Leaders must ensure constant engagement with people

Globalisation and multi-country economic clusters have brought a radical change in socio-political and economic scenarios worldwide.

They have impacted common people's lives in an unprecedented manner. But people seem to be confused and remain ignorant about the complex rhetoric of globalisation terminology, such as foreign investment inflow, trade surplus and borderless global village.

Of late, people have changed from responding to survival instincts to the mantra, "seeing is believing". Short-term results hit them more than long-term dreams.

However, political leaders are still obsessed with debates in Parliaments and party summits. They remain in their self-created paradise of globalised ideas and remain traditional, missing the fact that the people's psyches have changed.

This has created a palpable disconnect between political leaders and ordinary people ("UK crisis shows leaders' 'disconnect with people'"; June 29).

This is true across much of the democratic world.

We have not encountered a "Singapore Spring", or any abrupt change in the political landscape here.

Our political leaders keep in close touch with the common masses and keep people engaged in regular meets and community activities.

But, there is room for improvement.

More engagement sessions with the public could be held where people can speak openly on hot issues such as job losses, housing, retirement funds and social safety nets.

The issues are quite complex and the people have to be apprised of the pros and cons of globalisation and an open economy, and the ramifications should be explained patiently and lucidly in layman's terms.

Concerted efforts to seriously engage the people, listen to their woes and try to address them, or explain difficult but necessary policies, must constantly be carried out.

Atanu Roy