Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What can LokSatta learn from Telangana Movement?

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Sorry folks it has been a long time since I wrote a blog post.... Just got married and hence took a small break from blogging. Not having an internet connection at home also made blogging difficult.
Anyway I am back to blogging with more passion than ever. Start reading..

Leader A:
He wanted to bring democracy back to the people. He wanted to clean politics of its murkiness. That person who left a most coveted government job of Collector to make our place corruption free. He has the best solutions to the current system's problems. He gave a guarantee that he will pay you a fine if government services are not rendered in the SLA specified. He wanted to change the face of politics as it is played now to ensure that money power cannot silence vote power. He started a movement called the second freedom movement to prove that democracy is indeed the government - by the people, to the people and for the people.

Leader B:
His record is murky. After being denied a bigger role, he came out of a party to form his own party. He just demanded for a separate state without telling what will he do if he comes to power. He became a laughingstock by talking utter gibberish. He once said he will start a fast-unto-death and had taken food by the end of the day. He broke all the promises he made to himself and to the people. He had no real agenda. Even this time, he was about to break his promise of fast-unto-death but being cornered by all the people who supported him had to undertake it.

By now you would have guessed who leader A and leader B are... Leader A is Mr.Jayaprakash Narayan(JP), the LokSatta leader and leader B is Mr. K.ChandraSekhar Rao (KCR), The TRS leader. These two leaders faced two tests.
Leader A, JP went all out in the recently concluded GHMC elections. But he was not able to win atleast one seat in the elections and hence he failed in the test.
Leader B, KCR had no options having got a drubbing in the recent general elections, didn't even contest in the GHMC elections. He took a way out in doing fast-unto-death. And he turned into a hero for a yet to be formed new state.

How did this happen? Person who looked credible in implementing an agenda got nowhere but a leader with the least credibility was able to achieve a big thing. Though I know that Telangana is a cause whose time has come and it was just crystallized because of KCR's efforts and it was not created just because KCR fought for it is one thing. I think there are a couple of things which LokSatta can learn from the success of KCR.
1. Elections are won on charisma: In the general elections, JP won because he had the charisma in LokSatta. No other leader had that charisma except Rathiah of Vignan, who had lost too we will see the reason in a minute. If someother person other than KCR would have done that fast-unto-death, I am not sure if the Delhi Durbar would have responded so promptly with the announcement.
2. An Emotional Connect is required: KCR had an emotional connect with the people of Telangana on the issue whereas, though each person hopes to get all the above in the agenda of Loksatta, nobody was really hopeful of getting it and was not really emotionally invested in its success. Loksatta needs to do more grassroots work to build up that emotional connect by telling how implementing each can change their lives.
3. Market it so that people make it their cause: KCR had to do just a little, most of the work was done by the student unions who created a war type situation in the state as they identified Telangana as their cause. So Loksatta has to market itself in such a way that people feel good governance as their cause. I couldn't but quote Seth Godin here - 'You are a marketer whereever you are' KCR is a better marketer than JP.

Hope LokSatta learns these lessons and grow from grassroots now so that it can win in the next elections.

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