By Amarpreet Kaur:
India: The very moment you hear your country’s name, the heart wells up with pride. A multi-cultural land with a splendid canvas of history and tradition which is making rapid strides towards becoming a developed nation. A land with a tremendous population that comprises many young minds who are bubbling with energy and enthusiasm to take their country to glorious heights on the path to progress; these are some of the images that conjure up in the mind when we say ‘India’.
All these sound perfect and beautiful. But we all know that perfect can be imperfect too. So let us come out of our comfort zones and face the harsh reality. The India that we know today is a country that has been under the Congress leadership for almost two consecutive five year-terms now. And what has this government given us? Hike in fuel prices, sky-rocketing prices of food items and other essential commodities, increase in criminal activities, a deeply wounded sense of security in the form of the 2008 terror strikes in Mumbai and an economy that is showing signs of a slump. To even think that this list will end would be foolish on my part. There are innumerable instances that I can outline where this government has shown how highly incompetent it is in its functioning.
Amidst all these startling facts, the one thing that speaks for itself is the deep-rooted menace of corruption which our leaders have so lovingly embraced; it’s almost as if the politicians of this country are fighting a sort of contest to prove that each one of them is superior to the other when it comes to immorally and irresponsibly misusing public money- money that belongs to the common man, money that has to be used for the development of the nation.
Every day, the news is replete with stories of one politician or the other pointing accusations on the opposition on some ground of corruption. Whether it is the embezzlement of funds, use of black money, misappropriation of assets or whatever the case may be, the fact is that our leaders are a bunch of high-headed morons who have absolutely no idea of what it means to have a ‘clean and effective’ governance.
The latest to jump on the bandwagon is our very own Janata Party president, Mr. Subramaniam Swamy, who has leveled charges of fraud against the oft-repeated characters: Sonia Gandhi and her son, Rahul Gandhi. The people in question have been accused of inappropriate ownership of a public limited company in Delhi and some parts of Uttar Pradesh and using it for commercial profits of the Congress party. The duo in the line of fire has made several violations as per Mr. Swamy. These include, forming a non-profit company (‘Young Indian’) that does not pay dividends and actually uses it to make monetary gains to the tune of crores of rupees. In addition, they have people who are actually dead, as shareholders of the company- 80 percent of the original shareholders are no more alive. The two have also professed to give loans at no interest to bail out the affected company, the Associated Journals Ltd., but they actually charged hefty interests and added the profits to their bank accounts. Not only this, they also used government accommodation for holding a meeting of the shareholders, Mrs. Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence being the place in question here. Mr. Rahul Gandhi failed to inform that he has 38 percent ownership in ‘Young Indian’ when he declared his assets in the election affidavit.
Now that Swamy has come out in the open with such allegations and demanded a CBI probe into the matter, how could our BJP remain silent? After all it is the perfect opportunity for them to raise fingers at the opposition and gain some public confidence ahead of the upcoming elections. But in the thick of all this nonsense that is brewing up, the one who will be forgotten and made to suffer as always is the common man.
Politics in our country has become a dirty game of power. As far as the Congress is concerned, this government has been by far the worst as much as I can understand from my experience. The charges against the mother-son duo must be thoroughly investigated through a transparent and fair probe. I have no doubt in my mind that the allegations will be proved true. Honestly speaking, corruption has wreaked havoc in our country’s system. Any progress that we make is nullified to a great extent when we have such pathetic people at the helm of ruling affairs of the country. And it is not just the Congress, turn to other political parties and I can guarantee you that you are not going to find any saints over there as well. Politics is a game of blaming the others in order to disguise your own failure to responsibly work for your country. Today it is Swamy versus the mother and son. Tomorrow another publicity-hungry stalwart will wake up and bring to light another saga of the misuse of public money for personal gains.
These tiffs between the power-loving politicos will continue unabated. One day you have one side winning and the next day you might have the other. Also, we can expect some juicy statements coming in between from the party representatives which our media will grab with both hands and flash across our TV screens as ‘breaking news’.
Who is the loser here? I don’t think I need to answer that now; the answer is out there in the open and we know it- the common man. First of all you illegally use money; money that rightfully belongs to the public and should be used for purposes like improving the infrastructure, coming up with better medical and healthcare facilities, raising the standard of living of the citizens, eradicating poverty and improving the literacy rate. That is not enough, so what we need is probe and enquiry committees to be set up and court proceedings to take place. Everybody knows that all these investigations require financial resources, so where do these resources come from? The answer again is- the common man.
The need of the hour is a major revamp of our political system. Arvind Kejriwal, Anna Hazare; these are familiar names now. We need many more of them. The crusade against corruption has started but it will be a long ordeal before we see the system being entirely cleaned up. Kejriwal and his political party demonstrates the idea that you can fight power with power only. As far as I am concerned, all I would say is if anyone ever wanted evidence to validate the age-old adage ‘power corrupts’, explore the Indian political scene. You will not return disappointed.