Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Opposition Means Acceleration For Modi.

   Political marketing: More Opposition Means More Acceleration.
                     Indian election to Parliament 2014 is in full swing. Now all, national or regional, are opposing Modi politically and persoanlly. They all are conflicting with him but not his party. This opposition is increasing his tally every day.                            
                    Oppose less to checking his fast growth needs slowing his opposition on the part of opponents.. Confronting him means acceleration for Modi. Initially Modi effect was there. But his intense opposition is gradually converting his effect into a wave. Still  wave in not generated but effect is felt.
                      All political actors, parties are at loggerheads with Modi not BJP. This also helped him in making him the BigBoss of BJP. In this light opposition helped him more than he helped himself or his party in becoming the supremo in his own party.                    
                     Initial poll survey, opinion poll and forecast gave Modi fractured mandate. But now opinion polls and forecasts are revealing absolute majority from last week. How this happen. Who contributed more in this. Its answer is very simple- Opposition of the competitors. 
                     Frequent and intense opposition convince the floating voters about his might. Voters understand that he is in fight with all and all along. Hence, they are siding with Modi in natural process. This way as election are approaching to end, his MP number is increasing with enemies help.
                     Modi must thank to all opponents for this help. Like in photography, positive comes with negative, he is getting positive with negative accusations. At the outset of the election he was less in focus of parties. But slowly and slowly his opposition keeps increasing. This gives him mileage. 
                     His excellent marketing plan and media management are keeping him in lead. Social media and 3D modern tool are his new  weapon to have lead with  competitors. Unlike others, he is managing his campaign on world-class techniques and managements. Above all his advance planning and start leaves other adversaries behind.
                     He is unique in 3D technology use worldwide. He is the first to use this technology in his assembly election of Gujarat in 2012. Now this experimented tool is a boon for him in his ongoing election. This proves him an innovator and attracts young and net savvy  voters. No other country is using this. Hence, he is showing the way to world leaders.
                     Social media came in limelight in 2008 USA election. It helped Obama in making him President. After this, this new media as political tool are getting ground gradually worldwide. Recent Delhi assembly election proved its might in Indian elections. AAP used it like Obama and Arvind Kejriwaal became Chief Minister within a year.
                    Though all parties have realised its potential, but Modi is much ahead among all in using it as tool. He copied Obama in social media use. As a result the tool helped him a lot in making his image. With social media he keeps connected with engaged with high class gentry who are net savvy. 
                     Net user class  helps him in making favourable opinion. His social media use is well calibrated and planned like Obama election of 2008. These two tools are keeping him always ahead of others in race. His luck is supporting him. Luck is converting all  his odds and negatives into favours and positives.
                    In internet age, old style of campaign and election management is getting obsolete gradually. Those who are more emphasising on old style are lagging. Here Modi is unmatched. He started his campaign long back in September 2011 with his much-hyped three -day fast for communal harmony. After this, he is campaigning non-stop. He election and campaign management is world-class with respect to Indian standard.
                  In elections political actors and parties sell social products to voters. Voters are market and catch for politicians. Projects, programs, promises, good governance, new welfare policies, ideas and schemes are social products. Almost national and regional parties are having marketable social products. Bu if marketing is weak, product would not be sold. Modi Marketing is acknowledged by oppositions too.
              Modi marketing, world class campaign managing, early starting and new technology tools are chariots to keep Modi in lead not BJP.

Heera Lal (views are personal and academic based on different sources)


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Modi: Unlike most politicians, Modi has clearly not enriched himself.

               Neither growth nor social indicators are accurate measures of Modi’s main election plank — good governance. Measuring governance is difficult, and hence neglected by statisticians. Yet it’s all-important. One annual report has long provided indicators of governance. This is Economic Freedom of the States of India (EFSI), written by Bibek Debroy, Laveesh Bhandari and me. The 2013 EFSI report shows Gujarat has been No. 1 in economic freedom for the last three years, widening its lead over others. On a scale from 0 to 1, its overall freedom score has improved from 0.46 to 0.65. Tamil Nadu comes a distant second with 0.54. Economic freedom is not identical to good governance. But lack of economic freedom typically means poor governance — a jungle of rules and obfuscating bureaucrats that promote corruption, delay and harassment. This hits everybody from farmers and consumers to industrialists and transporters. 
              One businessman told me that in Tamil Nadu, it took six months and several visits (and payments) to ministries for industrial approval. But in Gujarat, the ministry concerned called him the day before his appointment, asking for details of his proposal. Next day, he found the bureaucracy had in advance prepared plans of possible locations for his project, and settled the matter on the spot. This was unthinkable elsewhere, and showed both efficiency and honesty. Corruption has not disappeared in Gujarat, but is muted. 
              Modi’s Jyotigram scheme provides 24/7 electricity for rural households, plus reliable power at fixed times for tubewells. This explains why Gujarat has India’s fastest agricultural growth (10%/year for a decade, say economists Gulati and Shah). Indian agriculture is crippled by regulations, but Gulati shows that Gujarat has the highest agricultural freedom among states. Modi charges farmers for power, and so all his three state power companies are profitable. By contrast, power companies in other states with free rural power have accumulated losses of almost Rs 200,000 crore.
              Critics accuse him of giving cheap land to favoured industrialists. But state and national governments the world over use such sops to attract industries. Unlike most politicians, Modi has clearly not enriched himself. 


