Nayi Disha Platform
Nayi Disha, is an innovative political platform for Indians to make India prosperous. The core objective is to unite us on an agenda of freedom, equality and wealth creation. Nayi Disha’s Prosperity Principles and Mission 543 will usher in a new model for governance and politics in India.
Nayi Disha brings together voters who value freedom and prosperity and capable candidates who are willing to do what needs to be done. Nayi Disha’s aim is to contest and win a majority of the 543 seats in the next Lok Sabha elections, form the next government, and implement an agenda to put India on the path to prosperity.
To win a majority of the 543 Lok Sabha seats in the next elections, Nayi Disha will focus on the following:
1. Supporters: The two-thirds of eligible Indian voters who are not loyal to existing political parties
2. Message: A simple and positive message with a focus on the individual and the future
3. Platform: A platform to leverage people networks to take on the existing hierarchical political parties
4. Primaries: A new primaries-based model for candidate selection, by leveraging the power of mobile to drive action
About 100 crore Indians would be eligible to vote in the next general elections. Of these, about a third are loyal to existing political parties; another third are non-voters; and the remaining third are either undecided or vote for small and independent candidates that have little chance of winning.
Who do Indians vote for?
Of the 100 crore eligible voters for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, about a third (or 33 crore) form the core support base of political parties. Let’s call that “the organised sector” of the electorate:
Their loyalty is to the party and not to candidates that are chosen by the parties. They cannot be persuaded to change their vote. Their votes are generally taken for granted by the political parties, and similarly they are beyond the reach of Nayi Disha.
The remaining 67 crore eligible voters are the ones that are of interest. Let’s call it the “unorganised sector” of the electorate. They constitute two major groups:
There is another small group of voters who can be categorised as “wasters” — they waste their vote by voting for some small regional party or independent candidates who have little chance of winning.
Nayi Disha will Organise the Unorganised Sector
In the electoral marketplace, the “organised sector” of a third (that is, 33%) of eligible voters form the core support base of the major parties. Within that, the BJP is the dominant player with half of that share, and the other half shared by other political parties.
Note, however, the “unorganised sector” constitutes 67% of eligible voters — four times larger than the 17% of the market leader. Nayi Disha aims to organise this unorganised sector to bring about the political change that will transform India into a modern, prosperous nation.
In democratic elections across the world, the basic strategy of political parties is to get their own core voters to turn out to vote, and to persuade the undecided to vote in their favour. It is very difficult to get the core voters to change their votes. This is true for India also.
Nayi Disha understands this reality and is therefore focused on the “unorganised sector” of the Indian electorate which is about 67 crore strong (or four times the size of the core support base of the largest organised sector player).
That’s at the aggregate level. But to win, what happens at the level of a Lok Sabha constituency matters. The average constituency will have about 18 lakh voters. To win, a candidate needs to win about 4-5 lakh votes in a multi-cornered contest. The challenge for Nayi Disha therefore is to persuade about a quarter of eligible voters to turn out to vote, and vote for a prosperous future.
The objective of Nayi Disha is the eradication of poverty and to put India on a rapid path to prosperity. Though past governments, regardless of political affiliations, have promised development, none of them have been able to deliver. The fact is that Indians are quite capable of creating prosperity.
The fundamental problem is that the various governments have not fulfilled the precondition for the creation of prosperity — individual freedom. People prosper when they are free of needless interference. Often the biggest barrier to prosperity is government policies that do not allow freedom to the citizens.
Partly through ignorance and ineptitude, and partly motivated by private gains of the officials, all governments have denied Indians prosperity. The economic policies and programs like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), farm loan waivers and Minimum Support Price (MSP) hikes for farmers do not create lasting prosperity. The expansion of government into commercial activity not only does not create wealth but actually destroys what little is created by individuals. Short-sighted policies such as increasing quotas in government jobs and education do not create wealth either.
The change that India needs is basically freedom of the individual to work for his or her well-being without government interference and onerous regulations.
Nayi Disha’s Objective and Strategy
Nayi Disha’s objective is to take India in a new direction toward freedom and prosperity. Economic freedom is a precondition for people to create wealth. Remember, only people create wealth, not governments. People who face severe financial constraints find it difficult to climb out of poverty.
