WHERE IS WALK-THE-TALK ACT?
Midst all the talks of Bharat Mata, youth power and ideas and the beehive diligence, India remains a dark reminder of a story that took on to the wrong path before it could see the right one when it began in 1947.
And there is no need to go back in the history to analyse it. Almost all of the second generation politicians today are the products of the political dynasties. Having grown up and seen affluent lives, a clear disconnect from the ground reality of India can easily be seen in their attitudes. They talk big. They talk insensitive. They talk meaningless. Rarely, we find them walking the talk. A look at the recent political scene is self-explanatory.
Among the high-talking points these days is the Maharashtra drought. The industrialized state of the western India is facing the worst drought in 40 years.
Yet, Deputy Chief Minister of the state, Ajit Pawar, a product of the dynasty politics in India (being from the powerful Pawar family), breaches every level of insensitivity with his ‘urinate in the dams’ remark while commenting the drought situation. According to a Times of India report, during a rally in Pune, the politician, while trying to slight the fast of a farmer, Prabhakar Deshmukh from the drought hit Solapur district, said, “He has been fasting for the last 55 days. If there is no water in the dam, how can we release it? Should we urinate into it? If there is no water to drink, even urination is not possible”.
By saying so, he has slighted the humanity, he has slighted his own existence, and he has slighted an already debased Indian political scene even more. It was unethical. It was audacious when procedures were mocked to reinstate Pawar as the Deputy CM after he was forced to resign for his role in the alleged 70,000 irrigation scam of Maharashtra. Even at this moment of human crisis, Pawar has been alleged to divert water in dams (supposed to go to the people) to the industries when people in drought-hit areas are reeling under the water scarcity.
Even, the other prominent second generation politicians in Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray and Raj Thackeray, are the products of the dynasty politics. Okay, being from a political dynasty is not a crime but what about the brand of divisive politics they are practicing?
Let’s come to the national scene.
The youth power of India is in vogue – not in terms of productivity but in speechmaking of the politicians like Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. It is so because they form the largest chunk of the votebank and can swing the all important ‘who wins or who loses’ outcome in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.
Rahul Gandhi has been very specific about promoting youth though there are very few grassroots leaders in his youth brigade who are without any political inheritance or who are not from the affluent background. And almost none of that kind (the grassroots) has reached to the level of the policymaking bodies like the Union Cabinet. Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Milind Deora, Deepender Hooda and Rahul himself, all are products of the dynasty politics. Unfortunately (for India), the list is long and is getting longer.
Why Rahul Gandhi’s speeches have become so repetitive?
Why his speeches only talk of questions?
Why he never talks about solutions in concrete, tangible terms?
It is because, the ‘disconnect’ is still there. It reflects in Rahul’s reluctance in taking the political centrestage on vital issues like the Lokpal Bill or the Delhi gangrape that agitate the whole country.
What India needs to come out of its dark is a leader who is sensitive and who cares for and practices a life of probity. But the way the governments and the administrative machineries were manipulated to give clean chit to Robert Vadra in controversial land deals puts valid question marks on Rahul’s intentions. Okay, Vadra might be clean and what he has amassed (wealth) might be due to his business acumen (and luck), but being from the family that has been at the political forefront of the independent India, Vadra needed to come out clean in a ‘clean manner’ if Rahul means what all he is talking about, be it in Jaipur when he was elected vice president of the Congress party or at the CII annual general meeting speech in Delhi. But that is not being done. That is just not happening.
Let’s pan across the country to see the second generation leaders who claim the states now (and some of them can and will claim the nation later).
THE DIRECT ACCESS BUT..
They have become central figures of the regional politics by virtue of being sons or daughters of the political heavyweights. They got the political chair in inheritance.
Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh is a dynasty politics product. Taking the office with clear majority, when the Samajwadi Party won the assembly election last year, could have only one direct implication – people of the state, one of the most backward in India, needed change because they had refused another clear-majority government, of Mayawati’s, elected in the previous rule. Mayawati’s government was a miserable failure but, unfortunately, Akhilesh’s government too, is heading to the similar territory.
His one year of rule is a sorry picture of increasing lawlessness and governance failure in the state. The worrying sign is the future looks grim and there looks no roadmap to take the curative measures. Also, Akhilesh belongs to a political family with its head (Mulayam Singh Yadav) embroiled in disproportionate assets case. Also, Akhilesh belongs to a party that has become synonymous with political opportunism and political hooliganism.
M K Stalin, younger son and heir of the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) patriarch M Karunanidhi is, too, a product of the dynasty politics. Given the history of regular government changes in Tamil Nadu, Stalin is slated to become the chief minister of the state in the future.
Stalin has been named in a flyover scam. He has been booked for land grab charges. Karunanidhi’s family is facing serious corruption allegations. There are corruption charges against Kanimozhi and M K Alagiri. Kanimozhi was arrested in the multi-billion dollar 2G spectrum scam. A Raja, the alleged central face of the 2G spectrum scam, has been and is being brazenly defended by the DMK.
Though, both, the DMK and the SP are political parties with regional presence, they play, have played and will be playing significant role in the national politics that has become coalition driven.
