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,