Tuesday, November 20, 2007

PURGING POLITICAL IMMORALITY - JUGAAD OR REVOLUTION?

The signs are getting bigger and louder and increasingly ominous: Indian politics is getting more and even more immoral.

Scarcely a day passes before something happens in our political landscape to shame the nation one more time. After the naked communist rage in the killing fields of Nandigram, we have just seen the conclusion of the ‘Natak in Karnatak’, which epitomizes the disgustingly low levels to which Indian politics has sunk. The beauty of the political drama in Karanataka is that it has exposed every single political party and grouping.

The JD(S)-the ‘S’ stands for secular-tried every dirty trick to continue hang onto power; first by dishonoring the 20:20 power sharing agreement it had entered into with the ‘communal’ BJP. When the BJP refused to play ball and the government fell, the JD(S) tried to fall into the willing and open arms of the Congress which was salivating at the prospect of getting another shot at power. That marriage fortunately did not even take off because many MLAs of the JD(S) threatened to walk out of the party if it joined hands with the Congress.

Desperate to get power at any cost and avoid the expense of seeking the peoples’ mandate prematurely, the BJP displayed complete moral bankruptcy by agreeing to go along again with the equally desperate JD(S) which had betrayed it only a few days back. Within a week of getting power, the BJP lost it. Why? Only because it did not want to part with a couple of lucrative portfolios, without which the equally immoral JD(S) saw no point in giving the people of the state the good government that a democracy is expected to provide, reflecting as it should, but rarely does, the ‘will’ of the people.

In an SMS poll conducted by CNN-IBN on its program ‘Face the Nation’ on November 19, 2007, the question asked was: Is Indian politics devoid of morality? The stunning response, which should shame our whole political class, was as clear an indicator of public anger and frustration as it can get. An astounding 97 percent of those who voted said ‘Yes’.

Earlier, on November 5, 2007, the Prime Minister, a political dinosaur of shining integrity, had himself questioned whether our multi-party democracy was capable of providing the kind of political will and leadership that our country needed. With small coalition partners trying everything to more than extract their pound of flesh, the government at the Centre has been virtually brought to its knees, and is simply not in a position to demonstrate the decisive vision and direction that this nation of a billion plus requires.

I had then written that Dr Manmohan Singh had given the first call to bring about a drastic change in the political system that had clearly failed and that our response to his call would determine how posterity would judge this generation. This post can be found here.

Even earlier, I had said that our democracy had become a ‘mockocracy’, a mockery of democracy and, in Hindi, a democracy in which politicians are in the business only for the ‘mauka’ (opportunity) to make money and enjoy perverse power. This post can be found here.

When 97 percent-give or take a couple of percents to sampling error-of the people of a nation feel that the politics of their country is devoid of morality, the indictment is too grave to be ignored.

Who is going to take notice of this pervasive view and do something to purge politics of immorality and get the nation back on the right political track?

Not the politicians for sure; they have already descended to an impervious orbit where for them the only question that needs an answer is: How to get to power fastest, means not an issue. Not the bureaucracy too; they are enjoying the fruits of this sickening political immorality, as they are the real, permanent facilitators without whom politicians enjoying transient power cannot move. The media, is it? You know the answer!

Are we headed for a violent revolution, then, or will the India’s genius rig up some ‘Jugaad’ and find an evolutionary answer to the abysmal state that our politicians have landed this country in? I hope it does, for in this age where information is available to the masses almost real-time, a revolutionary change will erupt with little warning, when least expected. As history has repeatedly shown, the results of such an upheaval may be quite different from what the nation really needs.