The 2014 elections are getting closer and closer. Is India ready for them? Will they be any better than earlier elections? The point I make here is that we must act well in advance, to ensure as far as possible that only good candidates get to compete in the elections. Political parties must be convinced that choosing bad candidates would mean sure defeat!
There is little transparency in the way candidates are selected for tickets by parties. If non-performers, vested interests and those with a criminal background get tickets, it becomes difficult for the citizens to do anything about this later. How can the new media help improve the situation?
Reform minded parties and NGO’s such as the one running http://myneta.info/ should provide information about undesirable candidates likely to get tickets from some party or another in each constituency and highlight reasons as to why they are undesirable.
Concerned citizens should use facilities provided by organizations supporting the creation of petitions, such as http://www.change.org/en-IN to send petitions to parties requesting that they blacklist bad cases.
An important role has to be played by the TV channels who should focus on criminal elements and vested interests well in time. Video clips documenting instances of hate-speech, evidence of foot-in-the mouth disease, and sheer non-performance will give citizens valuable information.
Media have become the major conscience-keepers of the nation. They should not let us down in 2014!