What is B.PAC?
B.PAC (Bangalore Political Action Committee) is a citizen-based group, with a set of objectives designed to improve the Governance of Bangalore, having noticed the startlingly low number of recorded voters in the city.
The voting population (read: “educated” middle-class citizenry) forms roughly 40% of the population of Bangalore. Yet, this large voting population (read: 3.5 million people) only accounts for roughly 12% of all votes in a state-level election. The reasons for this lie within the messed-up infrastructure of Bangalore’s voting system resulting such major discrepancies as some voters being listed as 4000 years-old, and 6-years old, and the data of over 13 lakh voters “mysteriously disappearing” between 2008 and 2013; in addition, a number of perfectly eligible voters still haven’t received Voter ID cards which are needed in order to vote.
What do they plan to do?
B.PAC has listed a number of actions they plan on taking:
1) Register all eligible voters
2) Clean and remedy the inherent problems in the current, poorly managed voters lists
3) Shortlisting candidates while performing in-depth background checks to ensure that they’re legally suitable for a Government position
4) Fund these suitable candidates and make them accountable for developmental agendas
5) Conduct civic-education programs for the citizens of Bangalore
These civic education programs include B.CLIP (Bangalore Civic Leadership Incubator Program) and B.FLI (Bangalore Future Leaders Initiative). These programs have been received with moderate success, with over 200 people reported to have applied for the B.CLIP.
Who are the members?
The core/founding members of B.PAC are diverse in their respective professional and political backgrounds. For example, the president of B.PAC is none other than Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, with a position in Forbes list of “The World’s 100 most Powerful Women”; while another central member, sensitive to B.PAC’s cause, is a man by the name of Prasad Bidapa, a Kodava who simply loves Bangalore. And that’s what unites this diverse range of people, a strong love for the city and a desire to see it improve.
The Agenda for Bangalore (AfB) is the current list of objectives drawn up by the members of B.PAC, based on objectives drawn up by previous, similar groups in Bangalore such as “BATF” and “Bangalore City Connect”
B.PAC is not the first citizen-based political group to attempt the monumental task of mass civic education and acknowledged by its core members, success is currently uncertain at best. However, the with a set of focused objectives, and programs and support from the citizens in place; a better Bangalore seems to be just a stone’s throw away.
For more information on all things B.PAC, visit their website at http://www.bpac.in/