It’s amazing how our democracy is universally praised and revered, yet our democratic government is distrusted and maligned. Cynicism towards elected officials is epidemic, and understandable. Neither campaign finance reform, presidential line-item vetoes nor term limits were strong enough medicine. We need to do more to restore our citizens’ trust in government. Here are some additional ideas. If this is a government of the people, then shouldn’t only people be able to influence it? Why should a company, a labor union, church group or any self-serving organization be allowed to spend money on candidates or lobbyists? We need a constitutional amendment that says something like – only eligible voters, and organizations whose only purpose is to represent eligible voters, shall contribute anything, directly or indirectly, for or against the election of a candidate or cause, or for or against any legislation. In other words, if Bill Gates wants to lobby Congress, fine, but it must be with his money on his time. If the NRA or NOW wants to donate campaign funds, okay, but it must stop all other services for its members.
Professor Trilochan Sastry
Professor Trilochan Sastry is a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, and a B.Tech. from IIT Delhi.
He is Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, March 2003 to date and has been: Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, 1991 to February 2003. Visiting Scholar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Spring 1995, Visiting Professor, International University of Japan, Niigata, Japan, Spring 1996, Visiting Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, March 2000 to December 2000, Visiting Scholar, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Jan-June 2001, Professor, Indian School of Business and Associate Dean (Research), July 2001 to January2002. Worked with Oil and Natural Gas Commission May 1983 to August 1985 in the Chairman’s Office at New Delhi.
Has taught a wide variety of courses in the MBA program, Doctoral program and Executive Education including Operations Strategy, Supply Chain Management, Operations Management, Quantitative methods, Data Structures and Algorithms, Discrete Mathematics and Social Entrepreneurship. Taught senior executives in India, Sri Lanka and Kenya and senior bureaucrats in India.
Published papers in International Journals related to Operations Research, and on broader topics related to the software industry, telecommunications, automobile industry, supply chain management, poverty, and Cooperatives. Has been an invited speaker at International Conferences. Also wrote a number of management cases on operations management, ethics, change management, development, and electoral reforms.
Member of the Board, IIM Bangalore 2006-2008. Obtained the “Best Young Teacher” award for 1999 from the Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS). Obtained “Outstanding Contribution to National Development” Award from IIT Delhi in 2005.
Has been a consultant to various Indian and International Corporations. Has also consulted for leading International Donor Agencies on Development and poverty related issues including the World Bank, UNDP and DFID. Chairman and founder of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) that won a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court, requiring candidates to declare financial, criminal and educational background at the time of elections. ADR has been doing Citizen Election Watches all over the country since December 2002. Is also founder Secretary and CEO of Centre for Collective Development (CCD) which promotes cooperatives in dry land areas for small and marginal farmers, resulting in substantial increase in income without subsidy.