The why not game

A medley of out-of-box ideas. Let us debate them to better understand our democracy

ashishm

Ashish Mehta | January 2, 2019 | Delhi


#artificial intelligence   #public health   #universal basic income   #law commission   #democracy   #out of box idea   #why not  
Illustration: Ashish Asthana
Illustration: Ashish Asthana

A few years ago, we could have suggested, why not do away with '1,000 notes. We could have also suggested that the planning commission is anyway founded on an executive fiat and can be done away with another since it does not serve any logical purpose. Or, that a separate railway budget is merely a tradition without a concrete justification. We would have been considered too imaginative. That was before the boldness of imagination became the norm.

Now, one can wonder if the government can do away with personal income tax, and others won’t be able to laugh it away.

Some ideas are so out-of-the-box that they seem like nice one-liners and nothing more. 
 
Then somebody comes around and puts them into practice. Big mandates probably give them the nerve. Rajiv Gandhi too pushed many ideas that do not seem so radical today: from a five-day work week in government to establishing the environment ministry and bringing in a law to end the Aayaram-Gayaram business. 
 
However, one trouble with out-of-box ideas, as Arun Shourie once pointed out, is that there are enough ideas within the box that are yet to be tried out. In electoral and political reforms, for example, every idea pushed by civil society and think-tanks is bound to have figured in one or the other of the hundreds of law commission reports. The only one left is: why not take law panel reports seriously? An idea, finally, can be only as good as it gets on the ground through proper implementation.
 
In the holiday season overlapping the exit of one year and the arrival of the next, we indulge in a bit of speculative journalism in this edition. As a disclaimer, we would add that the 11 why-nots in the following pages are ideas to be debated and not suggestions for implementation. There’s always the danger of seeming airy, but then we thought: Why not?
 
Here are 11 out-of-box ideas:
 

 

Comments

 

Other News

On a personal note: Javed Jaffrey

After his much-appreciated debut in Meri Jung in 1985, Javed Jaffrey inspired a new generation of dancers. He then turned from dance to comedy. The versatile actor constantly changes his styles and his live, film, TV and radio appearances always promise novelty and surprise. In 2014 he joined the Aam A

Allegations against CJI: Inquiry will strengthen the independence of the judiciary

Yes, we must stand rock solid with the judiciary and the judges. We must protect the independence of the judiciary too. What does this mean in the present context of a very serious charge of sexual harassment levelled by a former employee of the court against the CJI?  We are told that there is a larg

“Managing data is challenging”

The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) is a society set up by the railways ministry in July 1986 to provide IT related services to the Indian Railways. CRIS deals in a gamut of functions, like passenger ticketing, freight operations, train dispatching and control, crew management, e-procurement,

A boost to those who need it most

What are 600 million people? Almost twice the population of the US. What are 500 million people? About three-fourth of the population of Europe. Why are we talking about these numbers? Well, because as per a study by Sandhya Krishnan and Neeraj Hatekar (‘Rise of New Middle Class in India and Its

Expanding Eureka!

Abright yellow van with figures of children playing with a whirligig, a Newton’s cradle, a magnetic compass rolls into the Government Higher Primary School in Kittaganahalli, on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Students in the playground leave what they are doing and mill about it in excitement. For they

The spark in the classroom

Not many children dream of starting an idyllic school of their own when they grow up. But Ramji Raghavan, founder of the Agastya International Foundation – which fosters the creative learning of science in stude



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter