Indian Citizens Advisory Community & Organization (ICACO)
Reproduced from my article in http://www.toostep.com published in 18 March 2009. See link: http://toostep.com/trends/indian-citizens-advisory-community-organization-icaco
Also please read my blog: The Bitter Pills for India Reprieve. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-5I ‘Indian Citizens Advisory Community Organization’ (ICACO)
‘An apolitical Federal Government would be better for India’ http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-4I
‘An open letter to Anna Hazare and his team’. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-al
‘Inception of technology – not LOKPAL – is the solution.’ http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-on
‘Indian Citizens Advisory Community Organization’ (ICACO)
‘Indian Citizens Advisory Community Organization’ (ICACO) is proposed as a set up of Citizen’s Charters as apolitical organization at every State, District and Tahsil level across the country that can serve as an important functionary to assist common people as a whole to associate with the process of Governance in choosing the right people to represent them in elections to local bodies, State legislature assemblies and Federal system.
Each unit of ICACO shall comprise a group of matured and socially acceptable persons of unblemished profile from different walks of life within the area. Representatives of the Panchayat level ICACO will form the Tahsil level ICACO and representatives of Tahsil level ICACO will be part of the District ICACO. Representatives of District level ICACO shall form the State Level ICACO.
Members of ICACO shall function as representatives of neighborhood watch groups and shall continuously interact with other non-political groups and non-government organizations.
Visitors shall be welcome to attend as guests to take part in the deliberations of District and State Level ICACO. However, visitors will not be part of the Advisory Organization till they become member of a District level ICACO.
Functions and responsibility of ICACO shall be:
- Staying informed of all important current events of matters that has relevance to the people in their community and meaningfully convey it to the Citizens.
- Staying informed of State and National level issues and matters of common interest to Citizens pertaining Governance and and government policies and bring it effectively to the notice of Citizens.
- Serving as ICACO’s Advisory Member at other community meetings.
- Providing support and/or advice on issues, problems, and public safety and security issues.
- Provide help and assistance to people in securing their rights and benefits from local agencies and governments both State and Federal.
- Collect and do an impartial and no-partisan analysis, effectively and truthfully of the profile of various candidates contesting elections in Local bodies, State assembly and Look Saba elections from the constituency and inform Citizens impartially and truthfully without Political, Religious or Class bias.
Members of the board represent the various communities or groups throughout the service area. Although any one group may have several members present at the meetings, only one member from each community group will have the voting right and is allowed to vote representing the group.
These community leaders meet occasionally and or as required with representatives of various local authorities where ever necessary, to discus contemporary and futuristic issues related to the Citizens of the District to brief the authorities and voice concerns on the most pressing issues for their areas of responsibility.
As I had already suggested in my blog on ‘An apolitical federal Government would be better for India’ for the basic reason that the Regional parties are becoming more and more populist and stronger within the State pushing the erstwhile National parties out of the regional scene, it has become inevitable that these regional parties should become the constituents of Lok Saba.
However, the concept of a single party government and also a government of large number of coalition partners is getting more and more unworkable for the following reasons:
- 1. It is no more possible to independently form Governments in States by any of the current National parties.
- 2. It is also difficult for National parties to form and run stable, long-lasting and effective coalition governments in the States with the support of many regional political parties with different ideologies and regional interests.
- 3. It will become difficult to form a functional coalition, long lasting and effective government in the Center with any one National party alone or combined with number of regional parties.
- 4. It will be much more difficult to form an effective and long-lasting government in the Center by a coalition of large number of regional parties with diverse ideologies keeping the National parties out of the scene.
- 5. It is impractical to make poll alliances in States for Lok Saba Elections for the simple reason that Regional parties will not be willing to give their winnable seats to a National party for the sheer fact that by doing so; the Regional parties will kill themselves any scope of their becoming a partner in the Central government, because in such an arrangement, the National party is likely to get absolute majority or near to it with too many options open to them should a coalition become necessary.
There are two options to get out of this political muddle:
1. One possibility is that a polarization should happen by merger of the parties following same ideologies at the National level as one single political party, with common manifesto and common minimum program & agenda and contest the Loksaba election as a single party under one flag and symbol.
b. The other option is to continue have Citizens Charter in every district.
This puts the onus of electing the right person as their representative rest squarely on the electorate, the people of the community. It is in order to educate and help the community to choose the right person, I have suggested the formation if the Citizen Charters such as Indian Citizens Advisory Community Organization ICACO, above. The basic is that choice of person to be elected to Parliament shall be according to individual merits as scrutinized and recommended by these Citizens Charters and not based on their political affiliation.
All those want to contest shall be screened and cleared by it and they only shall be allowed to contest election on individual identity and not under the flag of any political party. The Citizens Charter shall publish details of each candidate for the voters to to see their merits.
Once elected, these MPs represent the State in Loksabha as a single group under the banner of their State. The MPs shall rise work in the style of Managing Directors in a Corporate, discussing and taking decisions on all issues related to their State and the Nation within their group and take it up in the Loksabha in a democratic way.
The leader of the members from each state is to be chosen by election within the members.
The candidates elected from each region shall work as directors of a corporate and the the federal government as a larger corporate with the ministers as directors of it so that government businesses go on more cohesive manner instead of each ministry pulling in different direction. Government should work in Corporate mode with all modern management tools in place.
c. In the formation of a non-political Federal government, the Prime Minister and the Ministers shall be elected from among all members across the floor of the Loksabha in a democratic electoral process.
d. It is also worth while to look whether we can do away with Rajyasabha which has turned out be mere redundant body with practically no purpose served as far the nation is concerned. Otherwise, it should be of eminent scholars, Scientists, Technocrats, Economists and Industrialists.
Citizen Charters. This puts the onus of electing the right person as their representative rest squarely on the electorate, the people of the community. It is in order to educate and help the community to choose the right person, I have suggested the formation if the Citizen Charters such as Indian Citizens Advisory Community Organization ICACO, above. The basic is that choice of person to be elected to Parliament shall be according to individual merits as scrutinized and recommended by these Citizens Charters and not based on their political affiliation.
I would request esteemed members of readers to send their view points suggestions and comments on this proposal. Please take initiative in forming such communities and watchdogs in the communities such as ICACO so that such ideas could get propagated to take shape and grow into a major form community service organizations in the country and get over the ills created by contemporary political mess.
P. Abraham Paul. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org