Friday, August 08, 2008

How To Reform Politics In India: Bottom Up Approach Is the Only Solution..

There are sometimes in your life when you just want to throw out something like you throw out garbage from your home. You get a broom or a vacuum cleaner and then check every corner of your home and courtyard, make that stinky garbage come out from those difficult corners and floor then collect that garbage, throw it in dumpster and forget about it. I want to do a similar thing with all these corrupt and traitor politicians, officers and citizens of India, as these types of people are not more than garbage for me or for any law abiding patriotic Indian. I want to bundle all corrupts and traitors in some big bag and throw them in Indian Ocean. But like you clean your home every day from garbage, cleaning corruption will also be a similar process. Like a good housewife you have to clean your home daily otherwise that garbage would try to make its presence permanent. But for doing that you need a strong hand which can take the pain of cleaning it everyday so that all other members of the family can enjoy a pleasant stay in home.

Just think of yourself as that good housewife and all honest Indians as your family members and all these corrupt thugs as the garbage and you will know what I am talking about. My frustrations are not over yet. Deep down inside its hurting my pride as an Indian when I see so many corrupts from all political parties of India making an open loot of honest tax payers money. All these jobless politicians enjoy VIP security, plush bungalows in all prime properties in all states, uninterrupted power supplies, good schools for their kids and clean mineral water bottles to drink and leave common citizens like us to fight for each and everything in our life. These politicians survive on our money like parasite with no accountability towards common citizen. When inflation is reaching some 15 years high and prices of basic survival things like food is increasing every day these corrupt thugs are busy in paying each other crores of rupees in bribes. These politicians don't care about what you and me go through as an ordinary citizen, because they have rarely lived that ordinary life and those who in past lived like that have become immune to your and my problems as they have forgotten from where they have come from.

Politicians are a special breed of humans. There is a sentence which I read long while back regarding politicians. It says " A politician is a person who promises to build a bridge even if there is no river there." This definition fits any politician anywhere in the world most of the times. People may say that if you are pretending to know this much about politics then why don't you join the game and then criticize. Well good question and I guess I have a good answer. I was born into a lower middle class family, where much emphasis was given on getting good education and become something good professionally so that you can earn livelihood. I guess I chose a safe but wrong profession in engineering. I should have gone for IAS and I know that would have all my well wishers really happy. Why IAS? Because being an IAS/IPS gives you the exposure to the big political bosses in short time and from there you can affect life of so many common people positively and get their affection and respect. After that it becomes easy to get a Loksabha ticket from a party and fight elections. Being IAS/IPS makes you uncommon and gives lots of scope for nurturing your constituency. If I start by getting membership of any political party then I may remain just a member throughout my life that is just going to shout slogans when some big guy wants me to. Financial condition is not that strong where I can just go on and do something of my own. I know all what I said is going to be counted like excuses but still this is the case from my side. So I decided to get myself attached to the things which I can do by just being ordinary like donating for a worthy cause, making people aware of the real situation and things like that. As of now this is the only thing in my hand. I don't know the future but I am eagerly waiting for it. I would like to open a school, a hospital and an old age home for poor when I have enough money to do so. Anyways I guess its enough about me.

Well politics which was meant to serve the common mass has become a tool of exploiting the same. There is so much our elected representative can do for us by just doing their job properly but still they don't do it. the only thing on which they all agree inside parliament is when some bill comes up for raising the perks and benefits for themselves like how many free phone calls they will be allowed to make, how many train and plane ticket reservation they can have for free and stuff like that. Only communists oppose it for the sake of opposing it as they know that this bill is going to pass and I guess its one of their guilty pleasures since they like opposing thing. There have been so many cases of serious crimes against so many of our sitting MPs and MLAs. If anyone of us sees their behavior inside parliament house than head just wants to get buried in mud for thoughts that we elected these types of rouge elements to rule us who doesn't even know how to talk properly. Corruption runs deep in their vain as if they have some divine birth right to loot common public funds. These guys haven't even spared fodder for cattle, boots for soldier and policemen, wheat for poor in India from their list of scams. I sometimes wonder how these guys can have so much time for systematically looting so many public funds but no time to work of their poor constituencies. They come like some migratory bird once in a five year in your constituency for not to be seen again for another five years if government completes its term. Well I guess you know it all very well.

