India’s Politics Becomes Convenient Tool for Illegal Wealth Accumulation

The Constitution of India bestows an exclusive right upon the Parliament to represent the people of the country. Following this mandate, since independence, the voters have sent their representatives to the Lok Sabha (Lower House) and the state legislative assemblies.

The 545-member Lok Sabha represents the entire country. Its primary task involves making and amending laws for the nation, making different policies for the welfare of the people, or in other words serving the country and society. Our freedom fighters and founding fathers of our Constitution dreamt of a country where these elected representatives will take the country ahead and will make it self sufficient in every aspect.

But unfortunately, their dream is being crushed by the excessive ambition, hunger for power and self-centered style of politics of our representatives. Instead of becoming a means of serving people and society, politics has been made a convenient tool for illegal wealth accumulation, nepotism, misuse of power, and insulting the opponents and critics rather than being accommodative to their views. As a result, today’s politicians have become billionaires and industrialists compared to the yesteryears’ politicians who were very modest in their lifestyle.

This propensity for self-prosperity has diverted their attention away from solving people’s problems. Misleading and dividing the people so as to polarise more and more votes in their favour has become the only objective of these politicians. Thanks to this politics of ill-will and selfishness, our nation has today become a victim of separatism, communalism and terrorism, casteism and regional and linguistic chauvinism. People forced by hunger, poverty and debt are forced to commit suicide. Unemployment is in gigantic proportions. The countrymen have not been provided with t basic necessities of electricity, water and roads. Owing to his inability to pay back the debt, farmer of this agri-dominant country is opting for suicide. Rural development is still a daydream. If any group is prospering in real terms, it is the corrupt, i.e. the corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and criminals involved in this unholy nexus.

This nexus has led to gruesome murders of the honest and upright people like Satyendra Dubey, Manjunathan and Yashwant Sonawane. Masses are now aware of the fact that such incidents are the gift of corruption. The implication of this widespread corruption is that the people don’t trust their representatives anymore, whom they themselves have elected. This is the reason Anna Hazare is getting people’s support across the country.

We are witnessing a series of anti-corruption protests, processions and movements. People are participating in huge numbers in these movements inspired by Gandhiji’s satyagraha. All they are demanding is an end to corruption, punishment for the corrupt and retrieval of black money garnered by illicit means. By way of these movements, people are trying to pressurise their own elected representatives to change the system.

Here, a valid question arises whether the lawmakers, most of whom are corrupt themselves, would be able to deliver such a mechanism? Would they be ready for an enquiry or investigation against themselves? These very doubts forced the civil society to form a drafting committe to draft a Jan Lokpal Bill so as to get it passed by the Parliament. There were 5 members of this drafting committee including Anna Hazare. This committee claims that they represent the common people. Amidst this debate between the Civil Society’s Jan Lokpal Bill and the government drafted Lokpal bill, came Baba Ramdev who exclaimed that he had the support of 1.21 billion Indians. Like Anna, Baba also tried to convey that he is the strongest face in anti-corruption crusade.

No doubt, the people of India are upset by corrupt elements in the establishment. This is also true that these corrupt are behind the perennial poverty, backwardness and unemployment facing the country today. But it is yet to be decided that who should raise the voice against corruption on the behalf of people. As far as gathering crowd is concerned, there are thousands of such demagogues who can gather a huge crowd in Delhi’s Ramlila Ground or Jantar Mantar. On the back of this crowd, they manage to be get the title of Honourable MLA, MP or Minister.

Even though the Constitution of India provides this right to only those who manage to get votes, it is clear on the ground that the people are losing faith in them. This atmosphere of trust deficit has provided the common man a platform to come together and raise their voice against corruption. Now it is to be seen, who emerges as the rightful representative of the people? What’s the guarantee that particular person or organization raising voice against corruption would itself be spick and span and acceptable to all?

Tanveer Jafri
Tanveer Jafri is an award-winning journalist and peace activist, based in India, covering communal harmony and social activities.