By: Raghumani Thoudam, kanglaonline.com
Comprehend that, the world was governed by emperor and empress aeons back, when there was not democracy. The emperor with his precise supremacy ruled over the subjects with the sustenance of his ministers and governors, who could be aptly remark as politicians of gone days. As the custom of envy and annexation revolve, in some provinces the ministers volunteered to be emperor himself. As the aspiration grows he along with the followers devised a stratagem to sail out the king and claim the throne. Thereafter a bloodshed the crown regressed hands and heads. Ergo, ever since the term ‘politics’ became an antonym of ethics. Our chronicle is the evident, numbers of unethical practices in politics over centuries. Instance can be enumerated from the great epic Ramayana in which Lord Rama’s stepmother succeeds in sending Lord Rama, the heir-designate to the throne, into exile in order to get her own son crowned as the king. Another great epic Mahabharata portrays how the Kauravas snatched the entire kingdom from the ruling Pandavas by winning a mere game of dice. However, these’re bloodless change – overs and could be justified on moral grounds. i,e. honouring a word given by his father by Lord Rama and abdicating the throne voluntarily for no one could have compelled him out and the effect of indulging in self – destruction through gambling vice of Yudhistra – so cleverly exploited by the Shakuni for Kauravas. But, elsewere there was bloodshed and treachery. The great Roman emperor Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by his own ministers on the very floor of the Senate and centuries later Aurangzeb imprisoned his own father, the Mugal emperor Shahjahan after murdering his brothers. Dara and Murad in his lust for power. To the nook and corner of chronicle, nameless events and incidents flashed and focused, how the human avarice for the supremacy and wealth, has urged man to commit unethical and bestial acts, which pave the way of conflict bloodshed. Now the human kind has regressed into brute.
At ongoing scenario, the world is absolutely ‘civilized’ with the advent of up-to-date scientific thought and tremendous advancements in the field of technology. Over the gone couple of centuries the pathway of governance across the earth has undergone a metamorphosis and today almost each nation is governed on the principles of democracy. Our own country India, with more than 60 millions voters is today the world’s largest democracy. Ergo, it is no miracle that there are thousands of politicians across the country aspiring to serve the people of entire leaders is the same. Politician around the world’ll commit everything and anything to gain the ultimate goal – the seat of supremacy. The only distinction is ill-fortunately the head of such people is much more in our nation and the intentious in perhaps more profound. Right at initio the election, the politician indulge and delay in various unethical acts. Governing hand acts to remain supremacy while opposition genuine acts to disparage the government, as it is only their target. During the election campaign politician sweeten their voices and speeches with pretence promises and time tested bland. Distribution of cash to the lower layer of the society occurred since our politicians comprehend quiet well that it is bourgeoisic that constitute a majority of their vote bank; thanks to the indolence and lathergy of the upper and middle classes. Some time even untoxicant stuff like liquor and drugs are made freely available to entice the voters. It is extremely egregious that the very leaders who initiate rehabilitation programmes of drug addicts and exhort people to refrain from alcohol and drugs, themselves indulge in promoting such acts which highlight their reality.
Contrarily, the governing body abuse their supremacy to great extent. During election the huge amount of money are spent, most ill-gotten through corrupt practices and the so called donation. Our politicians never reveal that this cash could have been used for public, welfare, which would automatically attracted votes in their favour. The ‘Hawala’ scam unfolded just prior to the 1996 general elections in which many prominent leaders of our nation were alleged to have received lakhs of cash through wrong channels, spoke volumes about the state of ethics in the political atmosphere. Some politician reach nadir of immorality when as a last -ditch effort to grap supremacy, they perparate booth – capturing and rigging with the sustenance of criminals and perilous gangsters.
“Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession I have come to realise that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
Due to gigantic promiscuity of the Indian society, many political parties, big and small, manage to win seats in election for the Parliament and the various State Legislative Assemblies. This result in a fractured mandate leading to the formation of coalition governments which have been the bane of the Indian political system in recent times. In order to form a government the party with the largest numbers of MPs or MLAs indulges in ‘horse’ trading’ or more explicitly, the buying of rival MPs or MLAs to attain majority in the house. Whether the politician is bought with cash, kind or ministerial berth is decided behind closed doors. Such up-for-sale leaders hold ideological difference with their colleagues responsible for their defection while infact it is the ideological adjustment which inspire them to take such unethical steps. One can only imagine the deplorable state of politics when an MP or an MLA who won an election on the base of his ideologies and agenda deviates from them and joints hands with leaders who advocate diametrically opposite ideologies. In another situation such power -trading goes on in full swing prior to a non-confidence motion. The government which has to survive by all means, employs all possible methods to stay in supremacy. Obviously the easiest method is to purchase the Opposition members votes or engineer large scale defections in their favour. The vertical statements mad by an MP recently revealed how the central government headed by a national party actually bought MPs to avert defeat during a no – confidence motion. A worse situation, in our state Manipur – State Legislative Assembly when the Opposition alleged that the government survived the no-confidence motion by abetting mass defections from other parties. The issue climaxed with MLAs indulging in a physical trial of strength on the very floor of the House. As if to prove the opposition allegation the Chief Minister allotted a ministrel berth to each and every MLA who had supported him during the no-confidence motion thereby setting an unsurpassable record for the maximum number of ministers in a State Legislative Assembly. Needless to say all norms of ethics become moribund on the day such detestable events occur.
It is quite true that the actions of the leaders have a impact on the minds of the people. In a truly democratic setup, a leader indulging in any misfeasance would be expelled and any such party would meet its waterloo after the general elections. But, what if all the leaders and their parties have the resemble style of functioning ? Unfortunately such a pejorative situation is prevalent today in our country and its impacts could be and have been disastrous. A leader in office has the power to direct the course of the countries socio – economic development.
But the leaders who cannot even spell ethics, what to speak of practising it, can wreak havoc on the country. The birth of scorage like communalism, corruption under-development, poverty etc. can be attributed to the unethical practices our leaders indulge in. Even after fifty nine years of independence our country falls under the category of ‘Third World Nations’ while a country like Singapore which was a tiny, poverty – rid
den island only a few decades ago, today takes pride in its high standard of living, per capita income and overall development. The simple reason behind this disparity is the leadership based on ethics, morality and discipline in that country. Another serious impact of unethical politics is the flagging faith of the people in our leaders and the system. The youth are becoming increasingly disillusioned and frustrated due to lack of opportunities and the apathic leaders.
This has been a major factor behind the exodus of our talented youth to the Western countries. Contrarily, the voters are becoming increasingly indolent towards the process of Government formation. This is evident from the lower turnout in many recent elections across the country. Actually such voters are led by the faith that all leader are basically the same and it won’t matter as to which party comes to power. Such public view is the major factor behind the current political turmoil under which our country is reeling. Ergo, the condition is highly detrimental for the country’s socio-economic development and over all progress. Undoubtedly politics sans following ethical values is bound to bring untold catastrophe in the nation, paralysing its very democratic fabric.
On the seminal change the devolution is better than revolution but under the present circumstances nothing short of a revolution would suffice. It is right time that our leaders learnt the basic tenets of ethics and more notably put them into practice. For this they’ll have to struggle into their conscience and bring seminal change in themselves. Only then’ll they be able to empathise with the common man who has taken beating for the misdemeanours. They should learn to accept defeat at the hustings with grace and allow their victorious colleagues to perform their duties smoothly. At the same time they should keep the public informed about the shortcomings of the government through healthy criticism in keeping with the true spirit of democracy. On the other hand, such an attitude would serve as a moral code of conduct for the upcoming leaders and youth of the country. People would then shed their cynical views about politicians and come forward to actively participate in the elections. Ergo, our leaders will have to bring ethics into politics before it is forever condemned to its death row. Only then can we, the people reclaim the respect and pride long due to us.