Bangalore, Aug 28: The rupee is sliding dangerously, prices of essential goods are sky-rocketing, a spiritual leader is mocking the law after allegedly raping a minor, young women are unsafe on roads even in big cities, neighbours are continuously provoking at the borders, honest administrative officers are being dumped, key files concerning a massive corruption have gone missing, the prime minister is virtually non-existent while his government makes a last-ditch effort to save its present by putting the nation's economy under threat by means of welfare measures. Nobody knows what's in store for tomorrow. India is on an auto-pilot mode and could crash anytime and anywhere.
Couldn't this situation be better? At 66, India is a country that should have come a long way to institutionalise its nation-building process and allow its strong pillars to flourish. But we have proudly marched on the opposite direction. The natural resources, a steel-frame bureaucracy, ideals like secularism, a potential economy, a young nation with strong knowledge base and other institutions have been looted and attacked. And all this for the sake of democracy. What an irony!
Everything under the sun has been reduced to a subject of politics in India today. Whether it is about the robbed modesty of a girl or a woman who have been traumatised for life or the plight of the economy of a nation that had exhibited a huge potential but now faces an uncertain future, political calculations and blame game have become the shocking orders of the day.
The top politicians of contemporary India are never seen coming together to take on the economic slumpdown or putting rapists behind bars. But they shamelessly unite against the apex court's order against allowing criminals from contesting elections or in an effort to put the parties outside the ambit of the right to information, a genuine democratic credential.
People feel that general elections should be called at this very moment so that the country's economy is saved from crashing. Is there any realistic chance of that happening? Poll surveys conducted by various agencies and channels have shown that regional parties will play a big role in the post-2014 political arrangement. If it so happens, how many of us are ready to back leaders like Nitish Kumar, Mulayam Singh Yadav or Mamata Banerjee as leaders who can rule the country on the expected lines and that too while leading fragile coalitions?
Yes, it is commendable that we have utlised our political democracy over the years to ensure that a form of social mobilisation has taken place. Today, the coalition politics speaks volumes about our successful political democracy but what about the other aspects of a democratic nation? In terms of economy, society, gender, poverty, education, labour, why do we see lopsided growth in out national life?
Why the voting rights of a poor man or a woman couldn't be made the means to provide them a fair share in the society in the name of food security or gender equality? Economics and politics have always run counter to each other in this country. Why have we failed to equate good politics with good economics even 66 years after independence?
The time has come to think over these issues. The benefits of the political democracy must be accompanied by other aspects or they won't remain beneficial after a point of time for anybody. There has to be a captain taking over the wheels of the wonder ship called India. Or a crash is imminent.