India & Politics

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Indian politics is one of the most complicated and divided in the world, and it is amplified by the diversity of the country. I came across this forum discussion about why self-driving cars remain and will probably remain a dream in India for the foreseeable future, while the developed world inches towards policies and laws governing such vehicles. Much of the blame with a lot of India’s problems starts with the polity, but fairly trickle down to the people who put them in power.

“We get the politicians we deserve,” they say and I concur. Indian politicians have been obsessed with power and ruling, not working. And despite that, Indians have elected the same politicians. The fault does lie in our electoral thought process and the choices we make. Despite being a democracy, more often than not, Indians choose their local representatives based on their affiliations with a national outfit. This choice that does not account for representative’s local performance or policies is detrimental as it voids the importance of local issues. The PM will not fix the potholes in your lane; your local corporator, MLA, MP will. A politician who wants to work towards the progress of the constituency will also want to work with superiors at the city, state, country level and lead to progress of the country. But a representative who only wants to accumulate power will try to stay in power for the next 5 years by hook or crook.

A democratic entity functions successfully only when it works as a ground-up, and not top-down. There are some fundamental problems with the country and the only way to fix it is accountability. Our politicians need to be held accountable for every promise they make, every word they say and every policy they advocate for.

Ground realities change governments, not extravagant unfulfilled promises. Or so I hope.

P.S.: I wrote a similar, longer post when the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were approaching: The Dance Of Democracy.