Meri News.com in association with SIMC and Lokmat had organised a meeting of Citizen Journalists at Pune on 26 July aimed to take inputs from CJs to prepare a Citizen's Manifesto 2067. The panelists included experts from diverse fields and some came forth with concrete points. Matthew Mattam a social activist and President CYDA put forth six interesting points for India in 2067 the important ones being, that candidates not be allowed to contest elections more than four times, there should be 50% reservation for women in the Parliament- and most of the representatives should be below 45 years. Prof Dhulia a senior official of IGNOU came up with an interesting suggestion that there should be a stress on informed citizenry and low cost media literacy courses should be available for people. This will help people 'see through' what ever is dished out to them via various media and understand what is really happening.
Prof Ujwal Chowdhary Director SIMC ably gave a direction to the proceedings, summing up and adding to various points. A major point he brought out was that politicians need to debate face to face in the public (like their US counterparts). Let there be a healthy exchange of ideas and not mere verbal bashing.
The General Manager of IBN could have spoken more giving an insight on what the industry has to say but he chose to transfer the job to his editor- I missed his talk due to time constraints.
The CEO of Meri News, Vipul Kant Upadhayay explained his idea behind the venture. An important point he made was the lack in quality and numbers of people choosing teaching and defence as a career.
Attendees then came up with their own points. A senior retired Naval officer rightly pointed out that it is important to visualise what India will be like in 2067, what will the population be and plan to deal with it. His emphasis was on infrastructure. A gentleman from the UK, raised the relevant point about protection for rights of Citizen Journalists especially if the points they raise are unpalatable.