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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Indians must stop funding poor governance

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The Indian taxpayer is being taken for an expensive ride this state election season

I have had enough!
A major chunk of India has been in the throes of significant political activity over the past few months. State elections have recently concluded in Punjab; Goa too is in the same boat. Uttar Pradesh has remained an ongoing headline (courtesy of the much publicised family feud amongst the warring Yadav clan) much prior to the election process that is currently underway there. Travel southwards and Tamil Nadu has been embroiled in a power struggle of its own post the passing away of Jayalalithaa.
Indian state elections 2017.Indian Link
All of these political hotspots have been a major distraction from governance and leadership in the rest of the country. All the political big-wigs (both at national and state-level) have been leased out (almost on a full-time basis) to these political battlegrounds with a singular motive of either getting elected into power, or finding a way to remain in power. The majority of their time and effort is being spent in luring gullible voters into voting for their parties.
Seemingly unending political campaigns, mass rallies, yatras, sloganeering, jingoism, and political mudslinging have taken centrestage over the past few months. And, the trend seems to be continuing, at least into the immediate, foreseeable future.
The Indian public is being taken for a ride – and worse, they’re funding this political merry-go-round at their own peril.
Indian state elections 2017.Indian Link
The people of India elect governments using democratic processes in order to appoint the most suitable people to lead their welfare by providing adequate healthcare, education, and overall social and economic upliftment. Governments are funded by taxpayers and therefore remain accountable to the taxpayers for every single penny that they spend. However, there is a blatant disregard for any accountability towards Indian taxpayers and citizens by these warring Indian political parties (and their respective armies of sycophants and loyalists).
On the contrary, all the political parties of today are shamelessly throwing away taxpayer money to wage their own political battles across the nation in desperate bids to cling to power.
One does not have to be a rocket scientist to work out that all these high stakes political campaigns and the associated election processes are extravagant affairs. No doubt, Indian taxpayers (unknowingly) are funding a good chunk of these extravaganzas – with money that should be spent on welfare and development. Every single penny of it.
Indian state elections 2017.Indian Link
No major media outlets have spoken up against this political corruption of mammoth proportions. In fact, the more renowned journalists of India have been busy on yatras and ‘road-shows’ of their own in the name of bringing us the stories from the streets of these political battlefields. They do not realise that by choosing to be a part of the circus they end up being clowns too. They are entrusted with the duty of informing citizens of India about the state of the nation. The current state of the nation is that the political parties are robbing Indian citizens of governance, leadership, welfare, and taxpayer funds by focusing only on fighting electoral battles.
Somehow, every Indian citizen has to be empowered to seek accountability for every single penny of the tax that they pay to their government. They need to be empowered to challenge these political thugs who stage processions and rallies just to benefit their political ambitions. Months and months of governance and leadership that should be used by the government in steering the upliftment of an entire country cannot (and must not) be sacrificed towards fighting and winning elections while an entire country merely watches on.

Indian state elections 2017.Indian Link
(AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

The prime responsibility of all Indian politicians is to represent the people of their respective electorates to the best of their abilities, not to use state machinery and resources towards campaigns of getting themselves elected. Governance is not about a battery of state-sponsored vehicles with red lights beaming over them. Governance is making sure that the poorest and the neediest in your communities are being taken care of and are being lifted out of their misery.
Indian state elections 2017.Indian Link
Indian citizens have to wake up to the fact that they are the ones funding the lifestyles of their politicians while they are themselves being made to lie in eternal wait for “achhe din”. Indians must seek more responsible journalism too, aimed at slamming political thuggery and political opportunism. Merely bringing out “stories” about mass rallies and yatras is a failure on the part of journalists and their media organisations alike.
So the next time an Akhilesh Yadav wants to fight his father and his family, let him do so in his own time, using his own money. Let’s not fund the whole fiesta for him and others like him. Every minute of his political time must be spent towards the betterment of his state. And the same applies to the rest of the politicians across India.

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Sanam Sharma
A typical middle class guy who is abundantly opinionated, moderately flawed, and adequately grounded

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