Today many an honest citizen wonders if Indian political field has not become an open cattle market where our politicians tend to be or aspire to be treated as commodities to be bought and sold by the highest bidder. For a number of years now, the disgusting street play has been played out with the vulgarity of cheap circus comedians. We see the elected representatives being herded like cattle to resorts, star hotels or feeding grounds to protect them from poaching by conscienceless or freelance bidders. Some cash lapping or green pasture seeking need to be protected with special protection forces from political predators. Our democracy has been brought to such a sorry pass.
Many become rudderless and sell their conscience to the devil and become fence sitters, ready to jump into the laps of the waiting vultures at a premium. The promises they made to the electorate as they went around with begging bowls during election season were dumped on the wayside immediately after they left the vicinity of the prospective voters. They know where their interests lie. They know the electorate can be hoodwinked at least for a time.
There are also politicians or parties who become lackeys of business tycoons or industrial magnates in order to collect a windfall of favours or a fringe benefit in business shares. Service to the nation is not a priority. Instant benefit or family prospects are the bull’s-eye. This scenario has infected all parties across the spectrum. It has been estimated that ‘more than 70 prominent politicians crossed camps before the Lok Sabha polls and secured nominations.’ Even those who worshipped at the shrines of Marx and Mao are not immune to it.
The ideal of a socialist India enshrined in the Constitution is becoming anathema to fraternities like those who advocate religious nationalism or to those who want to do away with social and economic inequality. What matters is to treat people as cheap vote banks and promote private interests even by steamrolling over the interests of the socially and economically deprived. These career mongering politicians prosper today more than ever with little interest to serve the nation. They are just deadweight similar to driftwood and need to be segregated as museum pieces surfaced adrift from political blunderland.
Even if one is not elected by the electorate, one can become a glamorous showpiece by being elected to the Parliament from the world of sports or the celluloid. Many men and women from industries or business world have an eye on political hot seats which can bring a windfall of benefits. People’s representatives can come from their world or candidates can be promoted by them. Therefore, the whole political world is a rollercoaster game field or a political gambling den.
Recently Karnataka and Maharashtra have rightly claimed the winner’s cup for corrupt practices of floor crossings, horse-trading and back-stabbing. The repulsive example Ajit Pawar who jumped into BJP territory to bask in the sunshine of the post of the Deputy Chief Minister at least for a day and then his return as a repentant prodigal with fawning tears and crawling in front of his uncle demonstrate monumental mockery in democratic practice. In the high voltage political drama played out with Chanakya principle, Yeddyurappa in Karnataka was reported to have said: We are not hermits.
Winning pliable persons by poaching in the enemy camp is becoming a remorseless predatory exercise rather than an exception. Thanks to Mr. Gaya Lal of Haryana, the Ayaram Gayaram phrase become an oft-repeated one all over India, not just in the cartoon world. This Haryana MLA gate-crashed into the Guinness Book of Records by changing his party thrice within the same day in 1967.
Even if there is anti-defection law, the clever ones look for loopholes to escape. It is said that the spider does not get caught in its own web because it knows the loopholes.
But, the question is, are not these guys stabbing both the party and the electorate in the back? They won on people’s mandate. Once they are out of the electorate territory they think they have no responsibility to the voters and can do freelancing as they want. Such behaviour should be condemned as criminal aberration and such wayward persons should be brought before the electorate in a public hearing to answer to the people. In Naxal fashion we need not garland him with footwear as it happened once in Chhattisgarh, but the truant should be disciplined well to learn a lesson for life.(Published on 02nd December 2019, Volume XXXI, Issue 49)