Indian Political Drama - A 'Sell' out

Friday, July 25, 2008

What started as a confidence motion by the Government took a bitter turn and turned out to be the saddest day in Indian parliamentary history. Wads of notes were shown by MPs who claimed to have been offered obscene amounts to abstain from voting against the Government. Loksabha TV made merry with a surge in its viewership and we, as audiences, were left spewing venom against the sorry state of affairs in our coffee-room discussions. Come to think of it, the news channels on air ran a footer for two days with speculative numbers on who was going to side with whom in the voting. This was worse than the "Prince in the tubewell" episode a couple of years back.

What happened was not a reflection of moral and ethical degradation we are undergoing. It has been prevalent since time immemorial. It forms a part of our DNA. 60 years of independence is not all that big span of time to understand the real price tag of democracy and governance. Till that time comes, my dear friends, make your bids and buy it at an affordable price. It sold for Rs. 1 crore in 1993 when cash changed hands to save a minority Government and it sells for a rumored Rs. 25 crore in 2008. Blame it on inflation and the booming Indian economy!

"Har shaakh pe Ullu baitha hai Anzame Gulistan kya hoga"....I am not sure if this is the lowest that we have stooped to or we are in some abyss where nothing seems low enough. Is it just the leaders who are to blame? They are a reflection of the billion strong population they represent. They were chosen. They are us! As a nation of people having characters running only skin deep, we don't have a reason to make any hue and cry over this issue. Nothing unexpected has happened and displaying shock and disillusionment is fooling ourselves because somewhere we all are party to this muck.

We never try to perceive the motives behind the acts - our deconstruction ability is very poor. We take things on the face value. That is why we fall for the politics of appeasement and forget things easily. The Nuclear deal lost all relevance in the whole bribing hoopla. What stayed on were the images of defecting MPs, bundles of currency notes on display in the Parliament, allegations, counter allegations and the sad demise of parliamentary democracy.

I remember the school books taught me that Indian democracy is based on three strong pillars of legislature, judiciary and the executive. Legislatures are a breeding ground for anarchy and corruption today. The bureaucracy has been reduced to a showpiece tool playing in the hands of politicians. Blame it on the subservient mindset that we have inherited since the days of the Raj. Judiciary is handicapped and toothless. I will cite you an example - The JMM case. The bribery case saw ex-Prime Minister P V Narsimharao being convicted by a trial court only to be exonerated later. In 1998, a five-member Consitutuion Bench of the Supreme court, in a split decision, upheld the immunity enjoyed by MPs from legal proceedings for their speeches or vote in Parliament. The majority decision, delivered in response to a petition filed by some of the accused in the JMM bribery case, meant that all those who cast their votes in the Lok Sabha, including the bribe-takers in the JMM case, enjoyed the protection of Article 105 [Reference] These 'high-esteemed' public servants have never looked back ever since then. Sting operations have caught several of them accepting money but go and check out the status of these cases. There is not even a single conviction.

Keeping everything under the wraps and burying our heads in the sand is never going to be the answer. Let us have the guts to question ourselves and confess candidly. There is definitely something amiss in the values that we have inculcated that is causing us to become morally bankrupt. There is one silver lining that I can see though. We, as a nation are still young. Despite having a history of being led and subjugated we sure can show the resilience and the will to change. Willingness to accept and mould ourselves for the better - that is what youth is all about. Nothing is going to change overnight. Nothing will change in a generation either. But the transition needs to be made. Setting in the right direction could be a life fulfiling moment. Something that the 25 crore rupees on offer in the House of Parliament cannot ever guarantee.

"Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action–
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake."

An Outdated Poetry or a Dream that lives on? Take your call!

(Inputs from Ajay and Aditya)


Krishna said...

Well said...we all were glued to TV and were just feeling sorry at this awful state of our nation...There were so many MPs who were just opposing a party, not being concerned about the idea (Nuclear deal) at all.
One of the MPs said that this deal is not good for india and thus it is not good for muslims of India!!!
I dunno why the heck Muslim suddenly appears in his speech.

No Mad Explorer.... said...

I agree to what Anurag has have put it convincingly and effectively....

Harisha said...

All said and done do anybody have any idea of what next?

What this young people doing?
One writes a blog, one discusses it with friends, one forwards some articles to highlight this to all all of us still dont want to get our hands dirty with politics. Our comforts are too costly too loose out on..

I will come back if I get my thoughts together on the way forward, after all what is the point cribbing on our own undoing?


Sensible Garbage said...

@krishna: Nobody knows what the N-deal is all about. If calling it anti muslim helps someone strengthen her vote bank, let her have her way :)

@no mad explorer: Thank you..there were others' inputs involved as well.

@Harisha: Thanks for putting forth ur views. But there is one thing that I must stress on. When I comment negatively on the Indian political scenario or our value system, I am not really obliged to go and reform it. I pay my taxes and abide by the law (reluctantly and by force at times) and that's my contribution - small or big. Again, my problem is not with the politicians or politics in India. These politicians reflect our society. Nothing will change even if we wade through the 'dirty political waters' and get involved with it because the truth is - we are all the same! There is a need to change our value system and for that you need not be a political affliate. Change yourself and the world will change!

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