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   How to Win Campaigns
Reviewed by Sudhirendar Sharma
27 Mar 2011

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otest is a form of dissent that reflects an act of faith in a democracy and not otherwise. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but in its effects. At the core of every protest, be it in Sidi Bouazid or at Jantar Mantar, is a compelling quest for freedom. In many ways it is an ‘expression of popular democracy’ against an entrenched system that espouses ‘deficit democracy’ as its driving principle.

At times protests are in response to a trigger; however, more often these are energy-sapping strategic initiatives to bring about desired change. It is an act of performance in public that engages no less than 25 diverse backstage managers – from convenor to enforcer, from provider to adjudicator and from instigator to dialoguer – because each street protest or a long drawn campaign focuses on doing one thing: Winning!

Backed by two decades of campaigning experience, Chris Rose presents a brilliant how-to guide on designing campaigns and winning them. How to win campaigns offers carefully considered steps and tools to motivate and sustain a campaign. The book, Rose admits, is not science, but rather a collection of experiences based on trial and error, that may help campaigners choose them under varied contexts and diverse situations.

Given the fact that campaigning has become a full time vocation, the challenge to find creative and practical ways to engage with public to challenge vested interests that threaten a fairer and safer world has become daunting. From writing catchy slogans to designing informative diagrams and from drafting a press note to deciding on whether or not to opt for a celebrity, Rose delves in detail on the nuts and bolts of getting heard and achieving results.

There is a word of caution though! One can’t read this 400-page guide to launch a campaign; it can be helpful if one is already into a campaign mode or better still a handy guide to train next generation of campaigners. Buy the book if you are passionate about changing something for the better.

How to Win Campaigns
by Chris Rose
Earthscan, London
400 pages, $40

 Other books reviewed by Dr Sudhirendar Sharma
Features > Book Shelf
Spoiling Tibet
Posting Date: 28 Feb 2014

A Journey in the Future of Water
Posting Date: 28 Feb 2014

Yamuna Manifesto
Posting Date: 28 Feb 2014

Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

Lead View
People, Partition and the Pain
By Rina Mukherji
15 Aug 2013

Dr Jayanti Basu's book analyzes the complex feelings of hatred and longing for the homeland that have contributed to shaping the personalities of a generation of people who were forced to ..
Book Shelf

Yamuna Manifesto

A Journey in the Future of Water

Spoiling Tibet

On Western Terrorism
Devinder Sharma
Carmen Miranda
Pandurang Hegde
Sudhirendar Sharma
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