While political parties will release their manifestos promising a bunch of schemes and a host of freebies to citizens ahead of the Assembly elections which could be held in March or April, and comparison with the charter of demands by various citizens’ groups reveals that parties have fallen short of gauging citizens’ expectations, each time.
We in Belagavi dont have a huge civic groups which are active in such initiatives, but it is now the need of the hour that all the citizens, welfare associations, housing societies, NGO’s come together and create a comprehensive manifesto or charter of demands well before time so that once the elections are announced each one is prepared with the Citizens Manifesto.
“This manifesto offers a model of participatory, active citizenship, setting out the rights & responsibilities of a citizen in a way that seeks to empower the individual and reinvigorate the body politic. It presents a framework of citizenship that is engaged and egalitarian; where the people – not the state – determine their own futures and work together for the common good. This vision of what citizens can be – and can achieve – alerts us to the limited citizenship we currently experience and to the possibility of something better”.
Elections in Belagavi have various angles which include language, religion among other common viewpoints. The parties try to divide the citizens and try to lure you with promises which have turned out to be false over the years and after the elections we just cry over.
Citizens manifesto could be broadly divided into –
Mobility and Public Transport
Natural Resource Management
Welfare of Elders
The party manifestos are made for the state and hence may not include some valid points which need to be looked at the local level. The citizens forums can come together and make a wish list of the demands which can be put forth the candidates during the time of elections.