This was the piece written for Albert Newspaper Syndication in US in May 2002. – Shiv Rana
Very little has changed since, but changing anyway.
Inactivity of the People costs Nation dearly
“It is not the activity of rascals that destroys the society, but the inactivity of good people that does it.”
But not understood by so called “good people” of our country. We have seen sudden decline of our social responsibilities that has resulted in deteriorating standards of our elected members in the parliament and State Assemblies. This has been in sharp and subject of discussion in many forums and seminars. There was a Vohra Committee to examine the maladies and suggest measures to cleanse the rot. Notwithstanding its findings and recommendations, nothing has happened as yet to give clean, responsible and thinking elected members to this largest democratic country, which boasts of a good constitution in the world.
It is time that we analyze the problem at a citizen level and get down to do by all those “good people” to save our society and the nation as a whole. We often criticize our elected members for various reasons ranging from being “Thugs, criminals or uneducated”. We have to think as to why has this happened and who are responsible for this rot to be allowed to set in the polity of this country. Opening sentence of the writing above very clearly says that it is not the rascals that destroy the society, but the inactivity of the good people that does it. What happened to our good people? Are we not left with good people to fill those 544 seats in Lok Sabha in the country of one billion plus people or about 5000 seats in the state assemblies?
It takes many years and sacrifice of few generations to make history of a nation. Citizens of the country have to think what his obligations are towards the country where they are born with a right and freedom of speech and expression. It is not that we have never had good parliamentarians. There are still few of them even now. But slowly the politics began to be used as a power-centre and bureaucracy started to become subservient to wishes and moves of the political leaders to further their own interest. Initially politicians used the bureaucracy to organize vote for them. The bureaucrats used criminals to ensure votes for their political bosses. Thus came in saga of booth capturing and nexus of criminals, bureaucrats and politicians.
Criminals then realized that bureaucrats and their political masters were using them during the poll time only. So they decided to share the spoil and have say in governance and decided to get in to the political fray themselves. That is how criminalization of politics started. It was the cheapest method to fame, glory and money.
Why did this happen? This happened because in the first phase of the criminalization of the politics, when booth capturing was in vogue, the good people became indifferent of the social malaise. Instead of coming forward to fight and set example to the future generation, good people avoided going to the polling booth. They did not want to stand in line under the sun to cast their vote. It was either too tiring for them or did not want to question the Polling Booth officer if his or her vote had been cast by some goons already. Election Day was a good holiday for them. No collective responsibilities were undertaken by the so called “good people”. They never raised their voice. They became indifferent to election process of the country. Thus inactivity of “good people’ really destroyed the society and our nation as whole.
In the second phase of the criminalization of politics, the criminal themselves got in to the State Assemblies and Parliament. An analysis of percentage of vote cast by the eligible people has declined many times in the past few elections. The votes by Rikhshawalas and people for “Jhuggi-Jhopri” have gone up. They have elected the people who should not be there under coercion, corruption and doles given by the candidates. So why blame the elected members?
Quality of our elected members is quite visible in what we see in our Parliament and State Assemblies. Thanks to direct and recorded telecast of the same. We can see the valuable time of the parliament and state assemblies being wasted. Important legislations and bills on the agenda are not even discussed and debated. It costs Rs75 lacs to the exchequer for each day of parliament in session. Our future generation is learning what should not be done, what should not happen. We can see it clearly in the student politics in universities and colleges.
It is time that all conscientious people of the country come forward to elect the government for which one will have to be prepared to undergo hardship, threat and even sacrifice to cleanse the election process. That is the cost a nation demands from its citizens to give itself good governance. Hindustan/ Bharat is looking to its intelligentsia to wake up and rise.