Monday, June 02, 2008

Politicians are synonymous with corruption?

A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen.
- Winston Churchill

As a child my parents would tell me that I should read the newspaper. No matter how much I tried I could never develop an interest towards it, as almost 70% of the news is related to politics in the country. Over time I realized, that our politicians are better known for their skills at exploiting people the money collected as tax from hard working citizens, thus we don't see it getting used for the benefit of the nation and it’s people. I used to wonder, where does all the money go? All the huge amounts that are declared as sanctioned for certain sectors for development do not seem to reach their intended destinations, especially the poor and needy. I always thought why do we need a corrupt government like this. Thus I developed a repulsion to read the daily news, and I must say lost out on a lot of so-called 'general knowledge' on politics. GK questions on politics would probably be like, which year did the Bofors scam happen? When did Laloo get famous with the fodder scam? Our leaders of the highest order are corrupt and misuse their power and contacts to create a corrupt and contaminated environment!

Today's news, 3 cops kidnapped someone and asked for a ransom! It’s astounded me that the holders of the law themselves are corrupt!! Why is our nation failing to show more integrity, it isn't that there aren't genuine people in the system, but the presence of one bad egg is enough to pollute the entire system, and there's not one but so many of them! Extermely exasperating....

I, and many people in my generation literally detest politicians. No matter how much I try, I cannot bring myself to just accept stuff like 'Thats the ways it is" and similar bull! I remember one of my colleagues once commenting that the terrorists should blow up all the politicians and not the common people, and an entire new league of politicians should be elected. For a while I was quite shocked and later came to somehow like the idea. Would it work? Would we really have a fresh lot of people, with fresh ideas and a genuine intent to develop our nation and the people? Another common thought is that they should fight and kill each other and the entire lot of them, get eliminated!

As I pondered over these thoughts more and more, I realized that eliminating them wouldn't end corruption, like eliminating terrorists does not end terrorism as such... It's more a mindset and needs something different than elimination. Our country needs reform and an entire new way of doing things. We need more individuals to take ownership and responsibility of the areas that need work in our nation, and I think several NGOs are doing a pretty fabulous job! We need an entire breed of leaders who are willing to strive for a better life for each of us, and our nation as a whole.

I believe that such incidents of corruption and treason bring shame to our country! In our country all we see hyped about the country is culture, tradition, rituals, blah blah blah blah! What's point of all this hype when we create a bad name internationally! Cheerleaders are a big topic for discussion, when the time spent on it is not even worth it! My message to people and politicians is that, guys wake up!! We have bigger and more compelling issues to be dealt with in such times. Let's work on the real issues and not bother with trivial stuff, and waste the time of a 1.2 billion population!

As an ode to a dream that needs to be realized for our nation, I would like to quote Rabindranath Tagore here: -

Let my country awake

Where the mind is without fear and the head held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Can we make a difference to make such a dream be realized for our country? I wonder how it will be possible... Let's unite as a country and contribute to the realization of such a dream!

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