By Kunal Anand:
The recent furor in the parliament regarding the demand of a hike in the salaries of our “hard-working, honest MPs” presents an interesting picture of our current politics. A country reeling under double digit inflation with many of its major states suffering severe drought would expect a little bit of concern from her representatives. As always, our netas are indifferent to our plight.
The Commonwealth Games shall henceforth be referred to as Common Games, now that all the wealth has gone missing without a trace. Kalmadi and Co. might go scot free.
No CRPF battalion has been butchered in the last one month, so Naxal problem is a thing of distant past now. The Nuclear liability bill is once again on the backburner and Kashmir’s turmoil has become a part of our lives just like the Swine Flu-It’s there, and we don’t care. For heaven’s sake, don’t even talk about rising prices! We are still the cheapest telecom market in the world! These and other such issues suddenly seem worthless in front of the ‘sorry plight’ of our ‘poor’ Members of Parliament. The other day, our desi cowboy Lalu Yadav wore the mantle of Messiah of the voiceless MPs and told the House that his poor colleagues’ salary is lower than that of a cabinet secretary. He did forget to mention the various perks and allowances they receive (see list below). He told that those who oppose this hike in MPs salaries are rich people who live in farmhouses and sleep and kiss their dogs!
Mr. Member of Parliament, the truth is, the one opposing this mockery of our democracy is the common man who has been to a farmhouse only in his dreams; he is the impoverished peasant from Bihar and Jharkhand who is facing the worst droughts in decades, he is the beggar from the streets of Mumbai who sleeps beside dogs on footpath everyday, he is the one who has lost faith in you and everything that your post should stand for- Freedom, honesty, Integrity and above all, a conscience. He expects nothing from you as he knows you are incapable of hearing or helping them until the next election is just round the corner. He expects this silence on your part, your empty words while he mourns the soldiers and sons gunned down by the militia. He doesn’t want your compensation package to help him in the drought because he knows it won’t reach him anyway. Your thirst for money surpasses his need for water. He knows you have been an immoral leader, an even worse representative and the worst role-model. Don’t fool him with your antics, he is hardly amused. You might get the hike that you want, but the nosedive that your acceptability will take would be your own doing. Result? What happened to the Lalu in the last election may happen to you in the next.
For now, the following lines by a Hindi poet seem apt:
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The writer is a Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.