Truth versus hype of Indian politicians

Two distinct behaviours of Indian politicians – joining hands to prevent cricket bodies and parties becoming answerable under RTI and then fighting hammer and tongs to stall Parliament – in the last few months shows why people’s faith in our leaders is fading.

For politicians, it appears that cricket and arbitrary running of the political parties was more important than running Parliament, where as many as 46 key legislations, including land acquisition and whistleblower, are pending since the last six months.

The first week of the monsoon session showed that country’s top leaders are interested stalling Parliament, than running it, as they made all efforts to stall the proceedings.

Many a times, Parliament was stalled on trivial issues. Naming of 20 BJP MPs in the list of those who entered the well of the house became a reason for pandemonium in Rajya Sabha one day. On another, Janata Dal (United) leader Prabunath Singh single-handedly stalled Lok Sabha when he was not allowed to speak on killing of the Indian soldiers in Pooch sector.

The priority of Indian top leaders was visible when cricket lovers across India wanted to make BCCI accountable to them after the betting scam in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Instead of listening to cricket-lovers, BJP leader Arun Jaitley, minister of state for planning Rajiv Shukla and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar were united to ensure that the transparency law Right to Information Act is not made applicable to BCCI.

The leaders cutting across political stream also spoke in same voice when it came to opposing the Central Information Commission order bringing the political parties under the RTI ambit.
The UPA government claimed that there was consensus among political parties on amending the RTI Act – amendments likely to be introduced in Parliament on Monday – to exempt the parties from its purview.

But, it failed to inform the citizens, who feel empowered by the RTI Act, when this consensus was arrived. If the government records are scanned one would not found even a single all party meeting been held on the implications of the CIC order on political parties.

This clearly shows that when it comes to making political class accountable to people through direct intervention like RTI, the leaders join hands to thwart any such attempt.

One should not forget that most of the national sports federations in India are run by politicians and not sportspersons. Leaders like Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav head state cricket boards.

All this makes one thing clear that the Indian political class is not willing to give more power to citizens. The reason could be their belief that such a move would result in people questioning them. For them, democracy means people accepting the way country is being run by them without raising an eye-lid.

To me, it amounts to autocracy – a hallmark of present political system. And that is the truth as against the hype created by politicians of showing they work for people’s empowerment.

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