Therefore the first strategic step of Nayi Disha is to ensure that all Indians — rich and poor alike — get access to the wealth that belongs to them but which is locked up under government control. There is a massive amount of wealth that must be returned to the people of India, and which will provide the people with starting financial capital for jump-starting the economic engine.
This is Nayi Disha’s “Universal Wealth Return”. Briefly the idea is that Rs 1 lakh per family will be returned to each family every year. This amount will not be the transfers that governments usually engage in — the taxing of some groups to give to some others (and making themselves rich in the bargain.) No country can grow rich by transferring wealth from one group to another. These funds will come from the unlocking of resources that the government currently controls but does not put into productive use.
The Rs 1 lakh per family per year will give millions of the currently poor the financial foundation to engage in productive activities and also the ability to increase their personal consumption — food, clothing, shelter, education and healthcare. That increased consumption will lead to greater demand for goods and services, which in turn will lead to job creation and therefore incomes. It will be the start of a virtuous cycle of production and consumption.
The median household income of Indian families is a meagre Rs 1.2 lakh per year. The net wealth (saving minus the debt) of the median family is close to zero, and for a significant proportion actually negative. Millions of poor families are just one medical emergency away from serious destitution. A guaranteed wealth return of Rs 1 lakh per year will provide them with the necessary safety net and transform their lives.
The second strategic step that Nayi Disha promises is the lowering of all taxes. Currently the government taxes earnings (directly and indirectly) and taxes what people buy with their after-tax incomes. With Nayi Disha’s “Tax cap of 10%”, no tax in India — personal, corporate and GST — will exceed 10%.
This strategic step has two major impacts. First, it will leave more money in the hands of people (the producers of wealth) for them to do what they please. Currently, by taxing people unreasonably, the government, not the people, have unjustified control of the incomes of people. This amounts to indentured servitude and slavery, and is not consistent with a free people. The second major impact of the Maximum 10% tax limit is that it will force the government to stop wasting the wealth of the nation.
Nayi Disha’s Slogan: Tum Badhoge, Desh Badhega
It is time to stop putting the government at the centre of our lives and shift the focus to the individual. The single, simple and positive message which captures this is “Tum Badhoge, Desh Badhega” – as you grow and prosper, so will India. It is this message that has to be spread to the 67 crore uncommitted voters across India.
Traditionally, Indian political parties are hierarchical, top-down, and suffer from extreme centralisation. Power is consolidated and flows from the top to the bottom of the hierarchy, with a very small handful of people making all the decisions.
The lower levels of the hierarchy have little influence on what happens, including the choice of candidates that contest elections. This is contrary to the very idea of a democracy where political candidates are representatives of the people, and not simply chosen by the party leaders and thrust upon the people just days before the election.
This creates opportunities for corruption. The parties often appoint candidates who are willing to pay the most for the party ticket. Competency, ethical and moral rectitude, diligence, and consciousness of the candidate are not considered. This leads predictably to poor governance and indifferent policy making.
Nayi Disha turns this model of centrally controlled, hierarchical power structure upside down. The Nayi Disha platform respects the voice of the people by enabling them to choose who would represent them.
Networks and Hierarchies
Top-down control of hierarchies is necessary and appropriate in certain organizations. For example, armies and corporations cannot function otherwise. Command has to flow from the top to the bottom. But democracies are by definition democratic — meaning power belongs to the people and therefore the direction of influence is primarily from the bottom to the top, from the people to the leaders.
Today’s technology makes possible leadership that is responsive to the will of the people. The people can become empowered to make their own choices. But of course the movers and shakers of the traditional political parties would not dream of giving up their power and hand it over to the people. That is where the Nayi Disha political platform plays its critical part: for the first time it gives people an option to choose their candidate.
The Nayi Disha political platform enables the implementation of democracy as a means for the people to choose their own destiny by enabling its members to connect with and select their own candidates via a transparent voting process.
Difference between Nayi Disha Platform and Traditional Political Parties
In nearly all aspects — from organisational structure to candidate selection to fundraising to election campaigning — the difference between political parties and the Nayi Disha platform is the difference between chalk and cheese. The differences are as radical and extensive.
