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24 Jan, 2014

Changing the rules of the game in India – The Hindu

India is yet again on the cusp of a battle for deeper democratisation. The data from nationwide surveys have repeatedly shown that Indians increasingly view their elected representatives and political parties as uncaring, unreachable, unresponsive, untrustworthy, and unrepresentative. This overarching anger against the functioning of legislative institutions (particularly Parliament), political parties, and elected representatives has led to massive protests by citizens and civil society activists in the last few years. The office of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and courts took cognisance of the matter and delivered a series of verdicts to deal with legislators with criminal records, free flow of black money during elections, needless competition among political parties to announce freebies, caste-based rallies, and massive corruption implicating many legislators. Similarly, the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) — a non-party political movement — is likely to force mainstream parties not to be brazen about the “winnability factor” in allocating ticket to candidates with criminal records and family ties.

Read the rest: Changing the rules of the game – The Hindu.