Politics is the last refuge of the scoundrel. These words of George Bernard Shah are often quoted by people as justification for staying away from politics. Amidst red tapism, corruption, pilfering and squandering of public wealth, most people blame the system for all the ills and often the culprit is the politician who thinks only of the next election.
Yet politics is a profession that welcomes people from all walks of life in India- whether it is lawyers, teachers, actors, doctors, businessmen, civil servants, economists, pilots and trade union leaders. In order to cleanse the system of its ills, it is not worthwhile to stay outside and engage in criticism. As the business legend NR Narayana Murthy once observed, we need more quality people in governance. For that to happen, there should be leadership training for politicians apart from grooming in economics and technology.
The Entry of Super Stars
Super stars are seen as an asset by political parties as they have a mass appeal and huge fan following. They have come to occupy premier positions in State and Centre with MG Ramachandran and Jayalalitha in Tamil Nadu, N T Rama Rao in Andhra Pradesh, Amitabh Bachan, Hema Malini, Jaya Prada all donning various roles in their political career.
With the arrival of Rajni Kanth and Kamal Haasan (founder of Makkal Neethi Maiam), the political scene is becoming more star-studded. The success of their political career would depend on forming the right alliance and seat sharing arrangements with other parties. Irrespective of the background of a poltical leader, his or her understanding the people’s issues, developmental issues and resolving crisis are more important to succeed rather than just knowledge and competence.
It may be recalled that Rajiv Gandhi, a commercial pilot, was thrust in the role of Prime Minister following his mother’s tragic death in 1984 but he went about his new role with a missionary zeal and world leaders soon recognized his vision not only for India’s transformation into a super power but also his leadership qualities in the global arena.
Understanding Political Issues
Governance is about managing resources, initiating new projects for development, running schemes for the poor, day to day administration, regulation, making of laws and taking policy decisions. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that we have the right mix of talent and aptitude coming into politics and not make it a field for scoundrels to prosper.
Despite all the criticism leveled against Narendra Modi Government from time to time, the recent victory of BJP in a left-citadel Tripura points to the broader support the government has obtained for its demonetization, economic reforms such as introduction of GST and making transactions more transparent and traceable with the implementation of Aadhar. However the PNB banking scam involving over Rs 14,000 cr and mounting non-performing assets in banks and culprits escaping from the country don’t create confidence for the depositors and investors. It is time for a deeper introspection by Congress and the Left parties as to why popular support for them is declining. With general elections just a year away, it is high time the political parties understand the real issues facing the nation and act accordingly.