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Political Markeing: Personality Versus Party Politics

                    Political Markeing: Personality Versus Party Politics
Ongoing Parliament 2014 election has created a new issue. Which one is bigger Party or Personality. Abki baar Modi sarkar or Abki baar BJP sarkar. Reality is that Modi personality is hovering over the party BJP. There is nothing wrong in it . Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Obama are two cases to prove this.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led a 16-party National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to electoral triumph in the 1999 general elections. This was the saffron party's finest hour. Vajpayee's personal popularity was at its peak. The NDA led by him managed to cross the 300-seat mark in the Lok Sabha polls for the first time.
When party BJP was kept more than Atal's personality, it couldn't get get power. But when Persoanlity of Atal was give priority over party, BJP got power. Atal persued a personality politics, but it was not in focus like now because of his accetablity in other parties.
None raised this issue. Atal has more friend and no foe based on his soft and democratic style. The only differenec is that he was more mild, democratic and acceptable than Modi. Hence this thing was not much in limelight as compared to Modi.
BJP has now a personality cult of its own that beats all other personality cults. An authoritarian leader has replaced ideology, discussion, dialogue or dissent. The party, and even possibly RSS, has been marginalised.
Rajnath Singh realised the magnitude of what has changed when he made the mistake of tweeting: 'Ab ki baar, BJP sarkar'. In 32 minutes flat he had to withdraw his tweet because the only slogan that matters now is 'Ab ki baar, Modi sarkar'.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Innovations And Initiatives In Training Election Personnel -2014

                              Election Polling Personnel And Training Them For Election Duty
          Election for Indian parliament is on. Counting is fixed on May 16, 2014.  First polling is on April 7 and last is on May 12- in seven phases. Real election fare starts with the announcement of polling dates. From this date Model code of conduct is set in motion.
          To conduct a free, fare, peaceful and successful election, we need to mange a complex, complicated and prolonged election exercises. Diverse election activities are conducted and controlled by appointing many Officers-In-Charge(OC). Each OC is given a particular job to perform.
          Among many OCs, the most important portfolio is OC( polling personnel and training). The second place is occupied by OC( transport). All OCs are accompanied by assistant OCs as per the requirement.
         In most of the districts, the senior most public servant of district administration is made OC personnel and training. On this criterian, Chief Development Officers(CDO) are assigned this task.
         A polling booth needs a presiding officer(PO) and three more officials as per norm. Hence, a team of four for each booth is trained along with ten percent reserve in a tight time schedule.
          In District Firozabad, UP, as CDO, I am OC for this task. Our team has four more officers as assistant OC. In all, about 12000 officials are engaged in election activities of a single seat of MP.
          Some officials are attached to each OC to carry out a particular job. Almost 9700 officials are needed for booths as per ECI software and randomisation. Therefore, we have plan training for 10000 persons.

             Training is planned in three phases. One, EVM( Electronic Voting Machine) training at 18 different locations to get trained officials and to acquire efficiency certificate from master trainers. Two, first training after first randomisation. This is code allotment to each randomly, electronically by a software. Three, Second training after second randomisation before Observer to form party with a code number  identity.
              Election duty is a tough, tight, sensitive, critical and risky job. Therefore, many officials try to get rid of this duty. For prefect election, official needs to learn and practice each step assigned by election commission.
             A minor mistake may invite re-poll and breaking of trust of public in election system. Hence, everyone involved and engaged officials have to act and tread very cautiously while on election assignment.
             Training is designed in a  tight time schedule.  Master trainers(MT) are trained first. MTs are facilitated to make training efficient. All required facilities are made available to MTs and trainees.

