TODAY -

In quest of leadership

Free Thinker *



In politics if you are looking for an ally who is faultless you won't find one. Honesty is largely antagonistic to politics. While talking about a great Maratha leader, one political analyst opines, "if the leader says he is going to the North , start searching him in the South".

The present political scenario in the State is nothing but a manifestation of constant power struggle , opportunism and hypocrisies.

When you are in power you are compelled to indulge in malpractices or in other words you become corrupt because of unavailable circumstances. When we say corruption - it has a wider connotation . This includes nepotism, favouritism, bribery, manipulation and all other forms of malpractices.

You may like to remain relatively clean in your profession. But the system and the society insists that you should behave in a particular way - then how long you can resist ?

It is high time to increase the resistance power of our politicians particularly at the top . If the leaders can resist the temptation the rest can easily follow suit.If the leadership is clean automatically the heirarchy down below including the bureaucracy and police will also remain clean. It is easy to preach but extremely difficult to practice.

The fundamental problem lies with the us, the people. We have a culture of showing gratitude and happiness to those who have done something for us. That beautiful culture is now distorted like anything ; before the work is done you are showing gratefulness by giving pecuniary gratitude instead of fruits, flowers and fishes. Today the level is horrendously high. Poor people can't afford it.

Another basic issue closely linked with corruption is the habit of selling our votes at the time of elections. The candidates are directly or indirectly forced to buy your votes. The price of a vote depends on the market - depends on the monetary status of the contestants.

If your opponent is giving 1000 per vote you are tempted to give 1200. And if your opponent comes to know about your stake, then he won't mind to pay 1500 per vote. The worst part is we are accepting their money and cast our votes accordingly.

Then the vicious cycle starts, if the winner (MLA) had invested 5 cores in the election he/she will certainly try to earn more than 5 crores during the tenure as MLA or Minister. Not only that he will earn more to prepare for the next election.

This is one of the root causes of corruption in our society. Let's not talk about other States. Every Tombi ,Chaobi or Hongbi knows that it has been the practice for decades now. Where is the panacea ?

If a leader is elected not on the basis of his paying capacity but on the basis of his social work, public contribution, image and background our future would have been brighter.We are in fact dooming our future by selling our votes . Don't blame the politicians who have purchased your rights for 5 years.

In fact you have sold your dignity, morality and say to the person who have paid for your votes. Consequently you have to pay a price for everything even for the job of your meritorious daughter.

Politicians are also human beings they want to survive in their profession. For their own survival they become reluctantly unethical - try to mint money from all possible sources. They extract money from local area development fund , recruitments, transfer & postings, the Central or State schemes and projects.

They themselves become contractors or builders or directly involved in the distribution of food grains etc. Somehow they have to maintain an expensive public life and at the same time to keep a comfortable amount of money for the next election.We really don't know when we will be able to break this vicious cycle.

As far as the character of political leaders are concerned, they are also like you and me. They are no saints or monks, they are mortals with many infirmities. The US president Franklin Roosevelt had notorious friends, consulted astrologers, had wives, was a constant smoker and drinker but he was a great American leader.

The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill slept more than required, smoked Cigar nonstop , drank heavily at night but he was considered a statesman. Hitler was a decorated war hero, a vegetarian, didn't smoke and was perhaps a teetotaller , a German nationalist to the core but a war monger.

We have many local politicians who are comparable to these above mentioned great leaders in terms of their personal lifestyle. Certainly of course not comparable in terms of their greatness.

But we really feel bad about our politicians or local leaders because all of them feel that to be in power/government is the ultimate thing . They are yet to learn the art of excelling in politics while sitting in opposition. A strong opposition is quintessence for a democracy and a great opposition leader commands enormous respect.

If you can remain in opposition as a leader maintaining a vibrant image , believe me you will be more powerful and glorified in the society than anyone in the Council of Ministers. Both bureaucrats and police shall salute you. Thousands of people would like to stand behind you. Any takers ?

Is there any cure for our politicians - so to enable themselves to recuperate from the disease of corruption & power-hungriness ? The vaccine is with the people.

When and how it will be administered depends on them?


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on July 19 2020 .



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