But why these politicians in whom the common people, who vote, put so much trust just betray their cause without even feeling guilty of their actions? How politicians skin becomes so thick that they can't feel the pain of the common masses? Why they just become disconnected with reality on ground? And how shameless these people are that even after doing nothing for 5 years they again come and stand in front of your door? well that's why they are special species and that's why we should control the quality of people who are going to govern us as politicians. When an IAS/IPS officer works so hard to get his job than why shouldn't we have some criteria for those who are going to give orders to these officers? Its not like that an IAS/IPS officer doesn't do any corruption but still they have some morality left in them. Having high education is no guarantee that a person wont indulge in corrupt and immoral activities but atleast that education makes a person aware about what is wrong and what is right.

An educated politician wont sign off some paper without reading and having understood all pros and cons. He don't have to rely on other people to make him understand the real situation. So what would be that level of education desired in a politician at any level of governance? My heart goes for a graduate but I know many people who are going to govern a village in Panchayat don't have luxury of attending the college. That's why we should have separate level of education at different level of governance. For Panchayats it can be matriculation or 10th pass as minimum. For Nagarpalika's in semi urban areas it should be high school or 12th pass as minimum. For urban area municipalities, state legislative assemblies and parliament it should be graduation as minimum education criteria. Well having that minimum education is first step than those who are getting elected should go to morality classes once in a year for rest of their five years as people's representative. These morality or people governance classes should be held by institutions of repute such as IIMs or other major business schools. The curriculum of these morality classes should include one lecture on religious aspects regarding corruption from every religion present in India. It can be collection of selective quotes from Bhagwat Geeta or other Ved and Upnishads, Quran, Bible, Buddhist and Jain literature, Guru Granth Sahib and Zend-Avesta. This class will make our politician aware about commonality in all religions against corruption in public life.

Another addition to this process would be we should be having an exam on the pattern of IAS for people who are interested in joining politics. Those who pass out from this exam should be absorbed by political parties in India. There should be a percentage of these pass outs in every party based on their primary membership. Some of you may laugh at me but see when MBAs and engineers from top colleges are so sought after in corporate class than why those who make policies for all of us shouldn't have any body of higher caliber. When an MBA or engineer is given so many responsibilities in corporate world than why our political parties don't have the same competent fresh blood every year. This will also solve the problem of youths not joining politics. These political parties can go on and take interviews of these candidates like any other company do on campus interview. The seats should be very limited so that they remain high in demand.

Another thing we can do is to make laws related to corruption crimes for anyone should be harsh so that anyone who is indulging in these activities would know that he or she is going to get a quick and severe punishment for what they are doing now. There should be separate courts for prosecution of corruption related crimes until we see reduction in these crimes. Common people should be encouraged to file complains against any government servant working in RTOs, passport offices, PWDs, SEBs, railway reservations and other departments like that.

I don't know if this will be a guarantee against all corruption that we face in our daily life but still when rulers are good than the workers or government servants working under them will also become somewhat well. All the above measures will take care of the Government related people to an extent but what about common people like us? We the common mass of India is also responsible in the same way. That's why when we cry for our rights, we should be ready to perform our duties for the nation. The least we can do is to go and vote on the voting day as per our choice. Whom you vote is not what I am looking for but you should stand up and be counted when the nation demands it from you. And that's what I meant by bottom up approach. We the common citizens are at bottom of governance pyramid but its us for whom the government is there. Government is there to serve us and not to rule us like kings. Government is there to make our life easy and not to complicate. This is an era of customer service, when you don't get that proper customer service from any of your service provider than you register your protest and think of changing the service provider. Something similar to this is needed when you get a dumb government. We have to make our fellow citizens aware about importance of their votes. Vote is the only thing you have to register your protest in democracy. Use it to change your service provider if you are not happy with them. Arise and awake Indians..

Vande Mataram

Jai Hind

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