           A different behaviour and attitude is needed on the part of officials to conduct elections as per ECI norm. Overconfidence and non-learning mode- as usual among workers- is highly harmful to whole exercise.
           Three main critical issues need special design in training for officials: One, late coming and not following time schedule of training. Two, making them serious for training to learn and practice. Three, keeping them in training class. After getting attendance in class by MT, some of them go out.
           We faced these problem on the first day of training. MTs complained about these. They told because of these quality of training is not as expected. After getting feedback from MTs, I started to find its solution.  Within hours, I got the idea and implemented it and quality improved to desire level.
            Our trainings are in four sessions and each of two hours. It begins  sharp at nine in the morning. In every session each is imparted two hours general and two hours EVM training. Attendance sheet is taken after ten minutes after each session is started.
            Late comers are not able to put their signatures on attendance sheet if they are late by ten minutes. MTs are directed to write the exact time of coming on their appointment letter. MTs train them and mention this on the appointment letter.
              At six in evening, one Officer is assigned to take attendance of all such late coming officials on the basis of the note of MT on the their appointment letter . This way trainees get all training but for attendance they have to wait till six in the evening.
               Late comers wait till six is a mild but effective way make them felt importance of time. This is making officials disciplined time wise. In second training and on party movement day we would not face this problem. This initiative and innovation  paid. MTs gave very positive feedback on this issue after it has been implemented.

             To bring trainees officials in learning mode and making them serious about it, we have coined a effective word Lottery. All MT are briefed the concept of Lottery. They start their class with this.
            The whole idea is, after training, name of officials would be selected by lottery system. Those whose name will come in lottery will have to appear in an exam before a panel. Exam time, date and place will be communicated. If failed then the harshest punishment will be awarded like FIR or suspension.

         The idea of lottery made officials serious. They are fearful. Lottery can name anyone for exam. MTs gave feedback because of this idea trainees are serious to learn and practice in order to pass lottery exam. To implement this idea lottery exam plan is chalked out.
           On poll day first two hours are very troublesome. Different varieties of problems are reported from booths by booth polling officials. A panic atmosphere is created as per experience. To avoid this and to have a smooth polling and peaceful election, we need to train officials rigorously and accurately.
           We always keep in mind to enhance the public faith  in election system by our transparent and impartial activities. All doubts are clarified as soon as they are brought to our notice. Trained officials are a great help and a big connect in this endeavour. These  trained personnel act as election resource point. 
Heera Lal ( views are personal and based on experience)

Monday, March 31, 2014

My BIG Social Connect For Good Governance

              The social media has changed,impacted, affected the life of public actors. It is a medium to sell social products.  There are two main social actors in our democratic set-up: one, bureaucracy (babus) and political leaders. Both are two sides of a coin. Our babus has not realized its potential as of now, but a big start has been made in our politics.
               As per concept, both serve the public for their welfare without any favor or gain. It means they are engaged in providing free services to general masses for their happiness. Social media proved a effective tool in 2008 USA election. Since then, efforts are on to adopted it as a new political tool worldwide by political actors. On this front a great success is achieved in India like other country.
            Social media is not able to make desired roads in government as per its potential in India. A minor start has been made. Here, we need to work to harness its potential for improving good governance. To sell social products of government in the form of projects, programs, ideas etc. of different departments, it is a nice means with us. Those who are aware and innovative are taking its help at personal level on their won risk in discharging of their duties. An intervention is required. My BIG Social connect for good governance:


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Our Strong Democracy Covers India's Failures

              India has been in a state of denial for years. It is rightly proud of its vibrant and chaotic democracy which is on show in the current general election and has survived and been accepted almost without question since Independence.
              Indian democracy has become an unchallengeable fig leaf covering what is not achieved. It allows the negative and under-performing aspects of Indian life to flourish. It blocks change and acts as an excuse for ineffective government.
              Our democracy has also provided an excuse and a cover for the gradual criminalization of politics that has been allowed to grow for decades to such an extent that election campaigns are distorted, large bribes are paid when coalitions are being formed, and many members of parliament and state assemblies have criminal charges pending against them. 
             Democracy also creates an environment where jugaad fixes are easy, and where the failures of the system in terms of poor governance and weakened institutions make the fatalism of chalta hai a welcome safe haven.
             This is not an argument for doing away with democracy, but to recognize and change the negative way in which it operates. Democracy has helped to hold India together since Independence, providing an outlet for people's frustrations and anger, ousting prime ministers, chief ministers and their governments.
             It is not democracy that is at fault but a lack of leadership and a failure to shape clean transparent systems and procedures that operate effectively without being manipulated and hijacked by vested interests and those who resist change. That is the challenge for the next government. 
             Elliott, a journalist who has worked in India for 24 years,  analysed well the ground reality. He, in his write up, shows the real face of our democracy. It is worth reading and adopting to correcting. So that, we can cure ills to strengthen our country further.