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Needed: National Charter of Governance

Hate, antipathy, discord and disrespect have done enough damage to polity and the social fabric. Can we expect some sanity at last?

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We live in polarised times. With the coming general elections, political discourse is only going to turn more acrimonious.

While PM Narendra Modi remains the most popular leader, the Opposition, with its attempt to cobble up a grand alliance, seeks to halt him in his tracks.

While the broad contours of a battle royale are still being worked out, the political discourse has reached its nadir. Congress president and his supporters call the Prime Minister “chor” (thief). The followers of the ruling dispensation call Rahul Gandhi names.

Debates have turned personal. PM Modi recently talked about Andhra Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu “backstabbing his father-in-law”, and Naidu dragged Modi’s wife into the debate.

With the cacophony only getting worse by the day, are we to get some respite in this election season?

Precisely for this reason, and also to reintroduce sanity in our public life, we need to have a national charter of governance -- a broad framework which draws from the best practices of different parties, and governments.

Today we remember the Congress for its corrupt second-term UPA, but it’s the same Congress that gave rise to the RTI, MNREGA, and Aadhar.

While critics may have slammed the Modi government for “weakening the RTI Act”, the fact remains that corruption has not touched the higher echelons of the BJP Government, notwithstanding the recent controversy over Rafale.

Ujjawala, rural electrification, highway construction and a new governance ethic have been the hallmarks of the Modi government.

While it will be hauled over the coals by the Opposition over Rafale, Modi government’s success stories cannot be overlooked.

Locally, the AAP government in Delhi has done exceedingly well in healthcare and education. The TRS government in Telangana and BJD government in Odisha have introduced innovations in agriculture. The Pawan Kumar Chamling government in Sikkim has set new benchmarks in eco-friendly governance.

In the run up to the elections, we need statesmen who can offer to the citizens a national charter so that they can make informed choices. Hate, antipathy, discord and disrespect have done enough damage to polity and the social fabric. Can we expect some sanity at last?

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