23 Oct 2010

Indian Political System

There are many advantages and disadvantages of being in a democracy. The advantage is that many a times you get to listen to and follow a leader who is actually concerned with the development of the country and other times we have to listen to leaders who do nothing except divide the country or raise trivial topics which have no place in the life of an individual while at times these very same political parties and people come out with policies and opinions that encroach on the people’s rights.

Recently we had political parties condemning a book and its subsequent removal from the university syllabus. Of course it’s a clear case of encroaching upon the rights of the people. They could have simple censored the things that they didn’t find appropriate but they should not have removed it. People should have the right to read it or not to. The decision should have been left to the people regarding this. All I can say that such tactics are nothing but publicity stunts. Politics should be left out of academics. There is no place for politics in education.

We even have political parties who actually care for the people but of course those are rare cases. Recently a WB (World Bank) report showed that the conditions in Bihar had improved considerably. It’s a good thing that the least developed states are coming up and we are all happy about it. This can be said to a case of good administration and good governance.

We even have parties who follow the infamous British policy of divide and rule and they are successful to some extent. They divide the people by telling them about how people from other states are coming and taking their jobs et al. But by doing all this they are forgetting one important concept and that is that even though the majority of the well-off educated people don’t vote but the youngsters who are coming up and voicing their opinions certainly do not support them. It is the people’s fundamental right to move around anywhere in the country and to get a job in any part of the country.

We even have political parties that contest elections on the basis of caste. This can be said to be similar to the divide and rule policy but here they divide on the basis of caste. North India is a clear example of this where one politician decides to install statues of herself and other people and uses the tax-payers money to fund it. This is a blatant misuse of power and strict actions need to be taken to prevent such acts which do nothing but showcase the divide and rule policy that the minister is using.

There is not much that we can do about because it is we who brought these people to power but it is also us who can show them the door for good if they misuse or do not match the expectations of the people. We all blog about such things but what do we really do. How many of us go to vote? Ask this question to yourself. Well I for one have decided that as soon as I turn 18 and there is an elections I will use this fundamental right which is also a fundamental duty to select an individual on the basis of his own track record and not on the basis of his political party’s.

We can even contest elections but the major thing is that we won’t be able to get that support due to lack of funds. Money certainly plays an important role in electoral politics. That is a major problem in a democracy. Good people rarely get that required support whereas other Tom, Dick and Harry’s have an abundance of it. I feel democracy fails in this respect.

Although the agenda of these political parties is pretty clear and that is dynastic succession. It can be good and can be bad, it depends upon that individual. In some cases it is good as the successor is well aware of his duties to the electorate and many a times he does the right job. But those sometimes when they are worse than their ancestor really make us question the logic behind having such a political system.

We have a political system where an individual can use diverse trump cards (another problem in a democracy) such as that of caste, religion, regionalism and linguism. Such cards threaten the very existence of a democratic society like India where people will get easily get elected using these trump cards. The election commission has to take a strong action and make stricter rules regarding the use of such trump cards by political parties.

All the time we blame the system for the pains and problems that we have to go through and why not that’s the closest thing that can be related to us. Because we are the system, if we can make somebody big we can also cause his fall. The only solution for this political problem is more awareness among the people regarding their fundamental rights and their fundamental duties. Even if people became a little more aware the system would itself correct itself.

But as they say, an idiot can remain in power only if he ensures that nobody else becomes smarter than him. And our very own Indian political system proves this principle a little too well. With the citizens acting like the three monkeys of Gandhi and allowing everything to pass by and not raising any noise about anything that they feel is simple not right.

But as people have always said and will keep on saying there is always a ray of light at the end of the tunnel and in this case also this principle holds true. The ray of light is education. With more and more people becoming educated and aware about their fundamental rights and not only rights but even their fundamental duties. So all I can say is that with more and more youngsters raising their voices, I think the political parties will find it a little hard to fend for themselves if they do not respect the wishes and ambitions of the people.