I have been wanting to write about our country’s political system for quite some times but could not bring myself to do it until I got an email just the other day which was like a slap in my face, and would be a slap on every Indian’s face. That email made me think that we as a population, we as citizens of this huge country are just as much a stooge as the politicians are. We are absolutely responsible for the despicable life that we lead. Then came the decision of the ruling Congress government to break Andhra Pradesh into two naming the other state as Telangana. By doing this the government actually opened the Pandora’s Box and now as of date the Mayavati government of Uttarpradesh wants a separate state by the name of Poorvanchal. The Gorkha Mukti morcha in the north West Bengal has renewed their demand for a separate state, and God only knows how many will follow suit. It seems that all the problems of our country has been solved and now only such things are left to handle and spend upon whereas the basic amenities like food clothing and shelter are yet to reach the masses. I thought I should pen my thoughts now.

The email is about the Last assembly election that was held in the month of April 2009 and went on to the month of May 2009 The details of the dates and the phases I reproduce below just to impress upon my readers that this process of conducting the assembly election is a gargantuan task undertaken every five years and to conduct this process yours and my hard earned money is spent. Crores and crores of money is spent, taxpayers money is spent to elect a representative who will sit in the highest office of the country and promulgate decisions and law that will see the effective functioning of our huge country. They will represent you and me in the parliament .

The election schedule of the 16th assembly election 2009

1st phase: April 16, 2009 (124 seats)

2nd phase: April 23, 2009(141 seats)

3rd phase: April 30, 2009 (107 seats)

4th Phase: May 7, 2009 (85 seats)

5th phase: May 13, 2009 (86 seats

1st phase: April16 :

Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshwadeep. March 23: Issue of notification. March 30: Last date of filing nominations. March 31: Scrutiny of nomination. April 2: Last date of withdrawal of nomination

2nd phase: (A) April 22 :

Manipur. March 28: Issue of notification. April 4: Last date of filing of nomination. April 6: Scrutiny of nomination. April 8: Last date of withdrawal of nomination.

2nd phase: (B) April 23 :

Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand. March 28: Issue of notification. April 4: Last date of filing of nomination. April 6: Scrutiny of nomination. April 8: Last date of withdrawal of nomination

3rd phase: April 30 :

Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Sikkim, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu.

4th Phase: May 7 :

Bihar, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi. April 11: Issue of notification. April 18: Last date of filing of nomination. April 20: Scrutiny of nomination. April 22: Last date of withdrawal of nomination

5th phase: May 13 :

Himachal Pradesh,  Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttaranchal, Chandigarh, Pondicherry, Uttar Pradesh.

Such grueling was the schedule of this election. That email therefore was a slap on my face. The email, “Can one imagine working for the following company?

It has a little over 500 employees with the following statistics

29 have been accused of spouse abuse.

7 have been arrested for fraud.

19 have more than three criminal cases pending against them .

117 have been charged and are being investigated for Murder, Rape, Assault, Extortion and Robbery.

71 cannot get credit or loans due to bad credit histories.

21 are current defendants on various lawsuits..

84 have been involved in offenses and have paid fines.

Can you guess what mighty Organization this is?

It is the 545 members of the Lower House of Parliament of India that works for you and me. The same group cranks out hundreds upon hundreds of Laws design , takes decisions that changes our lives in a second,to keep the rest of us in line……”

India is the world’s largest democracy. When the constitution was made, all that was put forth as the qualification to become a member of the parliament, was just the basic three things 1.should be a citizen of India 2.should be at least 25 years of age 3. Should be a registered voter. All Indian citizens above the age of 18 have the right to vote. May 2009 the world largest Democracy concluded the gigantic exercise of electing their leaders to the 16th Lok sabha term.

The difficulty in conducting this gargantuan exercise was compounded by the fact that just few months before this election in the late hours of 26th November Mumbai was attacked by terrorists and it was a nightmare for all of the residents of Mumbai. There were intelligent bureau inputs that terrorists from Pakistan would try their utmost to disrupt this election process at various locations. Nearly hundreds of terrorists from SWAT valley in the North Western frontier Province of Pakistan actually crossed the borders braving the snow and the adverse weather conditions that were prevailing during that period to give shape to their evil design. BUT the election process went on smoothly with no incidence of violence being reported from anywhere.