And it would not be big deal, if the political developments throw names of Akhilesh Yadav or M K Stalin as potential successor for the prime-ministerial chair sometime (sometimes) in the future. The country has already seen such political equations in the past when Chandra Shekhar, H D Deve Gowda and Inder Kumar Gujaral got the residential address of the 7 Race Course Road. Even if that doesn’t happen soon, they already have the larger states with millions of people to ‘rule’ over.
Sandeep Dikshit, son of the Delhi chief minister and Member of Parliament from Delhi, doesn’t stand the ‘national politics’ chance because he is in the Congress party. Yes, he has all the valid reasons to hope to become the chief minister of Delhi riding on the wave of the dynasty politics. In line with the trend, Sandeep, too, is facing corruption allegations.
H D Kumaraswamy, a former chief minister of Karnataka and son of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, and another product of the dynasty politics, has been named in disproportionate assets and land scam cases. Also, Janata Dal has seen so many splits that his party, JD(S) (Janata Dal-Secular) doesn’t stand a chance to give Kumaraswamy a chance, like his father got, to become a potential name for the prime minister’s office. But, in spite of the corruption taints, he has all the chances to make it to the chief minister’s office of the state.
In Punjab, it is all about the Badal family. The dynasty rules here. There are corruption allegations. There are charges of disproportionate assets. No one in the state is reacting seriously on the highhandedness of the police officials and the goons, especially in the second consecutive term of the ‘Badal family’ in the office.
The second generation lot, if they don’t come across chances in the national politics, they know they have larger states to rule, which they rule more like kings because they know they can easily manipulate the System by being the kingmakers in the national politics the age of coalition politics with rise of satraps driven regional political parties.
The other potential kingmakers in the national politics of the coalition era, apart from the SP and the DMK are the AITC (All Indian Trinamool Congress), BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party), JD(U) (Janata Dal-United), BJD (Biju Janata Dal), TDP (Telugu Desam Party) AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) and the Left Front parties.
SO MANY OF THEM, YET SO FEW OF THEM!
BSP rule is no better than the SP governance the country has seen it. Besides, Mayawati is facing mammoth corruption charges and like the case with Mulayam, the probe is on.
All the high hopes that Mamata Banarjee had generated, when the people of West Bengal had chosen her over the 35 years of the Left Front rule in the state, are decimated and crushed. Mamata’s rule and her party workers have become ‘just the other anarchy’ in the state. The goons of the CPM (Communist Party of India-Marxist) have been replaced by the goons of the AITC.
JD(U) and BJD are doing good. The rule of these parties is relatively less corruption-tainted.
AIADMK is again a big question mark when it comes to corruption. Tamil Nadu chief minister and party chief J Jayalalitha is facing court cases on disproportionate assets charges.
We all have seen what the Left Front parties made of West Bengal, once a driver of Indian politics, economy and intellectual growth, into an utter chaos of lawlessness, corruption, poverty and intellectual starvation.
So, more of the kingmakers on the table, in case of a fragmented electoral verdict, have or have had a poor record when it comes to the politics of probity, integrity and reform.
They will squeeze and extract the maximum possible mileage bending the rules and manipulating the System to continue delaying the proceedings and diluting the charges if they come to play the kingmakers in the national politics. And emboldened, as is the case, the wheels of corruption shall keep on getting the lubrication unabashed.
Most of the names given to country by the dynasty politics has a different sort of primary deficiency – the ‘disconnect’. Though corruption has become ‘fundamental’ element of the political culture of many of such political parties, here, the ‘disconnect’ sustains and increases the corruption.
More of the names, not in the league of the dynasty politics, have the most menacing deficiency a poor democracy like India can have – insensitivity loaded with neck-deep corruption as the primary driver. Here, corruption breeds the ‘insensitivity’ that in-turns breeds the ‘disconnect’.
So many of them, yet so few of them!
How can they represent India when none of them have experienced the real India – millions under poverty line – millions struggling daily to have two square meals – millions struggling daily to buy even the most basic of the medicines – millions just staring at the schools but cannot cross into – millions dropping out of the schools – millions crushed to pay bribes daily even for their absolute rights – millions being slighted everyday by the corrupt political and bureaucratic machinery!
How can they represent India when they have comfortably forgotten the very cause of the democratic India – bringing millions of Indians out of a life of misery, millions who elect them to act on their ‘behalf’!
Instead, most of the elected lot has become antithesis to this democratic spirit. Corruption and political opportunism are creating breeding ‘grounds’ for class hostilities in India in the days to come.
The man of probity India seeks needs to act with probity and with swiftness. Time has already run out. Integrity of the man India needs must have an impartial and independent attitude.
But the way Vadra was given clean chits was brazen. The way Ajit Pawar was reinstated was shameless. The way Mamata Banarjee is justifying and defending the vandalism of the AITC in West Bengal is worrying.
These and similar other developments could have been termed shocking but more shocking is the fact that Manmohan’s ‘aam aadmi’ is getting more and more into the ‘silently reacting and silently dissenting’ attitude on the high handedness of its political rulers who have started behaving like kings.
Certainly an ominous development for the Indian democracy if left unattended!
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/