destination india

Monday, March 21, 2005

imagine a scenerio like this

Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations wants to restructure the United Nations. President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam expressed unhappiness at the way our Parliament and parliamentarians function. He desired that leaders take a serious re-look at the prevalent system and rectify its ills so that we regain some of our lost glory.

Side by side, on the small screen, we see a group of kids cleaning up their immediate neighborhood by collecting all shapes and sizes of plastics for disposal. We have also started seeing Mr. So-and-so or Mrs. So-and-so or Miss So-and-so carrying two buckets of water each to save the precious commodity. Everyone is trying to spread the message that too much of anything is bad. As the TV spot goes – it takes one person to set a new trend. No, we should not call it a revolution – the word revolution conjures up visions of militancy!

In this context, it would be worthwhile to set new norms for our future leaders. The recently concluded ‘Indian Idol’ contest could be taken as a guide and suitably modified to throw up a team of youngsters for the future. They would have to fulfill certain basic criterion to become eligible.

Let us define the requirements – (i) must be in the age group 30 – 35 (ii) must be graduates (iii) must have adequate knowledge of the place from where he/she wants to contest (iv) must possess some knowledge about current affairs both of the world and of the country and (v) must not be related to any politician. The entrants can fill up a simple form, downloadable from the net or on plain paper and submit it to the local administrative Head (panchayat, collector, DM’s office, municipality, corporation etc.). After the cut off date, details of all contestants would be fed into a computer. This will be followed by a randomly generated computer list which will be declared in all leading newspapers. No, there would not be any special categories – in case some such person does come up through the system, he or she would be welcome to participate in the contest. The initially short listed candidates would gradually boil down, by a process of elimination, to the finalists who would be grilled by the media and the respective electorates. The responsibility of conducting this mega event could be entrusted to Doordarshan. The complete process may take six months to a year.

The prize would be coveted seats in the Parliament.

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