First up let me clarify that I’m not an Indian citizen and thus don’t vote. No worries though, I’m more of a patriot then most as I pay taxes. My entire circle consists of non-Indians with jobs who pay taxes. It feels like we’re surrounded by lots of rich desis who proudly and most certainly don’t.
The election begins today. From all the info out there, it looks like it’ll be a Modi sweep. People seem happy. Notice I said Modi, not BJP. I offered to sign a piece of paper for someone yesterday stating that 8 years from now, the country would be dissatisfied with Modi’s rule. It’s a given because we’re only changing parties not the way we operate. The BJP’s now has become the party of 1 decision maker, the strong man who despite what he says now, will rule, not serve. Given the complete lack of a valid choice, I do agree that Modi’s the only option.
In all government systems, there are roughly three types of corruption:
1. Kickbacks to government officials for getting things done. Company X, please pay Mr. Politician to receive a contract to build a school. Even maids/drivers use this formally or informally for helping their friends get a job.
2. In 2010/2011, India collected 7.92 trillion rupees through taxation. Now, none of us are hanging out standing guard over the money paid out in taxes, so that pot is ripe for corruption and will only grow as more enter the middle class and pay taxes.
3. Lastly, corruption happens when a public good is “given” at a very low price to make super-natural profits for capitalists. This forms the scams we’ve been hearing about lately. Mines in Karnataka. Land once used for farming, now used at most, by very, very few people racing around a track for a weekend every year. Even the airwaves in the big spectrum giveaway.
In the last decade the Congress party has bathed over and over again in all three types of corruption. They’ve even managed to use the multiplier effect on some scandals like the Commonwealth Games. First use “taxpayer funding” to pay for the Commonwealth Games. Then, they used kickbacks to ensure that all the people involved got the cream off the top. Lastly, people walked off with the $800 toilets that taxpayers paid for. It was a perfect trifecta of all three types of corruption all in one scam.
There is no question that the party should be booted out. Any sane country would levy charges of treason for what happened in Ballary, Karnataka. Treason means a hanging sentence to anyone who not only mined Iron Ore illegally, but also shipped it to China. A country’s people would have to be the lowest of the low to sell a critical resource to our enemies. It boggles my mind that this case has not been resolved yet.
None of this is going to change with the change in government at the center. Despite Gujarat’s growth, there was no shortage of ‘crony capitalism.’ Writ larger on the country’s canvas, we’ll have the same issues again. Even though Modi may personally not be corrupt, just like Dr. Manmohan Singh, he will have a hard time controlling all those who go into politics simply to arrive at ill-gotten gains.
The Aam Aadmi Party who could have/would have/should have become the voice of the voter if only they had chosen to do the job they were hired for in Delhi. Only in politics never in Corporate India (except for ruling families) can someone be hired for job, never actually do it, then put their resume in for a job of higher status. Though, I have immense respect for Mr. Kejriwal and company, I’m afraid that in this round they will not be able come to help us. Had they continued to govern Delhi, they would have.
In finality, I think this means that each one of us will have to come to our own rescue. Each one of us needs to be more involved in our governance. Like citizen scientists who track whales and butterflies and koala bears each one will need to watch their area to ensure the government is doing what it should.
There are a billion of us. Most though spend their days earning their daily ‘roti.’ It only leaves us the knowledge workers who are left to ensure our taxes are being well managed and our birthright under our feet is not being sold to India’s enemies. Roads built to the expected quality where they should be and keeping watch on what politicians are taking kickbacks where. We’ll kind of need to be like those heroes in movies who shot during a war, bandage themselves up and carry on.
After all, if we don’t stand up for our rights, who will?
» Life » Find time to make India...