By Chandan Wadhwa:
The hue and cry of the common man resonating in the corridors of the parliament and on every media channel is no longer a myth. The situation has trended from bad to worse as the policies of the ruling government have adversely affected the ‘aam aadmi’. Since the dawn of liberalisation in 1991, India, its people and the economy have undergone a series of changes. The GDP measure has been on a rise, up until now. A plethora of Indian businesses are competing to be the best in offering goods and services to customers worldwide. Thus, India is thriving globally in free-market economy. Amidst all this commotion, one thing which has remained oblivious to these mega achievements is ‘State of Indian Politics’ which remains mired in decadence.
Politics by virtue itself carries a bad name as the common man’s mindset is such that they directly correlate corruption with politicians and the unravelling of multi crore scams in the public domain has just acted as a catalyst. From Gadkari to Rahul Gandhi, nobody can claim themselves to be absolutely clean. Thus these revelations in the field of politics have reached the acme of people’s patience and have poked every individual out of their sleep to raise their voices against corruption.
Indian politics is still hierarchical and the feudal mind-set is predominant and merit is relegated to the background. The election season is almost here and various political parties are on their toes to lure the voters to vote in their favour by promising freebies to various groups of voters during elections- power, interest-free loans, televisions, laptops and tablets to students, reservations etc. It is an endless list. These might create an aura of bliss and raise the expectations from these parties but none of them care to communicate about the recourses via which they can keep their promises. Thus the same old story continues and the lack of innovation in the political arena has been haunting India for nearly two decades. The need to change is long due and young India is waiting for this to materialise.
Politics and politicians must align their ideologies to meet the rising economic aspirations of the country. Gone are the days of bogus promises and lethargy and political discourse is transforming from the age old themes of social justice, reservation and secularism to social and infrastructure development, job creation and prosperity. The concerns of modern day India are predominantly economic and lifting millions out of poverty will be major precipice in the coming decades.
In the purview of Indian political system it wouldn’t be wrong to get inspired by our American counterparts in the same field. The American politics has been a far less mucky affair than the Indian system. Obama’s election as President was based on hope and change and he didn’t disappoint either. In the middle of the worst financial meltdown, he managed to guide through testing situations. The policies adopted and implemented by his government were pro people- from the extension in child tax credits to the creation of international tax haven watch – all these helped in improving the welfare of the state without many judicial barriers and acting swiftly to cater to maximum beneficiaries.
India is in dire need to build a consensus among various political parties on the most important tax reform- the goods and services tax- and propose a transparent political funding process to curb corruption. The recent reform blitz is just one side of the coin and a lot of work still needs to be done for an inclusive development of the country. Hence, it is imperative for the various political parties to explicitly formulate a long-term reform agenda that offers a clear and definitive choice to voters. Agriculture, land usage and education, to name a few state subjects, require reforms by the state government. Transforming labour laws, speeding up infrastructure development and tackling the ever ballooning subsidy bills comes under the ambit of the central government. Thus proper coordination among both the levels will help in integrating the society and responsible actions by the individuals in power can minimize the loss to the nation and bring it back on the healing path.