Sunday, March 15, 2009

i dont think he will win

i have never thought about anything but myself, so thinking about a whole city is really outta my league. but until someone pays me to shutup, i will keep talking :P

so the question really is, can a educated, highly qualified honest man with a will to improve the city and its administration, win an election? the obvious answer is no. the reasons are obvious too...i and you wont vote.

but i feel sorry for people of Pune this time around. there nearest and dearest excuses have been mercilessly taken away from them.

Punekar: my vote wont make a difference. actual elections are won/lost in the slums.
Stupid Reality: more than 60% of pune's registered voters are from the educated middle class. they are actually (and i still dont believe it) in the majority.

P: fine! but who do we vote for? all are corrupt.
SR: theres this dude, arun bhatia (u might find the name familiar, same dude who broke down all illegal constructions, when commissioner of PMC, was later transferred...obviously :P). read the excerpt from his website below. proves he was not liked by the system. there is no way you can put him in the "all are corrupt" basket

"And so in 26 years of service (excluding the training period and service in the United Nations), Bhatia was removed from his post (transferred) 26 times. "

P: :( even if he wins, what can 1 MP do?
SR: he has plans. but forget everything else, if he wins it will just prove that a good guy with extremely limited funds and no gundaas, can still win a lok sabha seat in india. which will be a revolution in itself.

P: (dodge this u punk!) is desh ka kuch nahi hone wala. kyon time waste kare?
SR: ok. u win.

SR: here is his video, watch it if you have the whole 10 mins to spare.
P: isnt he expecting too much frm us? cant watch katrina for tht long, and she is the hottest!!

i dont know which side i am on. to vote or not to. but one things for sure, if i am not going to vote in this LS polls, i will need to be very creative and find a good excuse. cant hide behind those good ol ones anymore :( hmmm...something on these lines perhaps :P

SR: why dont u vote?
P: i am a believer of individual action (SR: mostly cus no one else listens to me). you tell me, for my vote to be worth anything, 4 lakh more have to vote for the same guy? that doesn't work for me, too far fetched. doesn't make me feel special. i would rather give 10 bucks to a beggar, get the instant gratification and be done with my social responsibilities. (SR: if you have no sense of social responsibility..u r the luckiest)

but if u r gonna take the brave step of being non-lazy non-pessimistic, and risk being found looking stupid standing in a line at a polling booth, then remember these dates.

27th March: last date for voter registration
23th April: showtime

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Anonymous Girish said...

what do u mean by social responcibility ? Do the personalities like Dr Prakash Amte / Baba Amte / Mother Teresa not social ?

Yahh offcourse they neither have voted in elections nor wrote any Blog :}

1:49 PM, March 16, 2009  
Blogger siddhya said...

i hve no clue wht social responsibility means. maybe it ranges frm "i hve too much, look at tht poor guy he has nothing. lets give him 10 bucks" to "my life's aim is to eradicate leprosy"

so obviously there is no one definition of the term. for some it ends at writing stupid blogs, for some it might end at fulfilling their duty to vote, and for some it will not end till all the hungry in this world are fed.

In such matters, there might not be any pride in doing more, and there is definitely no guilt in going less :P

2:21 PM, March 16, 2009  
Blogger आश्लेषा said...

@Girish,Dr Amte,mother teressa had their own motives in life and they dedicated their whole life for it. All of us generally do not have such strong motives.but yes, we do crib over useless politicians in our country and the dirty politics.The question is if we get a chance to throw out these politicians then why not go for it?
i think voting is not just a social responsibility but something that we need to do for ourselves.finally _we_ suffer from bad roads, power cuts etc.

2:52 PM, March 16, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about going a step ahead and tempting the lazy Punekars to register online? ( is quite useful I hear.

One more excuse cut short :)

3:36 PM, March 16, 2009  
Blogger Sandeep said...

I don't understand what role an elected MP plays when it comes to his own constituency. Like in this case even if this guy gets elected our city is still largely under control of PMC, the civic commisioner and the police commisioner. Unless you don't have a stronghold with these legal institutions I doubt if things would even move a bit.

Also "sincere" independent are more or less useless in parliament. They are just lost in the chaos. Non-sincere would make money :)

If plan is to have citizen committees, they can as well be formed if there are 15000+ motivated people willing to give their time. I don't think it needs XYZ to be elected for committees to be formed.

I seriously think a better approach is to form an organization/party and contest PMC polls. You should be in a better shape to control your city. Start at home! Delhi abhi door hai!

I vote for a non-vote ... let the drastic situation show drastic measures.

3:49 PM, March 16, 2009  
Blogger siddhya said...

