the economy, the government controls it to profit from it at the expense of the citizens. I want the government to liberalize the economy.

2. Personal freedom.

  • I want a government that respects me as a citizen and not as a member of some religious, caste, linguistic, or vote bank group. I want to be treated equally and not discriminated against for whatever reasons.
  • I want a government that does not dictate to me how I should live my life.

3. Education matters.

  • I want my children to be educated. Government control of the education sector has crippled the system to the point that only the extremely wealthy can afford decent schooling. I want the government to get out of the education sector.
  • I want a good education for my children because it is the only guarantee of success in an intensely competitive globalized world of today and the future.

4. Good governance.

  • I see unimaginable corruption at all levels of government. Criminals routinely contest and win elections. I am not going to tolerate corruption any more. I will reject all parties that put up criminals as their candidates.
  • I want the government to stick to the core functions and do them well. Primarily, I want the government to be responsible for internal security and I will hold the government accountable for the any lapses in security.

That’s all. I am not interested in GDP growth projections, on how by 2014 or whenever what is going to happen or not. I am not interested in empty promises about how India will become this or that superpower. I am quite capable of working hard and creating my own destiny.

I just want that the government do its job and I will do my bit. But I will not vote for any party that does not share my values and my concerns.

Author: Atanu Dey

Economist.

11 thoughts on “An Urban Voter’s Manifesto”

  1. 1. If none of the parties satisfy all the criteria, will you abstain from voting?

    2. Or will you vote for a party which meets maximum of your above mentioned criteria (not necessarily all)? Do you consider all the bullets in your ‘checklist’ of equal weightage?

    I believe in the second option. I hope you do the same. If, by chance, you go for bullet-1, I would request you for a detailed rationale for the same.

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  2. Nice! I would add to that:
    I need protection of life and property from Government from hooliganist political parties who would beat-up students, taxi-drivers and women in front of TV crews to show off their political potency. If they want to prove their point or oppose the government in power I don’t mind if they go beat the cabinet ministers. If they damage public property or hurt people ban them from contesting elections and take strict legal action against the goons because that’s what they really are.

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  3. “Open letter to the political parties”? — Let us know if anyone from that sphere responds to you as a result of your posting, ok?

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  4. Atanu,

    You do know what happened to Draupadi, right, when she asked for all those qualities in her husband? 🙂

    I guess I will also have to echo Bansaram’s questions above: theoretically yes we want all that. In practice, what is the solution?

    – Sudipta

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  5. Sudipta – Like Drupadi our people want every thing.
    The question is what set of activities government should do or not do so that bulk of people needs are satisfied.
    I think we even do not need Antanu’s all the 4 points as manifesto.
    If people get economic freedom everything else will follow.
    One will get good governance,security and education if I have economic freedom.

    I do not what Drupadi said but she should have said that I want my husband who can do few things right in life rather than doing everything perfect in life.

    Vishal

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  6. @ Baransam
    Atanu cannot vote in our elections… cause he is a US citizen.

    only Indian citizens have the privileged of choosing the bums who get to sit in the circular building

    I hope Atanu’s conscience will stop him from going to a booth and casting an illegal vote (easy question – take a guess on who he could have voted for if he were an Indian citizen)

    Cheers

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  7. Indian Idol – though a terribly drab show – is kind of an analogy for India itself. Given the power of choice and vote people, they do not necessarily choose the best singer. And, there are so many talented singers who don’t take part in it at all. That makes one think, are people really capable of deciding and choosing what’s best, when given the power.

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