DailyPost 2374

Power hungry is the best description of the prima donnas of Indian democracy and it peters down to the lowest levels; that of the gram panchayat and also to the last worker or the party. Power comes out of elections to legislatures; through becoming a part of the political executive, being presiding officer of different houses of the legislatures, leaders of opposition, chairmen of govt bodies of different types etc. on the legislature / government side. On the party side you have another set of positions which people keep eyeing for, the ones who have not made it to the first group. The second group is also busy influencing the government. What an irony party spokespersons bat for government decisions?

The capability to influence formally or informally and pull strings beyond what is seen by the naked eyes, is the level of hunger of power. The more you have is when what to have more; either is authoritative positions or in exerting influence from outside. Quite a few times it extends to the friends and family members. Bureaucrats also make their way in the inner coterie. While the high ideals of democracy are on public display, by the outstanding lip service, they have made us accustomed to, the internal mechanics works only on vested interests. While the political executive is for everyone, on how many occasions have you found non-ruling party finding favours.

Everyone mentioned have to be taken care of by the democratic system, power is only one component, a tool for rags to riches story or to facilitate the ones already in business and others to consolidate their positions. Legislators in business can be in itself be a great research treatise. If all their friends and family is added the research might never get completed. Corruption in this scenario has remained endemic to our system since the time you can remember of. Recent memory can take us back to the resignation of the Vishwanath Pratap Singh to the current Hindenburg Adani report and consequent ruckus the country has fallen into.

The governments have been changing since then, hit by one corruption scandal or the other. The day-to-day full-fledged system embedded corruption is not even talked about. The Narsimha Rao government survived on this largesse, the democratic umbilical cord. Money for questions asked in Parliament is where we had descended to. Fast forward to Anna Hazare movement. It caught the people’s imagination, a war cry to be lost in the din once again. The 2G and the Coalgate, change in the seat of power and now we are back to shell companies and Hindenburg Adani saga. Simultaneously, criminalization manifested by number of criminal cases against elected representatives have been on the rise. Instead of criminals supporting politicians they started gaining direct entry as well. Winnability in elections is the only magic which plays on the minds Indian democratic leaders and ticket decision makers.

Sanjay Sahay

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