New York Times came out with an excellent observation which I reproduce here bellow: “True this is the place where Gandhi, Buddha, Mahavir, Guru Govind Singh were born and preached their religion. True India has the second largest population of Muslim. India truly is a picture of Unity in Diversity. India truly is a picture of the bouquet of colored flowers. In such a backdrop one would expect all the citizens to come out in force and vote for their next leaders to lead. The disappointing fact remains that there has been a very low turnout of voters, about 41% which conversely means that 59% did not cast their votes.  59% of the eligible voters stayed away from this gigantic process.”

Six months before the start of the election process campaigns were launched. There were umpteen numbers of television commercials urging each and every eligible voter to come out and vote. Famous personalities urged everyone to come out and vote. The voters ignored the commercials and the famous personalities and they did not come out to vote.

I have been delving into the psyche of each of the voters trying to think in the way they would have thought before going to cast their valuable vote, just to find an explanation for such apathy towards this huge process. The reasons that I have are not many but each of them are very pertinent.

Few years before we got the Independence, in the year 1947, the National movement had gathered a lot of steam all the political parties in India namely Congress led By Jawarharlal Nehru, The communist Party led by one of the stalwart of the freedom movement Sri Harkishen Singh surjeet, The Muslim league led by Mohammed Ali Jinnah all these leaders and the Parties had but one agenda and that was to free India from the bloody clutches of the British. The British government then realized that they will not be able to rule India further. Just before granting India the Independence the politics of separatism started and the then Stalwarts of Indian politics failed to see the implications. They failed to perceive the dubious politics of divide and rule injected by the British. The riots between Hindus and Muslim took place on both sides. Thousands and thousands of innocent people were killed on both sides. Families were separated, loved ones had to reconcile to the fate of leaving each other, and thousands were maimed. This was only because the two pillars of the then political system Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohammed Ali Jinnah The two stooges both wanted power to rule free India, neither wanting to reconcile. Mahatma Gandhi could not broker peace between them; he went on a fast but to no avail and ultimately Pakistan was created and Mohammed Ali Jinnah was its premier where as Jawarharlal Nehru became the prime minister of free India.

From then till today the politics of separatism has continued and we the gullible and not so intelligent citizens of India time and again fell into the traps of this politics of separatism. We have always failed to realized that these politicians have but one agenda in todays free India and that is to seat in the chair of power by hook or by crook, mainly by crook. We are used as pawn in the game of numbers  where we are the vote bank and to garner our support the bloody politicians can go to any extent. Look at the latest inclusion in the history of politics of separatism. Raj Thakare. His MNS, Maharashtra Nirman Sena. The word nirman is synonymous with progress and here he is brutally attacking the youngsters who came to give entrance examination of the railway recruitment board. Constitution of India has given the right to every citizen of India to go anywhere in India in search of job ,a citizen can work anywhere in India and here Mr Raj thakare is used his political clout to stop Indians ,who had come from Uttarpradesh and Bihar, from sitting in this exams. Supreme court guarantees the freedoms as prescribed in the constitution. Raj Thakare’s men and goons assaulted the candidates and vandalized the exam center forcing the authorities to cancel the exam. For such dastardly act Raj Thakare should have been behind bars but today he is free man and on the contrary he is at times a guest of honor in some stupid functions. Seeing this, the citizens of India will have a total aversion to go in the hot April sun to vote for someone like a goon named Raj Thakare . Politicians try to divide us on the basis of Language, on the basis of caste, on the basis of class and on the basis of Religion only to garner a sufficient number of voters by virtue of which they might come to power. In doing so none of the Political leader in this country has actually thought about the country and its people. Crores and Crores of rupees were spent in changing the names of the cities like Mumbai from Bombay, like Kolkata from Calcutta, Like Bangaluru from Bangalore. Question is what is the need to do these changes?  Have the politicians solved every problem that the country is facing? Even after sixty two years of Independence the election manifesto is the same. Housing for all, Food for all and medical for all. There is no change in the manifesto of any political party in India because the root problems have never been dealt with. Every Party that was in the fray for this election had their agenda printed in glossy prints and each party promised electricity to the rural India, water good road etc etc. Come to think of it, from 1947 till date 2009 the agenda is the same which means that any party that comes to the power does practically nothing for the masses once they come in power. Before election they are epitome of humbleness but soon after they come in power they forget whatever they promised to the masses and the agenda that they printed on the glossy pages remains in the glossy pages for ever. Hence we find that even after 62 years of independence good roads, electricity to the rural areas, water, shelter and illiteracy still finds place in the agendas after agenda and the population has to fend for themselves for the basics. Year after Year funds are allocated to implement the agenda and the funds mysteriously disappear.

