Wanted: Sincere and Honest Indian politicians

By: Radha Radhakrishnan
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A Raja, Resigned after corruption charges
Scams, scams everywhere but not a soul to decide on them… This could well be the anthem we in India may end up singing for some days to come. In the last week if you had picked up any Indian newspaper, you surely would have read about one corruption scam or the other on the front pages of the paper. These scams are of different hues – Common Wealth Games (CWG) scam, Adarsh Housing Scam, Land grab scam in Karnataka and finally the mother of all scams the 2G scam involving former Union Telecom Minister A Raja. There are numerous tapes floating around 'supposedly" tapped conversations between politicians, ministers, corporates, lobbyists and finally media discussing and debating political horse trading, court verdict of Ambani brothers dispute, Air India, 2G and what not. While the veracity of these tapes is questionable, we however cannot put it past us that this has indeed transpired.

Consider this. A report from Global Financial Integrity (GFI) puts the illegally siphoned off money meant for the uplift of citizens at $125 billion between 2000 and 2008. India ranks 84 out of 180 countries in Transparency International"s 2009 Corruptions Perceptions Index ranking. This report points to corruption pervading specifically in Indian Stock markets and corruption in private education. Going by the recent scams we definitely have gone past these. Today corruption and lack of transparency is all pervasive – be it politics, business, sports or education.

The sad and shameful aspect of all this is to see the man who is regarded as Father of economic reforms in India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, is being questioned for his action and inaction in the 2G scam. The man who was listed in 2010 by Newsweek magazine as “the leader other leaders love" today stands with his credibility questioned. The only hope for all the scam mess is our Judiciary. The way it is questioning the Prime Minister on the 2G scam is commendable. It is also credit to the great democracy that we are.

But at a deeper level India"s political system requires a thorough clean up. We need infusion of new energy and a whole new thinking on which India"s political system should be built. Such thinking should be on the solid foundation of integrity, honesty and transparency. To make this happen, we need more young blood that are educated, intellectual and more importantly honest.

Clean up is also required in ensuring political parties do not end up being an extension of a family house hold. It beats me why the Indian media which so keenly watches whether family run Indian businesses are professionally run or not turns a complete blind eye to the operations political parties. We consider it perfectly normal for a family member to inherit his or her parent"s legacy in politics even though the person may not possess the necessary qualities to be in politics in the first place. If some of the tapes floating around are to be believed, they highlight how the regional party in Tamil Nadu, the DMK, is being run with members of M Karunanidhi"s family holding sway and steering party fortunes according to their vested interest. For decades we have accepted India"s largest party, Indian National Congress (INC) belongs to one family and we seem to be happy being governed by them immaterial of whether they are steering the country"s fortune from the front seat or the back seat.

Mahatma Gandhi had once said, "I would go to the length of giving the whole congress a decent burial, rather than put up with the corruption that is rampant." If that has to get implemented in today"s India then the whole political system must be buried and Indian Politics 2.0 should emerge that promises clean, honest and transparent governance. Mammoth Task and requires honest and sincere people entering politics with the sole interest of working for public good. Until then we will have to suffer corruption and more scams.

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*The views expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oneindia.in or of Greynium Information Technologies Pvt Ltd. *

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