Janardhana Swamy’s Response

Dipinder had posted a comment on my blog about Janardhana Swamy sometime ago and had included a question for him. Yesterday, I emailed Dipinder’s question to Janardhana Swamy and received an immediate response as below.

Regarding the comment posted at the blog:

The question is not if all the contested stayed within the limit of 25 lakhs. I think the more worthwhile question should be, as in the case of many rules we have, whether the rule makes sense AND whether the rule is enforced to serve its intended purpose.

What good it is to make the great traffic rules if they are not enforced? In cases of poor enforcements and if there is no penalty for not violation, someone capable of violating the rule can potentially get the upper hand — disadvantaging the law abiding one. Since, the law abiding one is disadvantaged in this competition, he/she will have little chances of succeeding in the race against the violators, thus effectively preventing good guys getting elected. So, if you are law abiding one at the place where law-breaker has the advantage for not abiding the law, you have less chances of becoming a law-maker. In other words, more often than not one will have to be a law breaker in the process of becoming a law maker. Thus, it is a catch 22 problem.

So, what is the way out? There appears no magic bullet. Instead. The educated and concerned people must see their obligation to help in these type of situations and even opt for directly getting into the politics/governance (if you don’t want to, why should you expect others to do it?). Those who make an entry also need to figure out innovative and effective ways to reduce the cost of getting elected (using their support network, media, etc., effectively) to put themselves into less obligatory mode as possible than others thereby reducing or eliminating the need for corruption to begin with. Society also need to be educated and made aware of its obligation (numerous methods available) to elect the clean people than those who provide instant incentives to get votes. It’s not a quick battle, but it is worth the fight. Rather than just being skeptic on everything, let’s each do our part. If anyone has better and sure method to solve the problem (than just highlighting it), I would welcome it. If they can even demonstrate their method of solving the problem, that would be even better!

Janardhana Swamy
Influencing change in the society is not an easy fest. I echo Janardhana Swamy’s comments “It’s not a quick battle, but it is worth the fight.” As Margaret Mead, an American cultural anthropologist, famously said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Karthik on December 20, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I don’t quite understand Mr. Swamy’s response other than the rhetoric of “do it yourself” which nobody would disagree with. But I didn’t think he answered the key questions.

    Is he saying the limit of 25 lakhs is incorrect (does it make sense?) or if he thinks that the problem is with enforcement, I’d like to know his ideas for it.


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