Jaago Re…indeed!

Phoenixritu had written this post. I am not getting into speculation about the causes of the event. This post is more to do with the latter half of her post.


Some hard questions

1. Why are criminals allowed in politics

2. Why are crorepatis without pan cards given tickets

3. How are people without any known assets or income going to fund their campaign

4. What are the educational qualifications of these candidates

Who are these people and to whom should these questions be raised?

Every time there is an election, every time there is some calamity; we raise these questions and many more. I don’t think we have received answers even once. We just have more candidates with criminal records, no educational qualifications (degrees bought out of universities don’t count! ), no accountability who get elected, hold posts of power and get richer by the nanosecond (though supposedly they are so straight forward…corruption…hai Ram!!!)

IHM says that 49-0 is the answer here in a post aptly named “Let’s make Politics a clean word”. I beg to differ. These politicians play a mean game. In a country which is mostly illiterate, a country where caste/creed/religion( I believe in that order) is supreme, a country with vote bank politics – 49-0 is but a dream. Only the educated masses might make use of that (only those who actually go and vote….many a times to find that they already have cast their vote!!) This is a very very small percentage compared to those who go to vote for candidates who are their favourite film star, or those who give away free brooms/buckets/umbrellas/tv sets (booze, biryani….), those of their cast, those who promise to give rice at INR1/kg….the list is endless.Though with the Jaago re (trans.:wake up) effect & this as IHM has written….it might (very small percentage…) work.

So, what is the solution?! IMHO, how about giving tickets to only genuinely educated candidates? How about an entrance exam dealing with the constitution, current affairs, history, economics, geography (don’t want someone who thinks Afghanistan is a neighbour of Alaska πŸ˜‰ ), world affairs, general knowledge as subjects? Yes, this test should also have a pretty high cut off rate. Wonder how many would even qualify!! Declaration of all assets. No criminals allowed. Talking about caste/creed/religion in any forum of election immediately will constitute a ban on the candidate and fine on the party. How about truly educating the masses….media (every news medium – internet to vernacular newspapers) now is your turn to clean up your act. I would even say, actors not allowed unless they qualify otherwise.

Seriously, who ever came up with multi-party democracy?!?! The party in power(?!) in a coalition government with constant fear of losing support does not help in anyway in governing the country. Anybody who wants to, can start a party (of course have loads of cash….). Ridiculous.

I better stop this political rant and throw it open to those who come here. What are your ideas/suggestions? I might be totally off in what I have written here – guess democracy and freedom of speech are at work. Well, when politicians can abuse that to give their opinion on dress code & behaviour of women who supposedly don’t protect Indian culture; guess I can write what comes to my mind.

One thing though, I believe we must exercise our franchise. It would take ages before any semblance of electoral reforms comes up and to enforce them effectively. So, let us make best use of what we do have now, vote for the right candidate. Make each and every vote of ours count.


13 thoughts on “Jaago Re…indeed!

  1. myheadtrip My post says we should fight for these proposed Electoral Reforms (TS Krishnamurthy) to be implemented urgently. That would automatically exclude criminals. I think this time we might succeed, IHM

    IHM…you are missing the point. The no criminals is just a clause…I really really mean that we must have educated candidates. In our system, corruption rules. These criminals can get away by clearing all the charge sheets and come out with a clean chit. There should be way more reforms is what I want to say. πŸ™‚

  2. You know why these things happen??I guess I know..
    Because all the people are doing what they are not willing to do. No body is loving his or her job because evryone is bound by excuses. People are scared not of these attacks and all but they are scaret to death because no body is honestly living.I wanted jo join politics but cold not join it because[my set of excuses] no body has ever opted for politics after engineering, so I landed in a wrong place(lack of courage)
    As we don’t have intelligents[read rebellions] amongst ourselves, I guess we must thank these politicians that at least they are doing the job.
    Jai Hind,Njoy Life is Beautiful

    Jai Hind! Welcome Tarun Goel!
    I accept that many of us do not consider politics or even the armed forces for that matter. The excuse for politics is at least it is rotten…what about the armed forces? Though…I must say that with IITians starting political parties….Paritrana & Bharat Punarnirman Dal
    the point of engineers not opting for politics can see a change πŸ™‚

  3. Politics does not attract the current generations edcuated youngsters,hence its the corrupt ones or the sons of corrupt ones who come in.My granfather was a politician,sadly a honest one and lost all the wealth trying to do good.Hence after him none even ventured near politics.The entrance exam sounds good but then there is a possibility we may lose out some genuinely good leaders because they r illiterate..like say kamaraj…and the educated ones will do corruption in a very scientific manner that we cant find out their frauds on the first look ..like say Karunanidhi :).

    I have voted in all the elections after I turned 18 and next time around planning to do the 49-O provision.I hope many do that.

    True Nautankey…honest politician has indeed become an oxymoron! And to talk about losing good leaders like Kamaraj…my take on it is, in the current scenario; I think everyone must be educated. I don’t mean masters and the likes…at least a bachelor’s should become the norm. It is available to one and all. Did you read the entire list of areas to be tested in? I doubt if Karunanidhi would clear the exam! πŸ˜€
    And once these candidates are elected, they will be subject to reviews constantly so that they can be up to no tricks. A cunning person will always find ways no doubt! The occurrences of corruption, inefficiency, stupidity and the likes can be reduced….

