To ask if India is losing its talisman today is an obvious question to pop at a time when a powerful and popular government turns out raw, brutal and fickle. When strategic reforms in every arena are supposedly stuck in a bog of messy federalism, growth stands rotten, and countrymen stand in front of an avalanche of corruption, it is imperative to seek beyond “if” the dirty politics has looted India.
The Economist magazine once bluntly mentioned that politics is “preventing India from fulfilling its vast economic potential”, and nonetheless Indian federalists have upheld the notion ever since.
A nation’s democratic responsibility doesn’t end with casting a vote at the ballot, instead it merely begins there. But if you are presented with a decaying and a rotten fruit, what will you pick? Same is the inception of a political journey cum tragedy in India. More than half the population votes just to vote, while others are torn between a decision to elect the bad or worse. The very sourness in the governance can be noted right from the election time.
While India does not propagate minimum educational stature, it forgot to do that for criminal activities too, including black money and unidentified wealth of the candidates. Safe to say, candidates are mandated to reveal their belongings, but never the source. Might this be able to justify how this wealth is employed into buying party tickets and bribing voters, some tragic political moves India witnesses. The Indian media proactively compares and flashes these figures, patting the backs of the political class for an amusing talent of birthing wealth in such a short time.
What’s surprising in India, claimed to be a democracy is that electoral candidates must be wealthy. Here’s why. Parties are lowly intra democratic, which means that the elites at the top tyre make decisions about whom to select or sell tickets to. The anti-defection law in India limits the role of a candidate in policymaking even after winning. In the given scene, external donors are prompted to invest not in particular candidates, but the party at large. With minimal chances to raise funds from outside, candidates have to self finance their campaigns, and for that, they must be wealthy. So political composition of India is the result of a biased selection process whereby money, dirty money is an essential.
Another big player which loots India is Indian political parties’ shadow lobbies. Aptly so, lobbying is a regular and accepted practice in India, until business capital starts to capture Indian politics completely. The Election Commission (EC) of India has mandated companies to specify any donations made in regard to political parties worth more than Rs. 20,000. Where’s the flaw? This also means companies can make innumerable donations of Rs. 19,999 to these parties, without clearly accounting and disclosing it.
These political donors, majorly religious groups, communal clans, and builders because land is fiercely government regulated, then often lead to toxic establishments like builder-politician nexus. The donors’ stocks also get a green signal as they enter the market of politically associated firms which leaves them with murky dividends. So favourable policies are purchased by such groups leading to utter imbalance and often biased governance, with inefficient political financing regulations, and a swollen black economy, where businesses run smoothly under the shadows, escaping tax and red tapism, and forming regulations that benefit them.
Another frightening mistake of Indian polity is the unrivalled space for criminals, and not only white collar crimes. In the first ever election in 1947, the Congress activated criminals to prevent any upheaval and any anti action, hand out pre-election goodies, cash, alcohol by paying them huge sums. Over time when these criminals accumulated enough wealth, they slashed out the politicians and they themselves began occupying political seats. They continue to be favoured because again, Indian parties attract wealthy candidates.
But at whose expense have they acquired this wealth? And to whom should it be returned?
Alterations that the govt. performs is now merely an attempt of reshuffling political cliques. And politicians are now synonymous with venality and self-interest. Intra-party clashes are more dangerous and louder than the inter party disputes. The start will proceed apace and all will faithfully disclose their assets to an admiring public — while India is being looted by this political class.
Now, after years of gaining “independence”, India suddenly woke up to a realization that its years back calculations have gone wrong. We find ourselves threatened by extremists, while goons drained in corruption stand up as our leaders. For us, the new state is a ‘demon’, rightly so when the entire nation was a part of the downhill journey towards its present state, significantly with the volume of support for the never ending Gandhi regime web.
But is it only the one at the Centre to blame? Who put them there?
The inefficiencies in Indian politics are also a major reflection of the inefficiencies of the citizens. After all, we are the people who make the ruler and who are ruled over. If we feel okay with dismissing a beggar’s need and gleefully paying at a brand store, what’s wrong with doing it on a national level? That is the concept of Indian politics. What has practically occurred is that we have paved a way to a class of populist leaders who pamper us and we also oblige them in the hope that it will save us a day. But we forgot to ponder over what will happen to our future.
Refer to other article in this series: