24 Jan 2006

A dirty word

What do you need to be a university lecturer? A good college degree in a subject of choice, perhaps? How about a doctor? Duh, of course you need a degree again (or maybe even a masters). Ditto for any other field of work. Yet to enter politics in India, even a 3rd class fail would do. That’s why we have railway ministers who know nuts about how the railway works and education ministers who probably can’t even speak proper English.

Last week, in a debate show one speaker proudly proclaimed that politics is the only field in India that is unbiased to people regardless of their education qualification.

And that’s the precise reason why India is what it is today.

Politics is a dirty word in these parts of the world. It is a profession not a service. People enter politics to earn and not because they want to do something for the people or the country.

The political parties themselves are in shambles with internal discord and struggle for power. They own large TV stations which they use to propagandise themselves and tarnish the reputation of the rival parties. Due to these internal feuds, the genuine desire to be a good leader is extinguished.

That’s why no educated person with a sane mind wants to be a politician. Ask any kid in the country, and no one is going to say he/she wants to be a politician.

It is not as if nothing can be done. And contrary to what the politicians say, the infrastructure is not so poor because of the lack of money, trust me. The money generated by the nation is just leached way via corruption. In the end, nothing ever reaches the official government fund.

In India there is corruption in very level of the social ladder. From the cleaner to the supervisor everyone in the government organisations expect bribes. Well one can say, that the money is redistributed to the people in that sense. But, it does not go to the really needy. The needy ones are struck forever in the poverty cycle, while some politicians buy hotels in London (yes, that is true).

To top it all, there is a certain form of understanding between the various political parties. When the government switches hands from one political party to another, there is an unspoken agreement between the parties that the new government does not dig into the corruption undertaken by the previous government.

Thus, no form of corruption ever gets out. If something ever gets out, due to India’s brilliant judicial systems, (which allows a plethora of appeals, counter-appeals and other time delaying writs) the judgement only comes out after some 15 years from the initial indictment (by which most people involved would even die).

In many ways, whether authoritarian or not, what PAP is doing in Singapore is commendable. The political stability is something India can do with. One guy comes into the office and initiates something good and when there is a change of government, the next guy abolishes everything because he could not let his rival do something good.

Sometimes I just wonder what India gained from its independence. Independence from what? Conscience? Morality? Efficiency? Incorruptness? Honesty?

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