Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Indian Politics - Will we ever change?

Do any of our political parties stand for anything at all? Apart from trying their best to get to the PM's post - by hook or crook, of course?

Just as I was ranting about the fact that BJP is not even considering replacing Varun Gandhi as a candidate, I just came across this article about how Sikh groups 'have expressed displeasure over Congress' decision to nominate Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar for the Lok Sabha
elections from Delhi, alleging that they were yet to get a clean chit in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case'.

It is amazing to see the audacity with which our political parties select candidates.. Why? Why are they so unconcerned? Why are they so confidently fielding candidates who have offended/capability of offending so many sections of people? And this is just 2 examples.. I am sure that if we dig in, we will find lots more of these kinds of candidates.. Is it because they are 'that' sure of victory or is it because they want to appeal to the most extreme sections of the society?

I remember, in 2005 how David Blunkett, then a minister in the British Govt was forced to resign due to corruption charges against him. We found the charges against him so tame, we were sure that if he were in India - these small bits of corruption would not even have been noticed! It was huge case and the media had hounded him a lot. Finally, he was made to resign. I remember wondering, if would we see this happening in India? Corruption, criminal charges, hate speeches , religious inciting, caste based divisions- these have become the norm in India - I guess, I should say, a 'mandatory' requirement for a politician! When and how will all this change - or will it ever change?

Amid all this, one piece of good news is that Mallika Sarabhai is contesting as an Independent from Gandhinagar! This totally made my day. The fact that she has decided to contest as an independant, makes it all the more special and my respect for her has increased tremendously. Surely, any party would be delighted to have her, and that might have made it all the more easy for her to win - but she has taken the high road. She is in it, 'to win' , but is also making an important point about how each and every party in India today is not in politics for 'public service' but for 'self service'!

I certainly hope she wins and that seeing her - many more capable people enter Indian politics.. With campaing like Jaago Re - This time, hopefully the youth will awaken, the middle class will go out to vote and slowly but surely, the rot in the system will get rooted out!

17 comments:

Pixie said...

oh yes... the whole thing is quite unbelievable actually!
Also, Prakash Jha - the director is also contesting elections it seems... i'm not too sure how good or bad that is....

Smitha said...

Yes Pixie- It is totally unbelievable! How I wish there was some party one could vote for - without reservations!

Ordinary Guy said...

:(... there are so many film stars in the fray now... some contesting and some just campaigning....

When will our public wake up and vote for the correct people and yes, Smitha..i am also waiting to the day, when we will not have rowdies and criminals governing us....

Smitha said...

@Ajit - Yes, it is a horrible horrible mess isn't it - our politics!

As for moviestars - it has become an alternate career for them.. A very convenient one as well.. Another easy way to make more money?

Vinod_Sharma said...

Smitha, corruption is a badge of honour here, flaunted among friends with great pride! Is it any wonder that Indians (politicians mostly, I am sure) have $1.4 trillion in Swiss banks? That's more than India's GDP! The next country, I forget which, perhaps Russia, is way behind with $ 400 billion.

Solilo said...

Smi, Your post is so positive. It is sad that we are cornered in a way that we don't know whom to vote or what to do. Because we have no options. If we vote for independents then we are blamed that we aren't making any single party win and coalitions are tough on us which is true but then how to vote for parties when they field the likes of Sanjay Dutts and Azharuddin?

Youth awakening is good but hope it doesn't awake like Varun Gandhi. Instead of trying to fit into this murky politics, youth should stand out. May be in future.

Indian Home Maker said...

I agree Smitha, audacity is exactly what it is. And it isn't as if there are no good guys around, people like Malika Sarabhi should be encouraged to join and all those who have any involvement in any crimes should be not.
Can't keep reminding ourselves enough that this is outrageous... you are right we have become so used to it.

manju said...

"This time, hopefully the youth will awaken, the middle class will go out to vote and slowly but surely, the rot in the system will get rooted out!"

