Dear Indian Political Class,
It is a nationally accepted fact that you do as little work as possible for the people who elect you; in fact one often finds that you do nothing at all. Well, other than unnecessarily stalling trains (thereby inconveniencing passengers), threatening air hostesses, assaulting policemen, making barbarically insensitive comments on cases of rape, exploiting your powerful position and travelling across the world on tax payers’ money. And all this highly productive work is done when you spend time OUTSIDE Parliament, because when you are inside that absolutely stunning piece of architecture you choose to throw chairs, slippers (any other throw able object) and obscene words at each other. During this period, one of you (i.e. The Speaker of the House) makes feeble attempts at controlling the chaos which often manifests as a vacant/ exhausted expression on his or her face (hint: this is how one is NOT sexist). Then comes election time, that one occasion in five years that you choose to curse…errs…sorry…grace….your constituents with your presence. And, you tell us why we should elect you- “we’re the same caste”/ said politician prostrates himself or herself in front of village elders/ “we’re the same religion”/ “same gender”/ in cahoots with the Corporate elite/ easily bribable (translation: “aap ka kaam ho jaayega”)/ “can help oppress so-and-so-party/ we-make-rules-which-benefit-only-us. You proudly wear it like a badge on your chest: ‘Free riding, without giving a damn about the electorate since, 1947’.
Obviously the nation suffers. We’re associated with (and suffer) rape, extreme levels of poverty, fairly poor Human Rights, terrible law enforcement, no proper sanitation or public infrastructure, a massive population, high illiteracy, one of the largest (ongoing) “brain drains” in the world and, of course, the globally acknowledged inability to speak English. But you don’t care do you? You’re too busy being incompetent to notice. At least we have Bollywood (and their increasingly mediocre films, but that merits an entirely different discussion). Why are you being asked all these rather pointless questions, questions to which we already have answers? Because, one of you made a promise to actually govern the country: Using a phrase now so casually thrown about that even the average Indian centipede knows it in all twenty two official languages. That promise was to actually GOVERN the country, which means solving the MINOR problems like an increasing number of road accidents, almost non-existent public infrastructure, law and order issues and (the national favourite) CORRUPTION.
You must also wonder why the politicians across the spectrum are being questioned. That’s because all you political parties either back candidates from political families (read: nepotism), film stars (North and South) or all manner of criminals, from the regular petty thief to individuals accused one rape, murder and fraud. In short, the law breakers are the law makers. But we already know this, you argue, and remember, We-the-Electorate, voted for an imminently questionable party based on the word of one man. Now this is where you come in. For most of you who didn’t attend Civics class in Class 10 the Prime Minister of this country is indirectly elected by the Electorate who must instead vote for Members of Parliament (MP), such as yourselves. And then the political party with the majority in Parliament…well…you know that part of the drill. Therefore it is you, MP’s (and MLA’s in the Legislative Assemblies) who are directly accountable to us- and it’s your job to utilize those funds that you receive from the government to solve our problems. Your job, that thing that the rest of us do to earn an income, is NOT TO:
- Undermine the bureaucracy or the law enforcement (including traffic police) for your personal benefit (example: A politician’s child commits a crime and it magically stops being a crime)
- Become the Employment Generation Office for your families/ friends ( to be fair though, almost everyone outside politics seems to be employing their friends and relatives, it’s not just you)
- Spend the tax payers money for your own benefit
- AND… (This is the toughest one, you might even need the famous Yoga lessons as help) take BRIBES.
Lastly, dear Political Class, give better candidates the chance to get involved and allow the over worked, regularly harassed, AIB watching Electorate to choose better. You’re not God. You’re elected representatives . You’re accountable. So, start acting like it.
Think of it as going to rehab. Or the Himalayan Ananda Spa.