In a democracy an MP is the most powerful public servant (by definition). he doesn't hve to be a minister for it. _he_ is basically responsible for his constituency. and responsibility obviously comes with rights.

at the very least he has access to all the info, contracts, budget, amounts,etc. u can say we can use RTI to get that. but an MP can do in 5 mins what a common citizen with RTI will need 5 months, if not more. (try filling an RTI app and see wht happens).

plus why does arun bhatia hve to lose for his party to win the PMC elections? he is not standing as an independent. his party is going to contest the LS, assembly and the PMC polls. why dont you vote for them everywhere?

yes citizens committees don't _need_ and MP, but don't you think it will be helpful to have one? why do u want to make their already hard life, harder?

wht is this non-vote? who is campaigning for it in Pune? AB hardly campaigned in the last polls, still got ~60000 votes. this time his campaign is in full swing. let him take a shot at it.
your non-vote option is gonna be there for every election, its hard to find honest men getting into politics. we might not get a second chance.

4:31 PM, March 16, 2009  
Blogger Sandeep said...

- i will vote for them at PMC because then we would have an independent strong civic body with much more rights than an individual MP.

- instead of sending a cleaner but weaker ( due to circumstances ) representative i think it is a stronger statement by selecting for 49-0 and voting for no-one.

- Citizen committees end up dealing with civic bodies and the commissioners. How much an MP without any 'polictical' power help them through?

- I don't think the life is harder just because you don't have an MP of "your own". Its because of inert locals. If this gentleman can get 15-20K (and more) people mobilized for civic work... he can do wonders even without being MP. I wish if he could have proved those skills before.... don't know why he never showed up before with his "man power".

5:09 PM, March 16, 2009  
Blogger siddhya said...

but if the MP is from a different party, wont he interfere with the PMC's work? and as u say if he is stronger, with more political power, wont he interfere more? wont it be better to hve a cleaner guy out there, just in case?

hmm i wud hve gone for 49-O (if it actually exists, tht is...are u sure there is gonna be a button saying none of the above?) if this bhatia thing hadn't come up. but now i am not tht skeptical. atleast this one time :P

ya i am also wondering why he didnt do the citizen committee thing earlier. maybe, its not easy to do it when u r a nobody. maybe it will be easier if you are the elected representative of the city. who knows. i dont get wht you are doubting here? his ability, his honesty? u think he will not do wht he is promising?

5:44 PM, March 16, 2009  
Blogger Sandeep said...

What I know for sure is that there are certain things that fall completely under the jurisdiction of PMC and thus if you "own" PMC you can choose to ignore the MP.
But what I am not sure of is how much an MP can have an impact on what PMC does( or should do). So I don't see much point having a weak MP.

As far as committees go, there are already some small committees, but I have never seen this guy working for any of those committees. Am I doubting his "honesty" ?? May be not ..but I am certainly not sure of his ability and also sincerity , in some ways, for the work that he is planning to carry out. To me he looks like man with "plans" but what kind of initiatives has he taken for this city? I would have appreciated him if he had taken initiatives and shown some positive results even when polls were out of sight!

Anyways there are two things I am talking about here ..whether you vote for a independent as an MP... and whether that independent is capable enough? The existence of second question depends on answer of first. I don't find myself convinced for the first!

Btw..there was some news 2/3 days back that you can openly exercise 49-0 at the booth. Whether and how that counts is not known to me.

6:05 PM, March 16, 2009  
Blogger siddhya said...

hehe we r too far away from the nitty gritties of politics/administration to comment on who controls wht and how. lets stick to the basics. the more good ppl the higher up, the better.

so u dont doubt his honesty but perhaps his ability. are you confident abt any of the other candidates ability? i think he might win in any man to man comparison, wont he?
then you say, but he is just one, and others are big parties. wht are the abilities of these parties? show of strength with huge crowds and blood donation camps?
do u think the "ability" of these parties and their MPs help u in day to day life?
with bhatia and his committees (if they actually take shape) isnt there a chance tht things might change for the better?
true he is from a very small party so he wont influence the defense spending, foreign policy, union budget, etc. but who cares? how much have the previous MPs from pune influenced these things?

i think u r being hard on bhatia than the others. its a classic "brand change phenomenon" if u are loyal to one brand, it takes a lot of advertising and competitive pricing to make ppl just _try_ the new thing. after tht its the quality of the thing tht matters.

unfortunately u can only advertise here (tht too with disproportionately meager funds), no question of lowering the prices :P

6:40 PM, March 16, 2009  
Blogger Sandeep said...

But I do want to understand those little things about administration. And it is extremely important for people who are planning! Plans are baseless without knowledge of these details. Its a whole big ecosystem you have to understand it and work with it. Having one good person "up there" with limited powers is ineffectual.

