POLITICS, CRICKET BAT AND THE BABUS … Sad state of India today

Tathagata Satpathy .. Opiate
By Tathagata Satpathy
IN THE PAST FEW weeks, government officials have been physically assaulted by sons of political bigwigs in two instances. The first incident involved Akash, the son of BJP veteran from Madhya Pradesh Kailash Vijayvargiya. Akash, himself a BJP legislator, who beat up Dhirendra Bayas, an official of the Indore Municipal Corporation, with a cricket bat. The legislator called it an attack “in public interest”. Akash Vijayvargiya  remained unrepentant and believes his action was justified by the fact that municipal officials “dragged women by their feet” from a building that was set to be demolished. No proof was found of the allegations made by Akash in the related CCTV footage.
It is also a fact that the building in question was marked for demolition over a year ago and assessed as too fragile for human habitation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned Akash’s action. Although BJP’s Disciplinary Committee claimed to have issued a show cause notice to Akash, his father says he was unaware of any such notice.
Elsewhere, another drama of a similar nature unfolded as Congress MLA Nitesh Rane, the son of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane, was caught on camera pouring mud on a government engineer. Nitesh, the legislator from Kankavli and his supporters had gone to inspect a stretch of the Mumbai-Goa highway and finding the road in a poor condition, lashed out at civil engineer Prakash Shedekar. According to reports, the engineer was manhandled and supporters of the lawmaker also tried to tie him to the railing of a half-built bridge. It was also reported that the legislator warned the engineer that he would be visiting the site for inspection of repair work with a stick in hand the next time.
Such actions point to the frustrations expressed by younger politicians of all hues. Expectations from politicians are rising rapidly among the masses. On the one hand, the people want that public works should be executed with more efficiently and punctually. On the other, the same citizens are not averse to damaging facilities or usurping public funds. In this scenario, the greed among bureaucrats and executives is also multiplying. The desire to make a quick buck has grown manifold and there probably is no one in this country who would not be willing to take something out of turn as and when such possibilities arise. It would be difficult to name this extreme greed as corruption.
In this battlefield parachutes in the new sets of politicians. Their desire to gain power and fame compels them to showcase some achievements. Fueled by this ambition, they resort to methods such as physical assaults because, brought up as bullies, they can only think of hammering an underdog. As it is, a politician’s image is sullied. Even those who are elected do not seem to enjoy all-round public support. From Donald Trump in the US to leaders in countries across the globe, most of them are in power because there are no viable contenders.
Added to this is the constant effort to spread negativity that can be observed in most countries, India being in the forefront. 
It is possible that this negativity in general political scenario is instigating the new politician to turn violent. By taking up a cricket bat and hitting a junior-level civil servant, an elected representative makes his own work much more difficult. This kind of a violent act is easily interpreted as an attack on the whole bureaucracy, which culminates in the system becoming non-responsive to that particular politician and sometimes his class of people. While the politician’s effectiveness drastically drops, the corrupt act is forgotten in the glare of the beating. The corrupt official metamorphoses into the victim and the story thus continues unchanged.
Instead of resorting to violence, the new generation of politicians may try setting the system correct. For instance, in this age of technology, an agitated representative could whip out his smart phone and videograph the wrong actions of officials. After that, he could ask the concerned officials, on camera, what the reasons could be for such poor quality implementation. When all this is filmed and posted on various social media platforms, it is up for public scrutiny and it goes on record forever. Senior officials would find it difficult to protect the culprit and ignore the bad publicity. If numerous politicians spread across the country start documenting and presenting the visual proof of the status and lack of quality of public works, the impact would be immense.
Sadly, the desire to hit the System on a large scale for bringing about a positive change and general alertness is not something that these politicians would really want. –IHN-NN
The writer is a former Member of Parliament, a Biju Janata Dal leader, and Editor of Dharitri and Orissa Post newspapers published from Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
–INDIA HERE AND NOW http://www.indiahereandnow.com email:indianow999@gmail.com

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