Growth, communication and the dissemination of information have given a different perspective to India’s young, and allowed their collective imagination to soar to new heights, their aspirations to touch distant, intangible dreams. The change in many parts of rural India is palpable. But with this degree and rapidity of development come demands that challenge those who have been governing India and Bharat. It is evident that politicians and administrators have been careless, inept and consciously silent, ignoring the real issues that continue to choke the entrepreneurship of the average Indian — problems of infrastructure, empowerment and assistance that are essential to deliver the goods. The desperation to get good and lucrative posting in urban areas rather than take on the challenges of building rural India, has reduced the bureaucracy into a destructive machine. Those who rule us will now have to overhaul this machine and immediately introduce mechanisms to make corrective changes.
All those tired faces and banal reactions that confront us each morning only reinforce the superficial thinking and negative action of the ruling class and its aids who, supposedly, ‘work’ the system. This breed of Indians has, over the years, become uncaring about the needs of the economically and socially diverse people of our ancient civilization. Quality and intellectual integrity have gone down, and this is reflected in the public domain. Greed and private agendas dominate instead of service and commitment. People are sick of the political shenanigans and self-projections of national leaders. The recent events in Karnataka illustrate the horror yet again.
The great purge
If Rahul Gandhi and his generation of political workers can eliminate the present disease that has overwhelmed the political class, it may help India redeem the pledge that was made in 1947. A steady degradation of morality, ethics and dignity has diluted the respect citizens once had for our leaders as well as for those who were in the administration. Today, people are fully aware of their ineptitude and ability to retain the status quo and block all change. They now mock leaders and bureaucrats, and describe them as parasites of the state. They are no longer a ‘favoured’ community in the eyes of citizens. These men and women have reduced governance to the lowest-ever position. They have managed to successfully dilute a civil service that in the past had good credentials.
Revamp. That is the crying need in politics and in administration. Once reconstructed with a fresh set of rules, norms and ‘dos and don’ts’, which will hold officials ruthlessly accountable for their deeds or misdeeds, we can start anew and make India proud of dignified and appropriate governance. Till then we shall continue to sink deeper into the quagmire. The old men in our leadership are carrying too much baggage of the past, their bodies and minds are ridden with archaic and outmoded ideas and solutions. They need to be forced to let go and allow the inexperienced to dominate.
To conserve failures is detrimental to the subcontinent. To lead, rule and govern needs much energy of the mind, body and soul. Broken knees, rickety bodies, near-blindness, clumsy gait and slow drawl must be banned from all public offices and points of governance. Agile minds and abundant energy are imperative to determining and patterning growth, change and movement. The Jyoti Basus and Atal Bihari Vajpayees have had their innings, as have the H.D. Deve Gowdas and the Sharad Pawars. In fact, Sharad Pawar should give up the critical and important ministry of agriculture to a person who cares, and concentrate on being the head of the very profitable and enormously rich Board of Control for Cricket in India. So much for priorities.