The modern marvel of technology — the mobile network — provides the technology that powers the Nayi Disha platform. Almost every Indian household has a mobile phone, and over half of them will have internet access through smartphones in the next year. This means unprecedented connectivity with friends and family for every individual.
Through the Nayi Disha platform, members will have the ability to know that they are part of a movement that has the power to bring about transformational change to governance. Aggregation of membership data will be available in real time for all to see and therefore assure them of the significance of their support.
Nayi Disha Members
Any voter can become a Nayi Disha member by signing up with their VoterID. Implicit in the sign up is an acceptance of Nayi Disha’s principles. Every Nayi Disha member will have three associated numbers:
Member activities could include simple sharing of content, signing up people and assisting unregistered voters to get registered. One of the most important responsibility of members will be to choose candidates who will contest elections in their constituencies.
Nayi Disha Candidates
Traditional political parties operate top down. The top bosses choose candidates for every constituency, and just a few days before polling thrust that down on the voters. The voters have little choice in the matter. In the Nayi Disha model, citizens from the constituency who decide to contest are voted on by Nayi Disha members in internal elections (‘primaries’).
The Nayi Disha platform does not dictate who can contest. Any person who is a Nayi Disha member can contest. Any person that members of Nayi Disha choose through the primaries will be the candidate. Implicit in this process is the candidate’s acceptance of Nayi Disha’s principles because the members themselves support those principles.
Nayi Disha Primaries
Primaries are elections internal to the Nayi Disha platform in which members choose their candidates. Via the primaries, Nayi Disha offers a new direction for India by aggregating the power of the true majority — those who are not aligned to a traditional political party. Nayi Disha members will have the ability to choose not just who would be their Lok Sabha member but also who shall be the Prime Minister.
Members can also evaluate candidates running in the primaries through their three numbers and reviews posted on the platform. This is a way of crowdsourcing the collective knowledge of the members of the constituency to determine who the most suitable person for the job is.
The precondition for primaries is that a minimum of 5% of the voter base registers as Nayi Disha members in that particular constituency. While it is possible that supporters of other political parties may sign up on Nayi Disha to potentially contaminate the voting process, the negative effect will be unlikely because of the 5% voter base threshold in a constituency. The process is too transparent to make massive rigging possible under the gaze of genuine members.
Nayi Disha will also have internal elections at the booth level, for corporation/panchayat and Assembly constituencies, and for the Lok Sabha constituencies. In the event its candidates win a majority of seats in the Lok Sabha, Nayi Disha’s members will vote to select the next Prime Minister of India from their elected MPs.
Through its primaries model, Nayi Disha will bring transformation at all levels of governments, and also build a grassroots-based organisation of new people desiring to enter public life.
Nayi Disha is literally a new direction, a path to a different future of freedom and prosperity. Freedom is a necessary precondition for prosperity and the creation of wealth. The wealth of nations is a result of the freedom that the citizens enjoy. There has never been a wealthy country whose citizens have not been free.
Nayi Disha recognises this fact. For Indians to become genuinely free, the government has to stop dictating and controlling every aspect of the lives of the citizens. This freedom can never come from the governments the traditional political parties of India have to offer. Therefore, we the people have to elect a government that promotes individual freedom — economic, civil and political freedoms.
The Nayi Disha political platform is the mechanism for freeing India, and therefore making India a developed, wealthy nation. It places the individual voter front and centre of the electoral process, and therefore in control of the electoral outcomes.
Nayi Disha is thus about returning the wealth to the rightful owners — the people. It is also about giving the power to the people of India to choose their destiny and achieve their potential. Every existing political party in India seeks to enlarge government intervention and shrink individual freedom. But their days are numbered.
Nayi Disha’s message to every Indian is: “Your freedom means your prosperity. Your prosperity means the nation's prosperity. The government is the barrier to your freedom, and therefore a barrier to the nation's prosperity. You need freedom from an oppressive government. You can make it happen by using your vote to form a government that values freedom and therefore promotes prosperity.”
It is time for you to rise. Because “Tum Badhoge, Desh Badhega.”