Why had Indian politics become a mess? That’s a good question. We can have a long and heated discussion on this topic where I’ll shout out my indignation like that famous news presenter and you all shout your views like the multiple minor personalities that form the critic panel on such shows. In the end no one will be the wiser and we’ll go back to updating our Facebook status. But that happens everyday in India and nothing has changed so maybe it’s not that effective. Let me instead just tell you what I think is going on and you try to read it without much bias. So, here are the 8 reasons that I think are responsible for the abysmal state of Indian politics.
8. All in the Family:
We live in a democratic country where anyone has the freedom to get into politics and try to carry out his own version of justice. But like bollywood and business, politics too has become a family affair. We have political dynasties struggling to hold on to the power that their forefathers stole. Heirs are being raised and groomed to one day lead India. Is it good or bad? I don’t know. But I do know that some fresh young blood is needed in Indian politics.
7. Corporate Houses:
These dynastic political families are not just into politics anymore. They’ve also become corporate houses in a very real sense. All politicians own multiple businesses that are controlled by their family members and cousins and nephews twice removed. What is happening is an accumulation of power and money in the hands of a few select biological families. It seems more like medieval feudal system than democracy to me.
And when these rich and powerful families have all the money and power they have nothing to fear. So they go about using their power to grow richer and their money to buy more power. The corruption level in India has a hierarchy. Your status is dependent on how much bribe someone is willing to give to you. Traffic policemen will take even 50 rupees while the bigger fish only deal in thousand crores of rupees.
5. The Lesser of Two Evils:
While all this is going on the public has no option but to choose between the lesser of two evils. We choose Congress for one term and then hope that BJP will do better the next time. Now we can’t even choose a single party to govern us and it has to be coalitions. UPA or NDA; either one will always be in power. The lack of choice means that the public is basically powerless.
The politicians know this fact and have become complacent. They know that if they don’t win this election, they’ll just have to wait for a few years and make a lot of noise when the current government’s scams come to light and that will be enough to ensure their turn at the iron throne the next time. This game of throne is a two horse race and both horses don’t want to run. They know one of them will win each time no matter how slow they run.
3. Where is My Political Ombudsman?
There’s no one to check this unparalleled level of corruption. We wanted the jan lokpal bill but now I think we’ll be better off even with a dummy lokpal. Anything, anyone to keep a check on the power of the politicians. But the thing is that once someone has absolute power and once they’ve been corrupted absolutely, it’s not easy to get them to give someone else power over themselves. How will a lokpal ever be formed? I have no idea.
2. Manipulative Media:
The big player in manipulating the public is the media. They are not in the news “business” to spread news but to do business. They will shout and cry and make angry faces, claiming to be the voice of India about one topic and then totally forget about it once they’ve been paid off by the politicians. Public attention span is very small in India and the media knows how to distract us. When it sees fit it will make us gather in millions and protest on the streets and then it will move on to the next hottest story of the day.
1. Sleepy Public:
And finally the last piece of the puzzle is you and me. We the people of India are sleeping. They said the public had awakened finally during the Anna Hazare drama but what happened to that? We then awakened a year later to protest the Delhi gang rape but I still see tens of rapes being reported everyday. We wake up from time to time when the media wants us to wake up but then we go back to sleep and dream about Bollywood, saas bahu serials, cricket, Facebook, smart phones and food.