Politicians like Raj Thakare should have been punished in the strongest possible manner but the lackadaisical attitude of our judiciary when it comes to the question of punishing the politicians raise lots of doubt in the psyche of the common Indians. Nothing is going to happen to these goons. The law, the police, The judiciary is all for the common Man. The law of the land does not apply to people like Raj Thakare, like Papu Yadav and the likes who blatantly defile the Constitution of India. Such politicians are actually the terrorist that India as a country should be aware of, as these breeds of politicians are breaking the country from within. We do not need a foreign hand our own hand is doing the work of the foreign hand.

Therefore the psyche of the voters is that all the politicians are the same , they are basically the opposite sides of the same coin, anybody and everybody is the same and nothing is going to change. The low turnout in the election shows resignation among the voters.

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar when he made the constitution he basically compiled the constitution from the various constitution of the world. He took the best points from various constitutions and made into one. No doubt this was a mountainous job and very well executed, but this constitution has one basic flaw. There is no restriction to the number of political parties that can be formed in this country. Anybody who is a citizen of India can launch a political party of his own with even a handful of supporters. There is no cap on the minimum qualification of the political aspirant. With the constitutional right and with no cap on qualification any criminal today is a political aspirant and he or she is accepted in the political system without any question. Politics therefore in India has become a haven of criminals of all types. From rapist to smugglers, from murderers to petty crimes the political parties cutting across all ideology has only them as their candidates. Such people only join the political system to escape from the law as they very well know that as long as they are in power or once they are in power they will get immunity from all the crimes that they have committed and will have total sanction of the government to perpetrate more crimes. We the people of India have to caste our votes to bring one of them in power. Why should we? The statistics of the parliament profile which I stated in the beginning of this article precisely shows that.

Again the psyche of the voters refrains them from going out in the April sun to cast their vote. Whom to vote for? Every politician irrespective of the Party is a goon, a rapist, a criminal, a murderer and cutting across every political party the politician is the most corrupt person in India and No law can do anything to them.

There is a phrase very common in India, “A politician can even sell his mother if he can get some money out of it”. If all the black money that these politicians have stashed away is brought to the country there would be no deficit financing. All the loans that India has taken would be mitigated, all the projects that are stuck due to paucity of funds would be completed, and even after this there would be surplus which would then be utilized in the R & D in all scientific fields. That would be UTOPIA.  So whom do we vote for? We don’t want a stupid, illiterate, murderer, rapist, burglar and a corrupt person to be our leader and sit in the highest office –THE PARLIAMENT. This is the general sentiment among all Indians. This shows that by far the most the population of India has resigned to its fate of being ruled by a bunch of idiots and criminals.

Is there any answer to all these? When I was in my school way back in 1977 I was given a topic of debate which was, “Dictatorship is the only answer to India’s misery” and I spoke for the topic. Today I feel that it is the answer to India’s misery. During Indira Gandhi’s time when she was the prime minister of our country she had declared emergency in the country. During that period the country showed tremendous growth, crime rates came down, corruption came down drastically and everything seemed to be running smoothly.

We as country we are not ready for democracy. We still do not understand the value of democracy. Pre Independence we all had but one issue and that was to drive away the British. Then one midnight in the year 1947 India was declared independent and we from then on have not understood the value of independence and democracy. Some say that India is heading towards civil war but violence is not the answer to India’s misery. Violence begets violence. The answer lies in the Total overhaul of the system.

Let me enumerate the steps that should be taken to bring about a radical change in the lives of us Indians.

1. The minimum qualification for all political aspirants should be at least a master’s degree in any field as this will bring about an analytical approach to all the issues.

2. There should be a cap on the total number of political parties that India can have.

3. No political aspirant who has any brush with the law should be allowed to stand in the election. The maximum age of all the politicians serving the country should be 65 year only. Post 65 they should retire and make way for younger and more dynamic persons to come in. today most of our politicians are septuagenarians who cannot even take care of themselves how will they take care of the nation and its aspiration?

4. There should be total accountability in the functioning of the government.  A step in this direction has begun recently with the RTI act which is note worthy.

5. The law order situation should go under the knife and have a total overhaul. Police should be autonomous delinked from the political parties and the politicians. Judiciary should be able to discharge justice in the shortest possible time, it is a common adage, “justice delayed is Justice denied” Law and order should be same for everybody irrespective of their position. Politicians should have no control on the Police.

6. Every citizen from the age of 18 to the age of 20 should have compulsory military training as this will instill a sense of discipline and a love for our country.

We as a power can make the government act according to our requirement and make them implement the above we can at least give our future generation a better India of which they can be proud of.

Author has a masters degree in Anthropology from Calcutta university