As of June 11, 2018, a popular news report in the Indian Express featured an exploration of Akhilesh Yadav’s 45 crore bungalow. It stated that the “former CM Akhilesh Yadav’s bungalow was left badly ‘damaged’ with tiles broken, missing water taps, no decorative plants, electrical fittings removed; damaged swimming pool, cycle track, and kitchen.” Well, seems like Akhilesh Yadav loved his tiles and water taps a little too much. And, he clearly went to great lengths to avoid anyone else from using or touching them. With pictures of the famous bungalow doing the rounds, we came to know about this concerning issue. After seeking an extension of two years to vacate the bungalow, Akhilesh Yadav left the house in a completely demolished state. The BJP alleged that the damage to the property was done by Yadav “out of frustration” of having to let go of the bungalow. Yadav acted like a “kid who spoils a game when he sees he is losing it”, the party commented, as visuals of the damage to the property became public. Why should we care, you’d ask? Simply because this kind of behavior and attitude by the politicians will ruin India.
There have been cases where people have stood up against such politicians who take everything for granted. While, on the other hand, there are such people too who admire the attitude of politicians like Yadav. Now, we can’t really blame everyone who is in the profession. Several politicians have held up their end of the bargain and performed their duties to serve the country. But on the other hand, there are politicians who have just enjoyed their power while letting the citizens suffer. For instance, key Indian opposition leader Lalu Prasad Yadav was jailed for three and a half years. This was due to his involvement in a multi-million dollar corruption case. Some 60 criminal cases were filed against dozens of politicians and public officials for defrauding the government in a scheme that was meant to help livestock farmers. If cases such as these teach us something, it is about the hideous face of Indian politics. Our political leaders are so corrupt that they steal from their own country!
India has been pretty active in terms of politics for a long time now. But in this new era, a new kind of politics has emerged. The people who talk about how they’ll fight for the betterment of their country, are also the ones who deceive their countrymen. Scrounging out votes from the crowd is the actual agenda of the politicians so that they can use their power for extortion. Extortion of what, you’d wonder. Well you know, just our resources, our rights, our opportunities and our trust. Not a lot, right? This process of unequal distribution of resources has been going on for a long time. The politicians like Akhilesh Yadav are a part of a system which can only cater to certain strata of the society. In the upper strata, people such as these politicians fill their pockets with the hard earned money of the middle and lower class workers. You might not agree, but a hierarchy based on financial conditions still exists in India. Those who do the ‘dirty jobs’ (as we call it) in the farms, in the factories and other places, are the ones who suffer in this system.
When India has politicians like M. Karunandhi, who was called the emperor of corruption, only God can save our country! He was involved in the largest corruption scam in the Indian history. Caught in the scandal of the 2G scam, he was also blamed for causing a 7.5 crore loss to a state, when he was in power. Similarly, people like Mayawati use their status and authority to amass large amounts of personal wealth. She was charged with corruption when the Taj Heritage Corridor Case was uncovered. Moreover, she has always been criticized for her ostentatious display of power within her state. Black marketing, hoarding, and extortion of money/resources are some of the major problems in India. The political leaders are taking away resources from the ration shops that cater to the poor and impoverished. How then, do we expect poverty to end in the country? How will the government schemes benefit the ones who need it, if the politicians use it instead? Corruption has become an unavoidable part of politics. And every now and then, one or the other politician re-affirms this fact.
RBI chairman, Raghuram Rajan talked about the lack of equal distribution of resources in India, in one of his speeches. He said that “Our provision of public goods is unfortunately biased against access by the poor. In a number of states, ration shops do not supply what is due, even if one has a ration card – and too many amongst the poor do not have a ration card or a BPL card. Teachers do not show up at schools to teach. The police do not register crimes, or encroachments, especially if committed by the rich and powerful. Public hospitals are not adequately staffed and free medicines are not available at the dispensary.” The status quo of our country depends on a crooked system. The politicians thus take every opportunity to eke out the monetary benefits from the businessmen and middle-class people of the country. The deep-rooted corruption by the politicians of India has led to 0% development in the opportunities for the poor and the needy. Even as our democracy and economy have become more vibrant, the corrupt politicians have blotted the success.
Unfortunately for us, the spirit of Gandhi and his values died with the man himself. Now, the new breed of politicians of the Indian state have a different agenda. They treat politics as a career and thus, making money becomes their prime motive! A look at the Indian political scene will prove that all politicians, though of humble origins, end with up running behind the wealth. It seems as if politicians and black money go hand in hand. Not so surprising, is it? On one side, the Prime Minister aspires to purge the country of black money, while on the flip side, the political parties sit on the top of the black money ladder. In north Indian states likes Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Bihar, the MLAs move around in a bunch of SUVs, with their ‘chelas’ in tow. Each minister has a parallel economy unto himself. Corruption has eaten into the vitals of the system and the politicians are the ones leading it. Even today, our country is plagued by rampant unemployment, poverty, lack of justice, lack of resources and lack of faith in the government. It seems like we gained freedom just to be ruled again, but this time, by the ideals that we once criticized and ran away from. Like they say, “Politics paise waalon ka khel hai”. And, if we do not take a step to improve this situation, this very game will cause the downfall of our country.