Smitha- May your words come true!

Indyeah said...

This is so uncanny!I have draft on the Tytler Sajjan link lying with me..

and we have to keep bringing such incidents to everyone's notice

''This time, hopefully the youth will awaken, the middle class will go out to vote and slowly but surely, the rot in the system will get rooted out!''


Amen Smitha!:)

kanaguonline said...

corruption will never go out of Indian politics... our parties loves to keep this country as it is and never wants it to change as it is danger for them.

I liked her decision of going as an Independent for elections.. it all up to the people of Gandhinagar to vote for her and bring hope to all of us :)

vimmuuu said...

Here in India, we can get away with anything! Murderers, Terrorists, Harassers,etc enter politics and govern us. A majority of us remain silent with our own work and dont get involved in all this, which according to me is the major setback for our country. We have let these goons take control and that happened over a period of time.

Smitha said...

@Vinod, As you rightly say, corruption has definitely become a 'badge of honour'.. It is not surprising at all that Indians have $1.4 trillion(wow!) in Swiss Banks - and apparently our Govt is not even trying to find out who these Indians are..
I remember reading about a survey which revealed how minute a percentage of the money that is sanctioned for a project actually goes into it - I don't remember the exact figure - but the bulk of the money goes in greasing palms..


@Solilo, I do believe that things will change, albeit slowly... I just heard on the news today that the CBI feels that Sanjay Dutt contesting elections will set a bad precedent.. Lets see what comes out of it.. Its not just about Sanjay Dutt - he just personifies the rot in our political class..

About voting for independants, I agree with you that voting for independants may not help - but if you look at it this way - if a lot of people who never voted, came out and voted - even if they did vote for an independant - at the very least - their stand would be noticed - and may be likeminded independants could actually form a party.. I know, its a slow process, but has to start somewhere...
As for youth, I guess, I really mean people who want better for the country - does not necessarily mean youth. As for Varun Gandhi - well, I think he is just after cheap publicity.. Lets hope he is barred from standing for public office forever.

Smitha said...

@IHM, It is the audacity that really surprises me.. I think our political parties have the feeling that the so-called 'real India' is not bothered by these criminals.. I think education and awareness across India is the only way, this can stop..

@Manju, I am certainly hoping that things change for the better..

@Indyeah, Blog telepathy :) I had been thinking of writing abt Varun Gandhi - but you did such an exhaustive post - did not see a point in it..
I do find it funny though that none of the TV channels seem to be talking about the Tytler/Sajjan nomination...

Smitha said...

@Kanagu - 'our parties loves to keep this country as it is and never wants it to change as it is danger for them.' Totally agree -It is sad isn't it.. that they want to keep India back, in every way possible...

@Vimmuuu -'A majority of us remain silent with our own work and dont get involved in all this, which according to me is the major setback for our country'. So true...I think if we want to we can talk back control.. That silent majority really needs to go out and make their presence felt...

hitch writer said...

geee where ever i go elections.. the elections are firmly on blogosphere.. arent they ??

i try to run from all this and yet find myself in the midst of it..

no comments on the above... im exhausted... but i will vote !

Happy Kitten said...

Indian Politics needs to change...

do take a look at this article..

http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/dec/17mumterror-death-of-a-salesman-and-other-elite-ironies.htm

Though it is an old one, our view on politics needs to change.We need more good people to come out and contest and also cast their votes...

Smitha said...

@Happy Kitten - This article is so relevant.. This line sums it up so beautifully..

'It is time each one of us understood that at the heart of every society is its politics. If the politics is third-rate, the condition of the society will be no better. '

For too long, I think a lot of us have been too removed from politics.. Unless that changes - things will continue the way it has been going.. I heard yesterdat that Meera Sanyal, Country Head, ABN Amro Bank, is contesting as an Independant from Mumbai South..

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200903202188.htm

Makes me very hopeful...