About Me

Hello Everyone! Welcome to my Blog!

I am starting this blog to document and refine my thoughts on political reforms in Punjab.

Punjab’s social and economic decline in last few decades is well talked about. What is less talked about is the methods to arrest this decline. At a broader level, I think following changes are required in Punjab politics:

CHANGES   AT   STATE   LEVEL

  • Political parties that are run like family business must go
  • Dedicated courts should be set-up to settle cases related to political people. All MP/MLAs with pending cases against them must approach this court after winning elections. This court should settle all cases within one year.  Election of guilty MP/MLAs should be declared null and next in line candidate should be declared elected.
  • Family members and close relatives of MP/MLAs/Ministers/Bureaucrats should not be APPOINTED chairmen of various boards
  • Subsidies must be rationalized. Subsidies for small farmers should by funded by taxing larger farmers.
  • Reservation must be rationalized. To make reservation reaches all sections of the society, one time reservation beneficiary families (can be determined by household income resulting from a job landed because of such reservation) must be barred from reservation. The same reservation quota should be made available to first timers.
  • First time beneficiaries of Reservation should be given priority over second time reservation families.

CHANGES   AT   PARTY   LEVEL

There are many political reforms that can be brought at state level. But there are some changes that can not be enforced on anyone due to compulsions of our constitution. Such changes can be brought about at a political party level. They can be made part of party’s constituition; like:

We should move from Democracy to Dynamic Democracy by making sure that:

  • Only one person from a family should be allowed to hold a party office or a MP/MLA seat. All other members of a party office bearer or MP/MLA must work as just volunteers.
  • No person from the same family should be allowed to hold an office or ticket for an MP/MLA right after their family member.
  • The party should keep an age limit for its leaders. A person above certain age should not be given MP/MLA tickets or party office. He/She can still serve the party as an honorary member. The leadership of the party must remain dynamic.
  • State can not force above two rules on any party; but it can not stop a party from adopting these rules. Why would a party follow these rules? Because it can give a new party a huge advantage over the established parties which are seen as family run businesses.

It seems like no existing party would be willing to bring these radical changes to they way things run today. So we will need a new political party to bring in these changes. Only then can we create a lot of leaders to represent modest needs of Punjabis like cleanliness of villages and cities, basic utilities like clean water and 24 hr power supply, better and affordable education for our kids, corruption free services, better infrastructure, and an economic policy to take care of both the farmers as well as modern industry. This will also ensure accountability of our politicians and bureaucrats to a large extent. Punjab faces bigger problems than just being concerned about ‘which of the two political families is going to steel the show’! Politics is not about ministers and chief ministers and their families and their relatives. It is about people and their true representatives. So entry to politics for common people must be made easy. At the same time exit of one time politicians must be made sure.

I believe that there are enough issues which can cut across religious, racial and rural/urban and bring people on one platform. Punjab’s bright-minds and brave-hearts need to come together to create a mass movement through volunteer work, good leadership and relevant communication to address issues like unemployment, corruption, justice and basic amenities There are challenges; but they can be talked about, worked on and dealt with.

 

Your feedback on my articles will be much appreciated.

Thanks – Amandeep Singh Dhaliwal,

amandeepdhaliwal@gmail.com

6 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Yuvraj Sarao said:

    Good bold initiative bro.. all the very best for your future political endeavours .. may your party bring a meaningful prosperity to Panjab !!

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  2. jasdeep grewal said:

    Best wishes. I am ready to contribute in whatever way I can in this initiative. I laud your efforts. Punjab desperately needs enlightened and educated persons like you.

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  3. judgebir singh said:

    your concerns are very close to my heart . but still lot of ground work needs to be done.our thinking is an ideal state and our aim as well. FORMING A POLITICAL PARTY OR FRONT IS VERY EASY BUT . . TO FIGHT WITH THE ESTABLISHED SYSTEM IS VERY HARD. WE HAVE TO GET READY FOR THAT.