  4. Apar as much as I concur with your sentiments, I believe your suggestions will not work for the exact reasons as 49-O. Politics like many other things in India, has become a family treasure and passed down from one generation to the other. There is no open process / system to elect leaders of political party, who eventually end up leading the state and country. That is why we have ppl like Stalin, Azhagiri, Rahul Gandhi, Omar Abdulla, Uday Thackeray (the list is pretty much endless) thrust upon us. Anyone who questions these princes are chucked out of the party (like Vaiko, Raj Thackeray etc) to ensure a smooth & clear road for the gen next. As long as there is a grassroot level change, which is very hard to come by given the prevalence of the existing parties and their money power among myriad other reasons, it is going to be hard. I remember a representative from the IITian party (I forget the name now) contested in Mylapore constituency in the previous TN Assembly Elections (and they chose Mylapore as it has one of the highest literacy rates) and still lost his deposit, forget coming anywhere near winning. Any suggestions that we might come up with, at the risk of sounding defeatist, will just armchair solutions and it will not be effective practically. That said, I am still searching for that magic pill that will cure all that ails the Indian political system.

    That is precisely my point. Unless the candidates are qualified, they must not contest! Does not matter what genes he/she possesses. I think the person you mention won in Mylapore last elections. The sole winner in the party I guess. I have to recheck this though…will get back to you.
    To change grass root level, give them candidates who are good, they have to choose some one who will not bungle up. Give them rotten choices, they end up voting and electing a rotten “leader”. Magic pill does not exist. Something hardcore, something non-ahimsa (read…lame choice 49-0 which will only increase the time, energy and money spent on elections in such a populous country!) something really really drastic. A total revamp of the system. Bring in bi-party system. As I said, entrance exams for the candidates. Once elected, they must be answerable totally. …well I suppose you get the gist πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks for linking me. Truth is that politics in this country is a dirty game, most educated people find it difficult to match the street smarts,survival skills, underhand policies and low brow cunning of the current lot that are in power. So educated people lose out

    You really made me think about things more…hence the post…
    And yes, for the point you make about educated people… hence the need to change the system!

  6. Full implementation of 49-0 is a dream but if it becomes a reality then it can bring about a lot of changes. Giving tickets to door ki baat hai. We’ll have to conduct a test now and clean the system first.

    Yes Varun…we need to clean the system NOW. Yes, conduct tests now!! 49-0…after we get decent candidates. IF we go for 49-0 now, it will only increase the time, energy and money spent.

  7. hmmm… a post I’m going to follow cause i want the same answers. i have absolutely no clue who to vote for,and the 49-O option is not available in the electronic machines. One of the reasons I think a true honest person does not make it as a leader is simply cause nobody see’s his cause. totally second a-kay and tarun.

    Hi Imp’s Mom. I can understand the helpless feeling. I feel it too. To me, 49-0 is not the right choice now as I have written in many comments earlier. Lots of questions…I do have some strong opinions. Don’t really know!!

  8. No the person did not win the Mylapore elections – that constituency if I remember right, was won by S.Ve.Sekhar contesting on behalf of AIADMK. That is moot though in this context!

    Apar, what you don’t understand is for the electoral reforms to happen, those laws and amendments have to pass through the parliament. You think the sitting members will pass them, knowing very well that almost 75% of them cannot re-contest πŸ™‚ I doubt it. According to me the solution is Meritocracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meritocracy), which was even supported by the founding fathers of US. It is my concept of an ideal government but have my doubts on how feasible it will be to implement it in the current context.

    Any reform is like that. I understand how the reforms are done. My post talks about meritocracy; though I have not used the term. In fact…thank you. I was searching for some such term πŸ™‚ Reforms are always hard. As I had written in my earlier post, I am a defeatist, pessimist when it comes to my personal life; but I am the ultimate optimist when it comes to my country! πŸ˜€

  9. Apar, I don’t think it is just a problem in India. We deal with this in the West as well. I think power breeds corruption. And the corrupt enjoy power, so politics attracts those people. I too, wish things would change. Here in Canada, things seem to be getting worse as the years go by. It is unsettling. I can only hope for change, but unless people speak out in masses, things will go on as usual. I hope the best for India.

    thank you BeadDen! Your reply drives across the point that this is not India specific like many think. Hoping for a better world πŸ™‚

  10. Do you think that an educated politician will not be corrupt? It is possible that a criminal politician does good for his community but an educated politician may be corrupt for his own selfishness. About entrance exams, that’s why they have UPSC to select IAS officers that can help the politicians. How do u think Laloo saved the Railways πŸ™‚ It is really hard to say which solution will exactly work to bring out politicians that do good to people. There are so many issues that needs to be considered and guess what even after a 1000 scrutiny there is no gaurantee that the politician chosen to run the govt., will not be corrupt. We just end up trusting him. Making or breaking that trust is in his/her hands. Ultimately whatever scrutiny we do doesn’t matter.

    Well put! Yeah, a corrupt person will be corrupt. The scrutiny just makes the person a scrutinised elected corrupt politician. Just that I feel that uneducated criminals who come to power on whatever basis can at least be eliminated. As they say…God save the Queen or God save America… if God exists, God save India. We can help a wee bit πŸ˜‰ through awareness & education. πŸ™‚ May be scrutiny is not panacea, just like how 49-0 is being perceived now. I don’t say it is…just feel it should also be a condition for candidate selection. As I have said in earlier comments, once elected, they must be constantly answerable throughout their term. If found wrong in any way, they must be sacked! Of course, wish it was bi-party than this stupid multi-party system!!

  11. We should all get together and ensure that 49-0 is a button on the machine… this will send a shiver down the politicians spine… i am sure more and more people will be voted out that way…

    Welcome here Dhiren! That definitely must be done too πŸ™‚ Pretty pathetic that it is not available on the electronic machines, right?

  12. Well, well I am late to comment but you are right at some points, like youtj joining politics. But as we study till 21-22 or even after that also, most of us never know what exactly are we upto??[my experience in my college, school and in job as well]. In my college[read all N.I.T’s] we do not have any political talks, no student unions and all of us pass out with zero vision.Who will think about politics. The only solution for all this is rebellion.

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