Btw, don't get me wrong, I am "not" advertising for other dirty candidates and their brand ;) and I don't care a damn for those rallies and blood camps. (But AB could have started something similar Nagirk Chetana Manch or Better roads and actually make them effectual with his 15K people)

I am just not buying _anything_ until something is worth enough! my vote is pricy, it have to earn it :). I will will feel ashamed if I choose someone who later (a) stands no chance of being effectual (b) does not have the ability to get this moving.

7:02 PM, March 16, 2009  
Blogger siddhya said...

understanding the system is imp. but currently and admittedly you
dont. its not easy to get tht info sitting in front of a PC, getting
the theory is difficult enough, but to know what actually goes on u
will have to get ur hands dirty, u gonna do tht?

this is not mathematics. nobody will be able to prove tht he is the
best (though they will try hard :P) and there is obviously a risk tht thy wont deliver on their promises. if u want 100% guarantee u hve got to get in the ring urself :P

yes our vote is pricy and imp, cus its a thinking vote. i hope we make the right decision. but there is no q of being ashamed. when u vote for someone its not like u personally vouch for him/her. its multiple choice. no one (including urself) can blame u for voting for a particular candidate. u felt like this guy is good, u voted for him, guy didn't deliver, tough luck, u wont vote for him nxt time around.

10:32 AM, March 17, 2009  
Blogger आश्लेषा said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:14 AM, March 17, 2009  
Blogger आश्लेषा said...


check this:
(page 147)



I don't think 49-O is much useful.there is no clause which says that re-poll is scheduled if certain number of "49-O" votes

11:16 AM, March 17, 2009  
Blogger Sandeep said...

Sure its not mathematics but neither is this a gamble. There are risks but someone has to calculate those. Sure I can't understand those admin issues by just sitting in front of this digital box, but that's where those who are planning can help citizen like me to explain why their plans are practical. Risk , just for the sake of it, is suicidal.

Sometimes I am even tempted to think that, if not 49-0, instead of voting for this one-off guy I might as well vote for a C or B to assembly. I know I am voting a cheat but its not as simple as that. Cs and Bs have the power to get things done. We have seen this before. [ Road conditions "did" improve , CYG did change lot of things in city, Metro Rail/Ring road plans did go on paper]. Of course, there will be lot of money games which will be played in background but we do get some development done at turtle pace. The development done to tax paid ration goes low but it is non-zero. Further an additional C or B (mostly C) might just help the center govt to reduce the coalition politics and dirty games. This is better than wasting an MP who has no clue/power of getting things done.

IMO, ABs political plan is flawed and also has a room for suspicion. He should first build an organization, show it works, take local control and then move on. Just launching himself as an MP on background of corruption fights don't make him a strong candidate.

Btw... should thank you for making me think and form opinions :)

1:30 PM, March 17, 2009  
Blogger siddhya said...

u r welcome :)

1:42 PM, March 17, 2009  
Blogger Nikhil said...

Well ... Sidd, this reminds me of a great conversation we had a long time back.. remember 'to change a system be a part of it.. dont stand aside and whine...' .
For all those who are looking for a change.. this is your time to be a part of it... maybe the results wont be instant.. but we need to remember its just thought that shapes this world

9:25 PM, March 17, 2009  
Anonymous Deepak Iyer said...

Wow some hot discussion going on here.
My 2 cents :
What's up with the 49-0 thing ? It makes for a great forwarded email but people should know by now that it does *nothing*.

@Sandeep : Agree to many of your plans. But like Siddharth said, an MP is pretty much the most powerful player. If you are willing to take the tradeoff, you vote for him. Else you wait for 2 terms for the road condition to improve a little.
The lesser said about the CYG, the better. And obviously we got it coz of lobbying by Mr. Kalmadi, but we didn't need it. There are lots of other things that need more urgent attention considering the expansion rate.

10:20 PM, March 17, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My comment is about the RTI thing.

Thing have changed bcoz of the RTI thing (surely not digitally from 0 to 1).
Now the guys in the government think number of times and can't dare to do things at their own wish. It is bound to improve transparency.
The pending cases will definitely be resolved (may be couple of months later) but the information required will come out, and whoever is responsible will be hit hard.
The change seems small but could gain momentum to very effectively improve the Government system/processes.
This is a tool to make Government systems work the way it should work.

This is more appreciated as the Government system/processes will improve irrespective and independent of people driving it. I am personally not much comfortable giving more importance to a person than the process.

Somewhere I realised I am blaming the system as if its something that I do not belong to. But in real I am part of it and I am responsible to observe if its functioning its way thr. And this responsibility comes with RTI.

Apart I have not seen any movement/change process (I am not talking about the campaigning) triggered by AB. I also personally feel, AB looks like an extremist guy.

