December 6, 2008

Nothing new by way of marketing in state elections

Delhi, J&k, Rajasthan and MP have recently gone through the process of electing state assemblies. Although the later part of electioneering had been clouded by the dastardly violence in Mumbai, but its impact on the voting behavior remains a point of discussion. The results would be out on December 08, 2008.

I had the opportunity to advice an unique gentlemen in an unique constituency in the state of Rajasthan. Besides i kept a close watch on the use of marketing by politicians and parties to conduct their campaigns. Unfortunately once again it were the same old story. Political marketing is still confined to seeking to influence & persuade the voters through by applying marketing tools and concepts.

The parties stubbornly stuck to believing that marketing can go no further. Most parties still depend upon their core members, government agencies and mass media to judge the 'mood' of the electorate. Moreover in most places they refuse to accept that voters can break the caste, and culture barrier,even if the parties put up trustworthy leaders and present credible governance.

Political parties fail to adopt a 'market orientation' by democratising the agenda setting by the electorate. It would be proper if parties could use some grassroot marketing search to understand the mood of the public. When the parties themselves decide the agenda for the electorate,this leads to confusion in the mind of the people who are forced to choose a caste, religion or culture issue for selecting a party to vote for. Politicians must find out what people want and then set out to fulfill their promises if they wish to remain in power for long. Just use some real marketing research.

Just concluded elections were wit out much marketing innovations. If there were any like use of camel for transport it were restricted to introduce novelty without the ability to satisfy the desires of the voters from elections.

Another point worth noting is that politicians and parties firmly believe that Indian electorate can not break the barriers of caste religion. It is not true Mr politician. Go out and make a win-win proposition to your segment of voters, success would come running to you!

December 1, 2008

Check corruption to deal with terrorism

India, once again, is writhing from the pain inflicted by the scourge of terrorism. Once more innocent blood has been spilled. Another time India watched helplessly. Who will rid us of this hopelessness? What can India do to stop this terrorism?

Some nationalist parties say that the terrorism can be tackled by attacking a neighboring country as that has been the fountainhead of these uncivilized activities. Even if India exercises the option of strategic strikes inside another country it may lead to full blown war. But are we afraid of war? Certainly not, but India need to know what objectives can we met by going for war against another country. Going to war may only harden their resolve to sponsor more terrorist activities against us. What options are we left with?

The most feverish argument thrown by mass media has been that if USA has had only one strike in last 8 years, why we cannot achieve the same results? Well, India is not USA. On the other side Israel has been at war with its neighbors since long, are they living in peace? And Israel has support of the West which we don’t have. Surely Israel would wish to end the war at the earliest.

India is vulnerable and helpless against terrorism not because we have problem with our neighboring countries. We are let down by endemic corruption and nepotism prevalent within. The enemy within is the total absence of the rule of law. Law does not discriminate between Hindu, Sikh or Muslim but the enforcing agencies and the political parties never apply it uniformly. So called pseudo-nationalist and pseudo religious outfits do not allow a government agency to investigate allegations of terrorism against their own ilk.

The terrorism shall stop when India learns to curb corruption and nepotism. When no one can get a false id card, ration card, phone connection, a university degree, a government and corporate job without having valid eligibility then you surely could catch any terrorist much before they execute their nefarious plan. Citizens in India do not trust our courts, police, politicians and each other how we can feel secure.

How can incompetent assure us security? When India learns to honor talent, competence, strength of character and do not discriminate on the basis of religion, caste, region and language we will have complete security. Armed forces are competent to wage a war against the external enemy we have to fight the enemy within.

India has a strong armed force and enough fire power to take on an enemy but still we suffer. Once we have genuine people in responsible positions no one could defeat us. Therefore let us make India an impregnable fortress with our strength of character; respect for the rule of law, secular and civilized behavior. Believe me no one would be able to dare touch us.

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