It was a balmy minute past midnight in the middle of August in 1947 when India’s leaders made a pledge to raise their people from poverty, superstition, and subjugation to abundance, rationality, and freedom. India’s eager millions looked forward in anticipation, hope shining in their eyes as a new era dawned on India. Yet somewhere between 1947 and the present, India lost its mission. Rather than alleviating poverty, the Government licensed it; instead of dispelling superstition, New Delhi categorized it; and instead of throwing down the chains of subjugation, a litany of laws and restrictions bound citizens even more tightly. Nowhere is the anomie more visible than in the India of 2013.

There comes a time in the history of every people that they outgrow their government, that they take responsibility for themselves and make government their servant rather than their master. As more and more Indians become involved in the political process, politics will have to reflect the mettle of the people. For long have India’s politicians fobbed off the electorate with empty promises and jingoism; not once has there been any discussion of issues beyond labeling and name-calling, dividing the electorate into smaller groups and pitting them against each other. Yet misdirection and instigation cannot work forever.

The people of India deserve a thorough and competent explication of each party’s proposed solutions to the challenges the country faces, a discussion of issues that touch hundreds of millions of lives and not just another lackluster and banal polemic disguised as a political campaign. It is keeping this goal in mind that Centre Right India will be hosting a series of articles over the next few weeks on critical areas of national development.

Our project is a collection of ten to fifteen short essays on key topics that affect the future of India. Obviously, a detailed discussion of every issue is not possible, but a crisp summary will serve to bring more people into the discussion at the initial stages. CRI does not mean these position briefs to be the end of the discussion but the beginning of one – of many.

We hope to touch on the economy, infrastructure, security, energy, foreign policy, environment, science & technology, legal reforms, and constitutional issues. Each brief focuses on realistic goals that can be met by any government that comes to power in 2014 and contains policy recommendations towards that end. These recommendations do not represent a grand vision for India – we have been fed too many of those already – but concrete guidelines that are achievable in a five-year term of office.

We invite domain experts to add to our project. We ask that such briefs be no more than 1500 words in length and dwelling on much needed reforms that are achievable in the next 5 years considering the current and likely political climate post-2014 general elections.

It should be noted that the authors are responsible only for the views expressed in their own contributions and not for the overall project. CRI’s crowd-sourced project is, no doubt, a political manifesto. Yet it is more than just another statement of ideology and policy recommendations – it is our effort to keep a promise we made to ourselves one balmy August midnight hour.

The following pieces have been published on Agenda 2014:

Economy:

Labour Reforms

Energising Manufacturing Sector

Energy:

Nuclear Energy

Upstream Oil and Gas Sector: No more license raj

Infrastructure & Home Affairs

Basic Healthcare: India needs an innovative inter-sectoral response

Judicial Reforms: Where there is a will there is a way

 

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