Friday, February 29, 2008

How do we "Change India"

Change India Movement - Join Now -

I have been very concerned with the repeated failure of governance mechanisms and inefficient delivery systems under successive governments both in the states and at the center. This results in anguish & frustration of populace, manifesting itself in so called anti-incumbency factor every 5 years during general elections which results in removal of incumbent government.

The hopes are raised time and again with each new government promising clean and efficient administration but the story repeats every five years or earlier during mid-term election.

Something is fundamentally wrong. No government or political party can be so naive to knowingly plan and work towards its removal at the end of its 5 year term. So it may be argued that despite good intentions and best efforts (exceptions notwithstanding), governments in India repeatedly fail to deliver on their promises.

Could there be systemic problems and inefficiencies which are so entrenched that a complete new thinking and approach is needed to bring efficiency, transparency and accountability in our governance and delivery systems. I BELIEVE SO!!

My discussions with the top leadership of our national parties have also confirmed this view. During our discussions we agreed that a NEW THINKING & APPROACH is needed.

We also agreed that our youth, educated working professionals and middle class is disillusioned with the political establishment and is extremely frustrated with the repeated failure of governance and delivery mechanisms. They have lost faith and as a mark of protest they have disassociated themselves from political process and have even stopped exercising their franchise. This number is around 20 crores and growing. Of total 67 Crore registered voters, only 38 Crore voted in the last general election in 2004.

Last general election saw one national party getting just 23% and other 26% of polled votes. Imagine if even 30% of the above disillusioned voters had voted for any of the above parties, they could have been in majority and formed the government on their own.

As nations produces more and more educated, affluent and working professionals, voting population reduces. Political parties are concerned about this fact as their vote bank is shrinking and they can not afford to let this growing population move away from democratic process. But they do not know as to how to engage and motivate this growing population. Hence they tend to ignore this section of our population as we are vocal, have opinion and ask questions.

This is also the section of society which got excited about Lead India and its potential. Lead India has raised their hopes and expectations.

Our nation is at an inflection point of long term growth and prosperity and we need to put appropriate policies, delivery systems & monitoring processes in place to make sure that we reform our political and governance systems and do everything right to achieve this long term growth resulting in prosperity for all.

As an outcome of our discussions and brainstorming we conceived an organization which not only has PAN-INDIA REACH and APPEAL, but also has grass root input and support in identifying, taking-up and solving issues. This will have a cascading effect and we will have a potent and powerful organization in due course. Given our brand and access, we will find acceptance and recognition from common man, educated working professional, government authorities and political leadership. In the process we will make a difference and hopefully transform the nation.

How do we reach this 20 Crore students, working professionals and middle class families, who have desire but no means to collectively voice their views, opinions and concerns and take-up “Social Entrepreneurship and Political Change Initiatives”. They are groping with “HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE' & “Where to Start” kind of questions.

Given the proliferation of information technology, most of them are connected by one common thread - Internet & Mobile. These tools are very important to reach, connect, enroll and convey our message to them, numbering 200 million and growing.

We have created a scalable and dynamic Web & Mobile SPACE - called CHANGE INDIA (, where these people will -

ONE - Be the Change AGENTs
1. Register, opine, discuss, debate and analyze various issues of local/national interest

2. Take 3 most pressing issues/projects in each city/District and show time bound results/resolutions by working in close cooperation and partnership with all stake holders in a PPP model

3. Identify and borrow best practices of Governance and Delivery across district/states and work with local authorities to implement them

TWO- Bring Together DOERS
We will provide space for various social entrepreneurs, activists, NGOs and advocacy groups to host, promote, seek funds and popularize their ideas, concepts, projects and organizations on . This will give our members a ready shelf of ideas, projects and social entrepreneurship avenues.

THREE- Make a Policy Impact
1. Conduct surveys, polls on topical issues and policies and publish these in major media - print and electronic and become an advocacy group for what our members feel should be the right choice/course/issues.

2. We will interact with and involve our national leadership, subject matter experts and media to discuss and endorse these views and issues. This will keep us current & relevant in influencing policy matters.

FOUR - Create Self Sustaining Eco-System

We will have individual supporters, corporate affiliates and institutional support groups for this movement as many of them find our initiative very apt and exciting and in-line with their Social/national responsibility objective. Huge interest has already been generated and continues to grow.

FIVE- I Will Make A Difference

The above brings us to our most important objective, empowering individuals through collective voice and making them count in the democratic process.

Once they realize that their views and opinions have a logical destination and are reaching policy makers, they will be encouraged to register as voters and potentially exercise their franchise.

If so, this becomes the most important aspect of our movement, where we bring Our Target Audience in the mainstream of democratic process and try to make a difference.


R K Misra