Tuesday, March 31, 2009

General Elections in India 2009

The Indian Parliament
The general elections fever is catching up everywhere in India. All the print and visual media have focused its equipments on the candidates and their details. Every day we hear interesting stories of fundamentalist speeches, greed, lies and shamelessness of some of these candidates.

All unholy alliances seem to happen around. In spite of the proclaimed fight on religious fundamentalism, all major political parties select the candidates based on the religion, caste and money power. Apparently, the goons, thieves and anti social elements are enjoying a field day. Every party needs them; they have many axes to grind and many weapons to hide. Some of the candidates and even political parties conveniently forget that” he who sups with the devil should have a long spoon.”

Thanks to T.N.Seshan, the redoubtable former election commissioner of India, the candidates strive hard to declare their assets. Many candidates are multi millionaires apparently spending all their lives in politics. Some declare that they have just a few pennies left and possess only few grams of gold even though the people know that they are not as innocent and starved as they claim to be. Apparently, it appears that the right for freedom of speech rests only with the politicians. Recently the Kerala High court denied bail, rightfully so, to the assailants who tried to kill a rationally thinking religious leader. His crime was that he declared;” God does not have any religion”.

Seshan had famously said once; “We seem to have Titans only in watches not in politics anymore”. He could not have been more precise.

We do not find many politicians really helping the poor and the needy. Instead of going to the party office everyday to fight over mundane subjects, why don’t they spare some time to go to hospitals to help the sick or initiate cleaning those premises? Instead of taking to the roads every time for processions on silly matters, why not they clean the premises of the local bus stand and help repairing the roads? Instead of straining their vocal chords on platforms accusing each other why don’t the leaders take concerted efforts to fight the social inequalities? They have many prime issues to be attended like education to all, food, shelter and medical facilities. They forget that the father of the nation was walking through the villages of Navkhali on the night of the Independence Day applying balms in the communally disturbed areas.

Of India’s population of 1160 million, more than 800 million earn less than 20 Rupees a day and 300 million are below the poverty line. But the lawmakers for the country are rich; half the members of the upper house and one third members of the lower house of parliament possess assets worth over 10 million rupees. Some of them are fabulously rich by any standard.

We need to tackle many issues in India like human-trafficking, drug abuses, health care, environmental issues and juvenile delinquencies if we are to progress towards a respected democracy.

The law makers are to be people who care for the poor and the down trodden. They need to be educated people known for integrity, efficiency and commitment. While they need not be Gandhians or of any particular political party, they could certainly serve the country well by imbibing the spirit of the Mahatma. I dare say that even those good Marxists could absorb a lot from the lessons of Gandhi in these trying times.

Let our enlightened citizens elect their representatives most judiciously so that the dreams of the founding fathers of our constitution are truly fulfilled.
Dubai, 31st March 2009.


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sundar said...

Nice blog.
you have covered almost every thing.

But as long as we do not see a radical change in the candidates ( I mean educated people as political candidates) we cannot expect a paradigm shift...


Murali RamaVarma said...

Thank you, future mantra for the comments. I have gone through the Indian news updates in http://www.indianewsupdates.com/ and found it quite informative. I shall indeed refer the site to my friends. Regards,

Murali RamaVarma said...

Sundar, I thank you for your comments.I agree with your observation that educated people joining the political mainstream is essential to make radical changes . If such people shy away, the field shall be controlled by selfish and petty elements who mislead our poor voters. Regards,

Maddy said...

I am glad that the people of America have seen sense in electing a good (hope the future will prove this right) president. I also hope that we in India have enough civic sense to do it right.

On another note , I saw Shashi T in the race..wonder how he is going to do..

Murali RamaVarma said...

Maddy, Years back,I remember having read a book of Arthur Hailey on an Afro American becoming the President of the US.The prophecy came true through the determination of the American people. Let's hope that in India too drastic and positive changes happen through the enlightened voice of the people. Regards,

Ashvin said...

Sms joke I received from Trivandrum last week - while most women may vote for Shashi T, men would prefer, at least in private, to emulate Neelan.

The book mentioned is The Man by Irving Wallace, not Arthur Hailey, written before the 25th amendment to the US constitution. The plot is that the President, Vice President and the Secretary of State all die simultaneously, leading to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, a token black man in the 1960s, taking charge as President of the country. I read somewhere that following this novel US government protocol was amended to ensure that the President and VP never travel together again, so that in the even of one being 'incapacitated' the other would be able to lead. Maybe a myth.

Murali RamaVarma said...

Dear Ashvin, Thanks for sharing the joke.

I must thank you for correcting me. Yes,it was "The Man" by Irwing Wallace which I meant. Regret to have brought up Arthur Hailey. I think, age is catching up with me. You have a remarkable memory, I am sure. Kind regards,

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