Bangalore International Centre has arranged a Talk on “Making Elections and Politics Voter Friendly” by Prof. TrilochanSastry on Tuesday, 3rd December, 2013 at 6.30 PM.
Prof. Sastry in his presentation explained about how Decriminalization of politics in our country has become a live issue in the over-all context of the General Election of 2014. The over-all scenario in the context of a series of significant Court Judgments is one of confusion and ambivalence. The Talk covered the issues based on 14 years of work at the field level, Courts, NGOs, Media, Election Commission and of course primary data from ADR and secondary data from the EC and other sources.
Prof. Sastry pointed out that while money power has always had an impact on elections, its extent has increased significantly since 1991 and with the rapidly growing economic inequality in the Indian Society. As a result, right from the system of nomination of candidates by the political parties and the election campaigns to efforts to influence the decisions of the voters, the infusion and impact of money power on elections has become substantial. Another aspect of Indian elections has been the apathy of the voters to distinguish between “clean” candidates and those with criminal backgrounds and antecedents.
Prof. Sastry commended the efforts already initiated by the Election Commission, as well as some of the decisions taken in the various courts of law, to ensure decriminalisation of the Political system and suggested that the RTI Act should be used more to know about the credentials of the electoral candidates. He also felt that there should be complete transparency in the functioning of the political parties and that there should be an unambiguous regulatory framework for that purpose.
There was an extremely lively interactive session during which Prof. Sastry clarified several issues raised by the members.