Anger against politicians is justified: We need accountability

December 19th, 2008 - 8:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Shivraj Patil

By Prem Prakash New Delhi, Dec 19 (ANI): The rising anger in India against the political class in the wake of the commando terror attack in Mumbai is justified. This anger is certainly not against the democracy of India as some politicians are trying to make out. The anger is against the politicians who fail to govern and deliver after getting elected. The victims of peoples” anger have been politicians like Shivraj Patil, former Home Minister of India, Vilas Rao Deshmukh, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and R.R. Patil former Home Minister of Maharashtra. A politician is elected by the people to govern and implement the policies projected during the polls by the party in question. Instead, once elected, far too many of them become demi- feudal and bask in the glory of their new acquired status. They surround themselves with gun- toting guards and make a show of their power. Political power without accountability has led to all kinds of people without any managerial or administrative ability to get elected on the basis of populist slogans. This kind of politics has encouraged even those with criminal background to move in. Politics in India truly has become last refuge of many of them. India has yet to hear from its government as to what went wrong and why the commando attack could not be prevented? An apology was conveyed to the people of Mumbai, but that is not enough. The country needs to know why this mayhem happened. Apart from the three politicians already mentioned in this piece who were the others including non political ones who failed in their duties? What we are hearing day in and day out is that the terrorist commandos came from Pakistan and the planning of the attack was done there. This has been known to the people and India has been the target of such attacks for the last many years. Following the 9/11 attacks in New York Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda had warned of incessant war against America, Israel and India? Why was that warning not taken seriously? We are aware that post 9/11 the United States quickly created its homeland security agency and has since thwarted any attempt to attack that country. Israel is a class by itself. It is living in an area surrounded by adversaries, yet in case of any suicide attack, its enemies always have to pay a heavy price in return. What went wrong with India? Why did India fail to secure her borders and coastline in the same manner as has been done by the US, post 9/11? Why did India fail to ensure complete security after the attack on its Parliament House? Why were those who failed to pre-empt Kargil not prosecuted? These are the kind of questions that are now agitating the citizens of India. The answer to all these questions lies in the sheer incompetence of politicians who rise to occupy high positions not on the basis of their ability but by manipulating religion, caste and seeking votes through populist slogans. They do not come to power on the basis of promises to implement time bound agendas. There is thus no accountability. The average citizen of India is not safe today, yet the police force for which the country pays is primarily used for providing security to the political class. Let it not be forgotten that it is the poor of India who too pay heavy taxes via the indirect taxes even if not in direct taxes. They are not assured the basic right of security and life. All these years India has known about the existence of the terror camps in Pakistan and its jehadi elements. Is there any explanation as to why covert action was not taken to put some fear of God in these elements? The fact is that the Pakistan government is not interested in dismantling these camps or to neutralise their mentors. The Government of Pakistan is aware that one too many of its intelligence outfits are hand in glove with these terror outfits. If that were not so the Red mosque in Islamabad could not have been stocked up with arms and ammunition. Benazir Bhutto would not have been killed if the intelligence agencies of Pakistan were alert and committed to their task.. India needs to face up to these realities. Can we expect a weak Pakistan government to deliver? People are waiting to hear from their leaders that “we will ensure that India is safe”. Indian politicians have been guilty of many omissions. We have known for a long time that some West Asian countries have been channelling funds not just to Pakistan but all over South Asia including India to spread Wahabi Islam. They have been funding ”madrasas”, repairing mosques and even building several new ones all over India. They have been targeting southern and north-eastern India, but the Government has failed to stop flow of these funds? Why? The damage that the flow of funds is causing to our society and Indian nation is already evident. When this author was touring southern India last year, I heard a common complaint that regular monthly stipend was given from these funds to many Muslim unemployed youth who were required to turn up every Friday wearing skull caps and short pyjamas and make a show of strength. Why were such complaints not looked into? As a result of this neglect a very tolerant society in southern India has been moving towards a communal divide. It is imperative that this anger that the people of India are today pouring out against the politicians gets canalised. The politicians have to get their act together. The first thing that they must ensure is to make themselves accountable to the electorate-the people of India. The second that can be done without delay is what Rahul Gandhi described as “lal batti” culture. Please ban red light globes atop all the cars in India There are far too many of them and these cause terrible nuisance to the people everywhere. Even an ambulance cannot get the right of way with its wailing siren through traffic jam. People refuse to move thinking it must be some darn politician! People of India were shocked in 1962 in the wake of China’’s attack and at the failure of India’’s policy of peaceful co-existence –”Panchsheel” –towards China. But then in just 20 months following the October 1962 attack before he passed away the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru made sure that India’’s defence forces were re-equipped and readied to meet any challenge in the future. The aggression on India did happen within months of Nehru’’s death. First in the Rann of Kutch, followed by infiltration and attack in Kashmir in 1965. Indian forces gave a befitting reply to Pakistan and were knocking at the doors of Lahore and Sialkot when the cease- fire took place. To pacify the anger of the people of India today, the Government needs to make sure that the country’’s borders and coast- line would be made impregnable. It should be seen to be done. Those who have failed in their duty should get severe punishment. This can be done. Will the Government rise to the occasion? (ANI)

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