Everything seems to be done for the wrong reason or political expediency, and not national good! Our politics has the ruling party and the Opposition shouting ‘your scam is bigger than mine’, and trying to justify, soft pedal or cover up wrongs being done or done. Sixty- six years after Independence, with one of the best Constitutions in the world, we find that caste reservations and patriarchal systems are stronger than ever. Health and literacy figures are unsatisfactory, especially in rural areas and GDP figures hide skewed development parameters, where male-female ratio, the gap between poor and rich is huge, and widening. The government at the Centre is indecisive and too weak with coalition dharma, and massive scams keep happening at regular intervals. The two Institutions that people still respected, the Armed Forces and the Judiciary are now joining the mainstream in suspected scams. There is open trust deficit between the men in uniform and the bureaucracy.
People on death row are languishing due political compulsions, and it is a mockery of justice when VIPs sent to jail are permitted to have all their comforts and even jail accommodation maybe altered to their specifications. We cannot sit by and watch those fighting corruption being harassed or eliminated. It is a good sign that more people are getting enlightened due to technology and a vibrant media. Scams are being exposed and the untouchable, powerful and rich people are being brought to book. Although we resolved a policy, agreed to by all the States, that there would be no negotiations with terrorists, recently the Maoists kidnapped an MLA, foreigner and a bureaucrat, and blackmailed the government of Odisha into negotiations.
President Kalam was elected by consensus, mainly because he was a Muslim. We got lacklustre Pratibha Patil because she was a woman. Ex-speaker P A Sangma has thrown his hat in the ring as a tribal, and to get Congress votes, apologized for objecting to Sonia’s foreign origin. Mamata Banerjee ‘didi’ backs speaker Meira Kumar because she is soft spoken! The last question, if ever debated, is whether the incumbent is fit and qualified to be the President of India as envisaged in our Constitution. The bargaining and blackmailing by various parties are what will eventually get us the next President. Administered fuel prices mechanism was dismantled long back, but politics did not permit fuel price increases when required. Oil companies were bleeding, but the parasitic government let them bleed and now we have a sudden hike of Rs7.50 and sinking value of the rupee together with high prices of essential commodities!
Herald has regularly obtained and published details of the expenditure our politicians and babus on their foreign and local jaunts; also, the enormous amounts spent from the exchequer on vehicles, fuel, telephone bills and other official perks (not to mention the non official perks and gifts/kick backs). Immunity and privileges have been legislated cutting across party lines and shamelessly hiking their own salaries and perks. They all crave VIP status with police protection. The result is that the common man is left defenseless on the streets to fend for himself. It has been reported in a section of the media that President Pratibha Patil incurred tremendous expenditure on foreign tours and local jaunts; Speaker Meira Kumar made 29 foreign trips in 35 months costing the nation almost 10 crores, Austerity is not for the government or the employees of the oil companies! Now other States are forced to emulate Goa and reduce VAT on petrol!
The Raja Sabha was supposed to be the House of Elders with people of outstanding achievements to help them in their task, and not have ornamental people, to reward them (for which the country has many other awards) or thus bring glamour/ prestige to this august House! Sachin Tendulkar Rajya Sabha MP says he will not give up cricket for politics. Here too, norms laid down are not followed permitting money bags and MPs with pending criminal cases to infiltrate. Parties will give tickets to “winnable” candidates i.e. anyone who can win by hook or by crook.
‘Didi’ in Bengal is not averse to have police arrest and throw into jail someone who forwards a harmless cartoon about her, and have CBI go after the internet too! Some people can get together to banish an author who dares write something on Aurobindo they do not agree with! The Congress analyzing why they lost the elections in Goa has come to the conclusion that it was only due to corruption and mining scams. There is ‘politricks’ in every decision, so sycophancy and nepotism and the main reason of arrogance and taking the people for granted does not feature! With such dangerous trends and human nature, ironically, religion seems to have become important for people today, where rituals are commercially grand affairs whilst hypocrisy reigns supreme.