Business Wire India
- India urgently needs solutions to the hamesha problems of poverty, unemployment and corruption
- A key prosperity driver is the return of India’s surplus public wealth of over Rs. 50 lakh per family
- Movement begins to unite Indians on an agenda of prosperity ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections
- Movement’s technology platform enables citizens to choose their own candidates via primaries
Political strategist and technology entrepreneur Rajesh Jain has launched a movement to form India’s first government of prosperity. ‘Dhan Vapasi’ aims to make every Indian rich and free – via a political and economic transformation based on a technology platform.
The income of an average Singaporean is 30 times that of an average Indian, the South Korean has 15 times higher income, the Chinese about 5 times. Fifty years ago, all these countries were roughly at the same level. Not only have India’s politicians and bureaucrats stopped citizens from creating wealth, they have ensured that Indians continue to face a triad of persistent problems: poverty, unemployment and corruption. About 30 crore Indians live in extreme poverty, more than the entire population of India at the time of independence. The median household monthly income is just Rs. 10,000. In a country with nearly 30 crore youth in their 20s, job creation is almost at a standstill.
Says Jain, “Prosperity must be considered a birthright. Prosperity means that every Indian has a fair opportunity to chart a pathway to a better life. Prosperity means jobs. Prosperity means not having to beg for government favours.” He adds: “For 70 years, governments and political parties have prevented Indians from becoming rich. The rulers control the wealth tied up in public assets and deny people access to it – depriving them of dignity, jobs and justice. They do this by controlling the political system. Voting again and again for those responsible for denying Indians prosperity will not make Indians rich. That is why a movement is needed – one that results in a new government whose primary agenda is to make every Indian rich and free. The next elections give Indians an opportunity to change their destiny.”
The Prosperity Agenda
The most important initiative of such a government would be the return of surplus public wealth to every Indian. The wealth locked up in public assets (government land, public sector corporations, minerals) amounts to over Rs 1,500 lakh crore, or Rs 50 lakh per family. The government must return Rs 1 lakh to every family every year – as their rightful share so they can chart their own path to prosperity. This will empower the poor, reduce the size and power of the government and reduce corruption by minimising government interference in the economy. It will increase economic and civic freedoms, which will help drive growth and job creation.
The Dhan Vapasi Bill, when passed in Parliament, will enable the universal return of public wealth. The key aspects of the Bill, already sent to the Prime Minister and all MPs, are:
- It establishes four corporations. Surplus public assets will be identified by the Identification Corporation, which will ensure clear titles. The Restructuring Corporation will restructure the assets to optimise saleable value. The Auctioning Corporation will auction the assets and deposit the proceeds in the Dhan Vapasi Fund. The Fund Management Corporation will manage the Dhan Vapasi Fund and return the wealth to citizens of India using its beneficiary database
- Each citizen will be entitled to Rs 20,000 – tax-free – every year directly in their account
- The process will continue until all surplus public assets are exhausted
A prosperity agenda must include lower taxes, unlocking of private wealth by ensuring clear titles to all property, a judicial system that ensures timely justice and investments in ‘good government’ (defence, police, courts, urban and rural infrastructure). A government of prosperity would abide by a core set of principles: liberty, non-discrimination, non-interference, limited government and decentralisation.
The Perversion of Democracy
Democracy means government of the people, by the people, for the people. But that idea has been perverted and has come to mean government of political parties, by political parties, for political party bosses.
The people have been reduced to mere voters. Voters don’t have the power to choose their representatives and to have their voices reflected in the voting choices of their elected representatives. The political class chooses the candidates who contest elections, not the voters. These candidates therefore owe their allegiance to the party bosses, not to the voters. Candidates are announced just a couple of weeks before the elections, giving very little time for constituents to even know who they are voting for. Once elected, MPs and MLAs cannot even exercise their independent judgement because they have to vote along party lines.
Since party bosses hold all the power, the result is essentially a government by that small set of powerful people and that government works mainly in the interests of that authoritarian set.
For the government to be truly representative, these changes have to be implemented:
- Primaries through which local people can choose the best candidate from among themselves
- Parliament must listen to the people regularly. As a starting point, petitions can drive discussions in Parliament to ensure the concerns of the people are addressed
- The right of MPs to deviate from the party line and vote to represent their constituents
The country needs to rise beyond existing political parties and elect Independents who are the most focused and capable of delivering prosperity, rather than enriching themselves and pleasing their party bosses.
How Dhan Vapasi is Different
Dhan Vapasi is different from other political parties. It is a platform that connects citizens with candidates, in the same way cab aggregators connect passengers with drivers. It is a decentralised movement – without headquarters and hierarchies. It is built bottom-up by the participation of people in every booth, neighbourhood and constituency. It resides on people’s phones, not in physical offices.
Explains Jain, “Seventy crore voters are unattached to any political party. They comprise people who do not vote, those who haven’t registered, those who vote for small parties that cannot win and those who stay undecided till the very end. This is more than two-thirds of the voting population – four times the core support base of the BJP, and eight times that of the Congress. All we need is the support of a third or more of these voters.”
The Dhan Vapasi app powers the movement. The mobile-based political platform enables citizens to choose who stands for elections and, therefore, represents them in Parliament. This Lok Sabha of Independents will form India’s first government of prosperity, one that will genuinely represent the people’s interests.
“The solutions to our problems have to come from us, the citizens. The political class has failed us, so the country requires this movement. Switching votes across the same parties will not give us different outcomes. India needs a new political alternative – and that is Dhan Vapasi,” Jain asserts.
Anyone can join Dhan Vapasi by giving a missed call to 95 94 543 543, or at www.dhanvapasi.com or by downloading the Dhan Vapasi App.