In a fast progressing world, to keep up with the rest of the countries, India needs better politicians. While it would be a wrong thing to say that India doesn’t have good and able politicians at all, it would be equally wrong to claim that we have enough of them.
We need many changes in our politics and politicians and one of the first and immediate changes that we want to see in our politicians is to alter the way political criticism is done. We want to see criticism based on facts and logic and not to defame each other or throw wild allegations.
Here are 11 more changes that we, as progressive Indians, want to see in our politicians.
1. Be more secular and adopt fewer appeasement tactics.
We need our politicians to stay completely away from religions for the motive of getting votes and refrain from mixing religions with politics, as in a hugely diverse country like India, this is a very risky combination and can anytime lead to riots. We have already seen this happening in the past and are happening still. There should not be any appeasement, either minority or majority.
2. Minimum educational qualification.
There should be a minimum educational qualification for people to get into politics. In a fast moving world like today, we cannot afford to just have anyone, even with no education, to get into politics and make policies for the people. Education, at a cursory look, might seem like a mere ability to write and read, but psychologically it makes a lot of difference and improves empathy and empathy should be one of the first things politicians should have.
3. Humility and being able to apologize.
How many times do we see our politicians make an apology? Not enough time than they should. There is an abject lack of humility in our politicians and most of the time that they apologize, it is because they are being hunted down by the media and they have started to fear a political consequence in the upcoming elections. We want our politicians to be more ready to apologize for faults.
4. Less provocative speeches.
According to the constitution, hate speeches and inflammatory speeches in election campaign should be avoided, but we see our politicians make such risqué statements all the time, sometimes even attacking people of different faiths and incite communal tensions. We need our politicians to be more development focused rather than everything else they spend their time on.
5. More statesmen like attitude and less being mere politicians.
We need statesmen, not politicians. According to James Freeman Clarke, a politician thinks of the next election while a statesman thinks of the next generation. The sad part is, we have too many politicians and not enough statesmen. It won’t be wrong to say that the mentality of people to see fast changes, though how much temporary they are, determines their choice of the vote and this exactly the politicians try to exploit by giving freebies which have no long-term benefit.
6. Make rational promises and actually deliver them.
There is no other time than during the elections that we see our politicians becoming the best liars in the world and make promises that simply cannot be fulfilled. We hear all kinds of promises that are not backed up with a strategy. They tell us what will be done but cannot tell us how they will be done. They tell us how much employment will be generated but not how they will be generated, and in the end fool us all. We need them to make plausible promises and actually deliver those promises.
7. Work as a team rather than opponents for the country.
Our politicians should work as a team for the sole purpose of developing our country despite their differences because, in the end, everyone belongs to India. But our politicians are so obsessed with disagreeing and attacking each other that they even go to the extent of making statements outside the country that ultimately hampers the nation along with the politicians that they are attacking.
8. Focus on real issues instead of nonsense.
We need our politicians to focus on real issues rather than do hate-mongering and at times giving statements that contradict the need of the hour. For instance, we have heard a couple of our politicians advocating the birth of more children in a particular faith so as to counter the rise of the population of another faith, when India as a country is getting out of resources because we have a huge population problem. And this isn’t the only case where we have seen our politicians losing track of what is the real problem of the country.
9. Admit the goods done by rival political parties.
Our politicians love to discredit the works of each other so much that they would just oppose anything their opponents would do out of political vendetta. The entire issue of ‘Triple Talaq’ was one such issue when every political party should be together and hail the BJP government for the initiative. Similarly, instead of blaming Congress for everything, BJP should accept the fact that if India is an economic superpower today, a leader in space exploration and have institutes like NIITs, much credit should be given to the Congress.
10. Leave independent bodies independent for the greater good.
For the greater good of the country, the independent bodies like CBI should not be fiddled with by our politicians for their political advantage. Politicians can and have influenced the independent bodies and if the privileges of the elected representatives are misused by our politicians, it will only weaken our democracy and the very authenticity of the constitution.
11. Transparent political funding.
We need our politicians to be more transparent about their dealings. For now, people in India have no clue from where the political parties are getting most of their donations. It is revealed that almost 70% of political funds come from unknown sources, and unless there is transparency, progressive electoral reforms cannot be expected and political parties, whichever comes to power, would first like to benefit those ‘unknown’ donors and this is a very dangerous thing for the country as a whole.