Politics has become a dirty word. It implies corruption, misuse of power, insensitivity, unaccountability, nepotism etc.
And just like nobody ever bothers about how to clean a filthy pig, people have stopped bothering on how to clean politics.
One reason why people have stopped bothering about this is that one and all have accepted that the goal of politics is to get rich and stay rich. Politics seems to have been completely delinked with the key word – “Governance”
I would like to appeal to one and all that let us link politics with only one objective – governance.
And we would not take even a moment to acknowledge that governance is no mean task.
We need intelligent, diligent people to drive governance. I am sure India has got whatever it takes to have 1 billion happy people. But resources keep running into the wall called politics which consists of people who feel politics is the best way to amass wealth and power.
Is it possible that the way used by top colleges, organisations, banks etc to select the desired people is used for selecting people who will be allowed to contest Parliament and assembly elections?
I propose a two stage selection process to judge the suitability of people aspiring for contesting elections.
The objectives of this test are:
1) To attract talented, committed and sincere people to politics and governance.
2) To replace the unruly elements and criminals with disciplined and ethical people who genuinely desire to make governance their career.
3) In the long run, to equate career in politics with a career in governance, which is both clean and rewarding.
The first test would consist of questions on issues important for that constituency, that state and the nation as a whole. It would also include questions to assess the candidate’s understanding of basic economics, civics, environment and general science. It will also include the candidate’s sensitiveness to gender, caste and race issues. It would also include a psychometric section designed to assess the governance potential.
This test will be conducted two year prior to the scheduled elections.
There will not be any educational qualification as an eligibility criterion but there will be some credit given to graduates. The lower and upper age limit to write the test will be 25 years and 35 years respectively. The candidate will be required to furnish details of his bank statements and Income tax return for the last three consecutive years.
In the test the candidates will be asked to mention the political party with which he / she is associated or would like to associate with. There will be an option for “not yet decided”.
The written test will be followed by a second stage for the shortlisted candidates in which, the communication skills of the candidates will be tested.
The shortlisted candidates will undergo training on the basics of good governance. Once this training is completed representatives of various political parties will be allowed to address the candidates who are “not yet decided”, to influence them to join their party.
There are lot of people from almost all the constituencies who migrate to big cities in their pursuit to serve as a civil servant. So we should not say that the test is tilted in favour of highly educated people of urban areas only.
It is possible that this idea has some flaws. It is also possible that this idea is out rightly rejected as a “ridiculous pipe dream”. But so was the idea of flying.
If you agree even partially with this idea, then do share this to try and make this a part of a national debate.
Thanks for your time. Your feedback is highly valuable.