Thursday, October 20, 2011

Credibility of Indian Politicians

What Platform will Indian Politicians Fight on in 2014? What rhetoric will they be able to spew out with conviction? 

The 1993 synchronised bombs in Mumbai left Indians in shock. The feelings uppermost in Indian minds were disbelief that anyone could hate us so much, and fear.  
Indian flag by gsagri04, open clipart
The attacks from gun totting Pakistanis in '98 left us reeling with the same feelings. But added to that was pride in the way Indians helped fellow human beings plus an awareness that our enemies wanted India to descend into chaos and a determination not to let that happen. Indian communities came together in a show of unity and strength. There was also a slow burning anger at the Indian government for taking so long to send help.

When the Zaveri Bazaar bombs went off in July this year, Indian anger at the government reached boiling point. Some government official tried to get a photo op. out of the whole hopeless mess - going to the scene of the bomb and giving a speech, calling Indians brave and suggesting the Indian spirit will survive. That was the final straw. Indian anger boiled over. They said "never mind our spirit, what are the government's plans for our safety?" and more words to that effect. here's one link out of millions - Bombed, Doomed and Living On 

Indians are aware that the first instinctive thought of any politician is to kill the opposition. Indians can live with that. They know leaders of major parties try and ensure that party line are followed. But safety is beyond petty party politics. Indians are angry that their safety and security isn't of paramount importance to our politicians. Political parties in any mature and responsible democracy throughout the world understand it is non-negotiable. This is possible in India too, according to 

The next elections are three years away. Can we afford to wait that long to ensure the safety and security of our country is on our politician radar screens? Indians need to see the two major Indian political parties hammer out differences on this vital issue now. Or, the Indian public is willing to look for someone who will - perhaps an independent. 

The other big issue is, of course, corruption. We've come to know how Indian MPs have been looting the Indian treasury. In states ruled by both major parties the degree of corruption is mind boggling. It involves lakhs of crores of rupees where 1 lakh crore is 

Sabsey bada Rupaia - Indian rupees by beshra, free clipart

Rs 1,000,000,000,000.
(At the current rate, that is 20,393,596,410 USD) 

And they get away because our anti-corruption agencies are hopelessly under-staffed, under-funded and not independent of the government. Files investigating MPs land on the desks of staff working under those very MPs. Who would investigate their boss? And there's more as explained by "India Against Corruption" or

The outrage and scorn for our MPs has boiled over. And the irony is that both major parties have declared in almost all their previous party manifestos they will fight ... you guessed it, corruption.

Here are a couple of links to Congress’s "common minimum programme" of 2004.  straight from the PM’s office or from the BBC
A few points covered in the common minimum programme are, no privatisation, abolition of POTA (Prevention of Terrorism) that made the minorities feel threatened, uplifting the poor, education, economic reform and growth, women’s rights and corruption.

The BJP’s agenda in 2009 included life and job security to all citizens, prevent corruption and achieve speedy development.
Is life any safer in 2011? Has poverty been eradicated? What about the quality of the air Indians breathe, the soil we grow our crops in or the level of pollution in our waters - factors that directly impact our health and our doctors' bills? Our factories to a large extent, know they can easily bribe our politicians to let them continue breaking environment laws instead of ensuring what they spew out or empty out into our rivers and soil as by-products of their cash-making ventures, don't harm the environment. What about electricity grids for our villages? Or pucca roads in India. Are India’s poor any better off, women safer or terrorists less able to execute their anti-human plans in our country? Would the BJP guarantee the safety, security and independence of minorities and women? Would they re-introduce POTA?  Most important of all, are any of our politicians less corrupt or did both parties mean to be the exceptions to their corruption platforms? 

Indians blame most of these issues on weak anti-corruption laws that govern our politicians. Funds for any project are siphoned off by individuals, thereby compromising the said projects. Indians are harassed for bribes at every step. There is determination that a strong anti-corruption bill will be passed to curb the ability of politicians to loot Indian funds and get away with it.

Glib politician rhetoric 
  • without a properly spelt out action plan, 
  • without a proper budget and 
  • without indications where exactly the funds for any glib promise will come from
will not easily take in an enlightened Indian public any more. 

Neither major party will be able to use "corruption and safety-security" as the platforms they fight the 2014 elections on. Indians have openly started heaping scorn and disgust on such speechifying from corrupt and callous politicians.

The only hope Indian politicians have is to put these two issues - corruption in politics and safety-security in India - in order, well before the elections.


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