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  4. Amandeep Singh Dhaliwal said:

    Friends, thanks for your comments.

    These plans are idealistic at this stage. We need to make it realistic. But we have time to work on these thoughts. When we start working on this we will work at two levels:

    1. at high level what changes can we bring from day one (group/party rules)
    2. at government level what changes will we seek (main strategies as I have started pointing out)

    But both the above points are about policy. We will also work on a separate section dealing with groundwork, planning and action. We will start very small, at a village level. We will patiently develop our movement/organization from there. One impractical factor in this argument is, “who will have the time and resources to do these things at the ground… and how can we have patience and sustain it long term”. I can assure you that I will fill this void. I will try to answer these things in different articles. Please bear with me.

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  5. Oh this post is on one of my favourite subjects. So let me add a few comments.

    National Election Watch which is a campaign run by non political NGOs is a campaign to cleanse electoral and political processes of the country. We have some ideas in this respect which were also submitted to the Law ministy of India in recently held nation wide consultaions on electoral reforms.

    1. Introduce provisions for inner-party democracy within political parties: Although India is a democratic country, our political parties which run this democracy are highly undemocratic in their functioning. Provisions should be made to introduce inner-party democracy within the political parties. This should include mandatory secret ballot voting for all elections for all inner party posts and selection of candidates, as suggested by Law Commission Reforms and practiced in Germany, by the registered members, overseen by Election Commission of India.
    2. Bring financial transparency in the accounts of political parties – There is a great need to bring in financial transparency in the accounts of political parties. The Income Tax returns and the contribution reports of political parties should be made open for scrutiny by public. In addition, the maintenance of accounts by political parties and audit thereof by agencies specified by the Comptroller and Auditor General should be made compulsory.
    3. Regulate the registration and de-registration of political parties – Amendment of Sec. 29A of the R.P. Act, 1951 empowering the Election Commission to regulate registration and de-registration of political parties.
    4. Bring in a comprehensive bill to regulate working of political parties – The draft Bill to regulate Political Parties, as given in the 170th Law Commission Report Part III: Chapter I should be passed by Parliament. Strict rules should be enacted through law for all the inner functioning of the parties, including elections of office bearers, selection of candidates for elections, etc.
    5. Declare Political parties as Public Authorities: As political parties work for the public in public space and are responsible for making government to run the country and they also use government facilities, they should be declared as public authorities so that they come under the ambit of RTI.
    6. Affidavit information of candidates to be certified by Political Parties: Since the candidates are given tickets largely by political parties without any public debate or involvement of their primary members, the information submitted in their affidavits should be certified by Political Parties. It is after all these parties only that know these candidates to be worthy enough to get their tickets. In case the information furnished by the candidates is found incorrect, the political party should also be held accountable.
    7. Annual report by MPs and MLAs – Elected MPs and MLAs should be required to give an annual report to their constituency giving details of their accomplishments for previous year and the plan for the next year. This report can be made available either at the Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha website or at Election Commission’s website.
    8. Fast tracking of cases for MLAs/MPs- All pending cases against MPs and MLAs should be fast tracked and brought to conclusion within a specific time(preferably one year). If these cases go to High Court or Supreme Court, they should be treated at a high priority in these courts too. These fast track courts should also have open and transparent hearings and witness protection. Any evidence of intimidation should be taken as evidence of guilt.
    9. A separate body to decide the salaries and perks of elected representatives – There should be an independent body or commission that takes decisions on salaries and perks of elected representatives. It is a clear conflict of interest now where they fix their own
    remuneration.

    Here is a list of all the recommendations adrindia.org/files/reforms%20v4_2.pdf

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  6. Amandeep Singh Dhaliwal said:

    Jaskirat Ji, I agree with most of your points. I am specially passionate about 1,2 and 8. Please let me know if I can be part of such a movement as you talked about. I can help with some policy drafts although I have no doubt there are many more capable people in Punjab to do that. But I may have more time at hand than others.

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