Mahatma Gandhi once pronounced following seven deadly sins-
- Wealth without Work
- Pleasure without Conscience
- Science without Humanity
- Knowledge without Character
- Politics without Principle
- Commerce without Morality
- Worship without Sacrifice
Hardly did he know that he was predicting the future of India. Today all these ‘sins’ have become commonplace. I can go on and on recounting how we are amassing wealth without workand are stashing them in tax heavens unscrupulously endorsing commerce without morality. I can also blabber endlessly on how we have abused science and knowledge both to create weapons of mass destruction, but today I would like to focus on the deadliest sin rampant in the largest democratic setup – Politics without Principle. If I write against Congress, I am not secular; if I write against BJP, I am an agent of UPA; if I stand against Shiv Sena, I am arrested; if I speak against BSP, I am abusing minority.If I question Mamata, I am a Maoist. The point that I want to drive home is that political parties no longer represent people of India nor do they stand for any ideology. They are neither obliged to common man nor are they accountable. Everything has boiled down to power and corruption. Parties are in a rat race to conquer power and then to abuse power to exploit national exchequer.
I am not against any political party. As I look across party lines, I find one common principle governing all parties, i.e., politics without principles. The recent stand of SP and BSP on FDI issue stands in testimony to it. Ideally each party should have an objective and ideology, which should govern its operations. So if parties have to take a stand on an issue, say FDI. They are expected to analyze if it conforms with their objective and then accept or reject it. But our political parties are opportunists, who bargain for the largest pie. SP and BSP opposed FDI in retail vehemently; former even participated in nationwide protests. But when it came to voting on FDI, SP walked out of voting both in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, BSP followed their state colleagues in Lok Sabha and went a step forward in Rajya Sabha to vote in favor of FDI. The hypocrisy of these parties are out in open. But this is not the first time; such double standards have become integral part of politics.
How can one oppose a policy in principle and yet approve of it? You should either vote in favor or against the motion, walking out of the house is a clear abuse of electoral power that these elected representatives have been given. Doesn’t it imply that they are indifferent to national development or rather incapable to take significant stand on national policies? What amazes me most is that BSP walked out of Lok Sabha, perhaps pretending to project their discontent or indifference over FDI . But very next day in Rajya Sabha they voted in favor of FDI. So what caused this change of heart??
As the 2014 general election draws closer, the picture would be clearer. Political alliance should be based on objectives. If two parties are working towards common goals, they can unite together pre or post elections to achieve their end objective. But today,the only objective of parties is to attain power and as such alliances are based on what the other can offer. How else can TMC first ally with BJP and later partner with Congress to form government? How can BSP and SP support the same government while one supports reservation in promotion and the other opposes it?
BJP has taken its duty as opposition quite literally and is found opposing anything and everything. They even opposed the appointment of head of CBI and advocated that this crucial post remain vacant till lokpal bill is passed. They have been accusing UPA of inaction on corruption charges, but when their own Party President was accused of corruption, they turned a blind eye.
UPA announced a major policy reform in September, and just a couple of months later it disowns the same policy. Yes, I am referring to cap on subsidized LPG to 6 announced this September. Government said it was inevitable to counter financial deficits. How then can the same government announce to raise the cap from 6 to 9 and hence raising fiscal deficits by Rs 9000 crores. Isn’t it a poll gimmick to lure voters?
The only reason Yedyurappa moved away from BJP to form his own political outfit KJP was that Yedyurappa was not given back the chair of Chief Minister following corruption charges. So he openly endorses that his political party has no objective but a single eyed devotion to power. Yet he is expected to garner substantial support in Karnataka.
The moral bankruptcy in political parties logically leads us to political alternative. The stage seems set for entry of Aam Admi Party. But is AAP incorruptible, will they really stick to their principles? Probably not!! Not one, not two, every party today flaunts protocols, defies its objective for personal gains. So the problem lies not in Parties but within ourselves. We voting public have created an ecosystem of votes without work upon which politics without principles thrives. We vote on lines of caste or creed and not on deliverables.
As Gandhi identified this political sin, he has also proposed a way out. “Be the change you want to see“. We should change. We should understand our responsibility. We should realize that our constitution has entrusted a responsibility on us to vote right party into power. We should stick to parties which stick to ideologies. We should shun parties which are opportunists or resort to blame game to stay in news. No sooner do we understand our rights, we would have a new breed of politicians; those who are married to the cause of common people and not to the lust of power.
Its NOW or NEVER!!