Before I embark with this article, let me begin by stating what a manifesto actually is.
A manifesto can be visualised as a document that is embedded with declarations, promises, agendas, missions or the master plan of a particular political party. They address certain key issues and dwell on how the same would be catered to if the party were to come into power. An ideology, that is vital to ground the political party and channelize its goals; a manifesto serves more than one purpose. It increases the accountability of the respective political parties and throws a clear picture of expectations and oaths that the people can look forward to in the subsequent five years.
A party needs to adhere to the manifesto it drafts. Failure to execute the key bulletins of the manifesto might draw ire from the people at large and thus weakening their chances of coming into power in the coming future. Thus a manifesto can be envisaged as a tool to book the parties into being accountable. It might not achieve that end in an absolute manner, but however is certainly a means to do so. However, on the downside, manifestos can have a constricting effect on the parties in the face of growing, revolutionary global changes that need sudden answering to. Thus, on 8th April, we had an enlightening debate on three pivotal points.
Firstly, whether manifesto matter? Secondly, do the manifestos make any difference in the outcome that they bring about, in terms of gaining more votes? Lastly, can manifestos have a constricting effect on the party? These topics were discussed in great detail by the interns with Prof. Rajeev Gowda and certain new conclusions were reached at regarding the role of manifestos by lining the history of the same with the extrapolations of the present.
We agreed that the manifestos might not vary greatly in their primal core themes and issues, but however they indeed provide a better means to achieve the target. Also, a manifesto on its prima facie value must be a document that enlightens about the future goals of the party clearly and should not be a clouded image of far-off unreal agenda. Thus a manifesto must impart the knowledge of the future probable changes to certain prime issues amongst the public and must be easily accessible, understandable and largely deciphered in the same way by all the people. Day 11 of PAI class was indeed an engaging one where ideas were exchanged and developed upon.