Vox Populi, Vox Dei !

The recent March 13 Supreme Court judgment on disclosure of candidate details raised several interesting questions. Many well-meaning and concerned citizens are asking: Will we really get information on candidates? Don’t disclosures disqualify candidates? Does it not affect the candidates’ privacy? Don’t people know the antecedents of candidates anyway? Is it enough to cleanse elections? What can people do now? etc. If we have to proceed further in the cause of democratic reforms, we need to find honest and sensible answers to these questions.

Practical Measures to Combat Corruption

align="left">The State Cabinet announced a series of legislative initiatives aimed at combating corruption. The three Bills under consideration are the AP Performance Accountability Bill, Corrupt Public Servants Forfeiture of Properties Bill and AP Transparency in Public Procurement Bill.

Speak Now, Or

If we keep quiet now, the politicians of the country will soon enact a law to deny us the fundamental Right to Information about our prospective candidates.  And we will have only ourselves to blame. Today it is our Right to know, tomorrow it could be our liberty. If murderers and rapists and dacoits are not disqualified, the worst of things becomes possible.

Citizen assertion is the key to change

The recent Supreme Court judgment on compulsory declaration of criminal record, assets, liabilities and educational qualifications by candidates for elective office is a shot in the arm for all enthusiasts of democratic reform.  There is a German saying which describes politics as the patient drilling through thick planks.  This judgment typifies the hard work and collaboration required to get anything moving in a large and plural democracy. Relentless and single-minded pursuit of specific goals is what yields enduring results.

Citizens’ Right to Know

In a democracy the citizen is the sovereign. The elected representatives and appointed employees are public servants whose job it is to govern on behalf of citizens and provide quality services. Obviously, the public servants should be accountable to the people. The most vital tool of accountability is information on what the government agencies are doing and why.

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