10:18 AM, March 18, 2009  
Blogger siddhya said...

@anon: RTI is good. it sud and will continue. i am talkin abt elections. wht r u gonna do ther?

processes sud be more imp thn ppl, no doubt abt tht. so wht r u gonna do abt it? any process u r currently improving? so how abt th process of electing honest, non-criminal to parliament? you can call AB (extremist/stupid/whtever and he maybe so, i really dont care) but i know for a _fact_ tht he doesn't hve a lot of money and he doesnt hve goondas. all he's got is software guys like me,doctors, architects, ex-Army men, etc. as i hve said in the blog just th fact tht such guy can win will be a drastic change in the dirty political order of india.
plus is was the commissioner of Pune, knows the admin infrastructure of pune much better than u and me. adds a bit to his competency doesnt it?

10:51 AM, March 18, 2009  
Blogger Sandeep said...

Correct me if I am wrong but of "town/city planning" / various "plan sanctioning" / road/water/sewage maintenance is what PMC is for. And I have said before, I will consider him for PMC polls . He is a no-op for these polls.

11:08 AM, March 18, 2009  
Blogger Nachiket said...

After Avinash Dharmadhikari in 1998 elections, we are getting a local candidate for the first time in the form of ShiroLe... You may call this a parochial statement but it was really a shame to see all 3 non-marathi candidates from Pune in last election.

9:04 AM, March 24, 2009  
Blogger siddhya said...

yes i will call it a parochial statement. when someone really wants to do good and set some wrongs right, does it really matter which caste/creed/religion/region he belongs to?

9:39 AM, March 24, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to add few links here

@Sandeep : you are very correct in saying that beaurocrats and local player's role has to be studied more. Also its more from low level people , real changes normally come from.

For those who would like to know more about how things are related from MP to 'sarpanch' and others involved , I would highly recommend reading book : Everybody like a good drought By P Sainath.

9:07 AM, April 03, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Sandeep : you are very correct in having doubts about AB. He has to prove it. Same as Mother Teresa. I don't want to drag this post in that direction but its has reference here.

There are enough myths about her. And her greatness not proved beyond doubt. Same thing is here. Yes we need to vote and we need to send good people up the ladder but that does not mean one smart, less(not?) corrupt person to take advantage of the situation and try to get into power unless he proves otherwise.

And beyond all .. we need some sort of mechanism where people really control thing. Not by actually passing any rules/laws but showing such unity in accepting /opposing important matter that no MP /no PMC official would dare to take wrong decision. His role should only be limited to carrying out those things on behalf of people. And this is certainly achievable .. I just don't know how . Or should i say nobody for that matter ?

10:25 AM, April 03, 2009  
Blogger siddhya said...

@anon1: i read tht article and it mostly makes sense. but this blog is _not_ abt indian politics in general. its abt AB standing for elections from Pune. and tht article is mostly invalid in this scenario, cause AB is ex-IAS.

@anon2: hehe. i am sorry if i sound arrogant but i think u r living in a dream world. yes in _theory_ u cant be sure of anyone's intentions (not mother teressa's, not AB's, not urs and certainly not mine :P), but this world is not all theory. all i am saying is we have given enough chances to parties, why r we so skeptical and ruling AB off even without giving him a single term?

10:43 AM, April 03, 2009  
Blogger Nachiket said...

st we have to understand that its not only us net-savvy people in the constituency. There are people in the lower strata who actually need help from MP to solve their problems. So will those people accept AB? Will AB be able to effectively communicate to all the people in constituency? If he cant, the whats the use? I feel AB is for 'Puneites' not 'Punekars'. And yes, this divide exists like India & Bharat divide.

11:42 PM, April 03, 2009  
Blogger siddhya said...

hehe dude just cause the guy dresses up in jeans does not mean he cant communicate with the slum dwellers. i accept it is difficult for them to accept someone like AB, cause they r used to politicians who talk rubblish, arouse religious/caste sentiments and distribute money during election time. but man, they r not stupid. they understand the difference between AB and the usual politicians. AB does a lot of campaigning in the slums and i can assure you they r not ruling him out this time.

10:22 AM, April 04, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While we are on topic .. Here is one more explanation for Why should we vote.

12:01 AM, April 07, 2009  
Blogger The Shaolin said...

I do agree... just because we don't have non-gunda candidates doesn't mean we should not vote. My argument with them is, 'Why do you want to live while eventually you are going to die!'. I say we should vote even if we don't have good candidates.
But the fact is we are LAZY. And, we are not to be blamed entirely. A commmon man is toooooo bogged down in earning his daily bread. But if we have to grow as a nation, we have to tread that extra mile. I hope to see educated voters rising in numbers.

1:11 AM, June 04, 2009  

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