A wise man once said, “Power does not corrupt man; fools when raised to a position of power, corrupt power.” This stands specifically true today in the state of politics in this country. No wonder that during elections; we are so bewildered as to whom to elect, or whether to choose to vote at all.Take, for example, the Sethu Samudram Project, which would have resulted in a reduction of transit of ships by 350 nautical miles and would make Rameshwaram one of the largest harbours in the country. The issue regarding it to be a creation of Lord Ram was supported by absolutely no historical proof, but chiefly claimed to cash in on the religious sentiments of the electorate.
Another recent episode of how regionalism is being used as a method for rapid gain of votes is seen in Raj Thackeray’s ‘Marathis only’ slogan. People from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are being chased out of the State of Maharashtra, while the Government continued to watch nonchalantly from the sidelines. It is ironical that where most of Maharastra’s revenue is based upon Bollywood and the actors and performers (many of whom are from Northern states), who live in Mumbai, they are not taking the brunt of this. The 26/11 attacks proved that it is not just the Marathis to whom Mumbai belongs, and to whom it matters.
Mayawati’s birthday bash was another brutal example of how low politicians can sink. A LJP activist and a PWD engineer were allegedly killed because they were unable to pay up for Mayawati’s extravagant (Rs.10 crore) birthday bash. Down south, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which is a banned organization, is being attacked by Sri Lanka. Surprisingly, the DMK, an ally of the government is pressurizing it to compel Sri Lanka to end its war against ‘Tamils’. Terrorism needs to be eradicated, but our political parties are even exploiting that, for their own agendas.
Politicians today are chameleons that change colour overnight. Anti-Terrorist Squad Chief Hemant Karkare, while probing the Malegaon blasts, uncovered many Hindu terrorists. The VHP and the BJP labeled him as ‘anti-national’. The same parties, after the brave and selfless attempt by Karkare in the Mumbai terrorist attacks, applauded him as a ‘hero’.
It is sad that our politicians do not even realize that we do have our hopes pinned on them and that they carry with them a huge responsibility.
Politicians need to be made more accountable. There needs to be greater transparency in the political system. Perhaps the setting up of a separate committee to probe into political parties and keep a check on their finances will help control the rampant corruption to a certain extent. Public Interest Litigation should be entertained against political leaders as well, and a witness protection program must be in place for justice to be delivered.
The youth should not shun away from joining the profession of politics. They, being the torch-bearers of tomorrow, must take initiative in marching forward with perseverance and determination in order to ensure a brighter future for you and me.