This profile was prepared when C.V. Madhukar was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
CV Madhukar believes that laws which are written with the benefit of input from the public are likely to be more robust and easier to implement. Madhukar has created a unique service that produces high-quality, easy to-understand analysis on upcoming legislation in Parliament, and disseminates it to a range of stakeholders, including lawmakers. Madhukar’s work is thoroughly objective and non-partisan. He realized that unless members of parliament have access to concise information on the entire range of legislative proposals, they will find it difficult to vote meaningfully. By equipping the people with the same information, he empowers the public to demand that lawmakers are well-informed and accountable for their choices. Simply voting the party line without needing to explain why—and nobody asking why—could become a thing of the past. Madhukar has not only generated public demand for transparency in lawmaking, but has created demand among MPs too. They see the career benefits of mastering issues and taking an informed stance on legislative issues within their political parties. Also, when local constituents meet the MP, the MP would like to be able to meaningfully respond. Indian voters are gradually demanding more accountability from their representatives. Thus, there is strong demand from all sides for Madhukar’s idea to spread and replicate. He wants his organization to become the “port of first call” for information on all legislative issues in the country. His ultimate vision is for information, analysis, and external participation systems to become mainstreamed into the Indian legislative system.