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Posted by : sanchita pandey on | Oct 10,2012


               Recently, while addressing a gathering of students in a school, Dr. Abdul Kalam Azad asked the students what they aspired to become when they grow up. Hands were raised when professions like teacher, doctor, engineer, architect etc. were mentioned. However, not a single hand was raised when the word politician was referred to as a career option! This just shows the meaning and importance that plays in our minds when we think of this word ---- "Politician". It has taken a negative meaning. It has no doubt become a negative word.

               This may be because we are fed with daily dose of negative news in the newspapers, internet etc. about involvement of politicians in various scams, in different police cases, in embezzlement of inappropriate wealth. This also becomes evident when there is scarcity of electricity and water - basic amenities which they promise before the elections and the ever rising prices of commodities. We love to hate them. And not unduly because they have been elected by the masses with the hope that they will become our spokes person in the Parliament and work for the upliftment of the common man. But when we find that the same elected representative is busy in foreign trips, building houses after houses for personal benefit, not even visiting his constituency once in a year and amassing wealth for future elections, we rightfully feel frustrated and cheated. It unconsciously sinks in our minds that they are all the same.

          We have read in History and are also told by our parents and teachers that in the past there were politicians who were Statesmen. People held them in reverence then and even now. Their main concern was to take our country forward in the road to progress. For instance, who can deny the charisma of Nehru, the mass appeal of Gandhi, the knowledge of Ambedkar and  elegant persona of Indira Gandhi?Pt. Jawahar lal Nehru was born with a silver spoon but he chose politics as his career so that he could contribute in the struggle for independence and help India and its people from the clutches of the British rule.

                 These leaders had one thing in common ---- they were all well versed with the Law of the country --- they had studied law and they joined politics with the idea of giving to the society. Today, most of the politicians are not well read and they join politics with the sole motive of making money. They splurge the tax payers money making any number of foreign trips, do not follow the law themselves and amass properties worth crores. The basic aim of politics is how to grab the position rather than to be useful worker for the benefit of the people. They fail to represent the basic problems of the people in the Parliament. They do not stand against  price rise, they stand against the ruling party just because they want to be at the Centre.

                              The political parties  want to come to power by hook or by crook. They flaunt their support by carrying supporters in trucks to the Capital and hold rallies.The inconvenience of daily commuters is not their problem. If this is the state of affairs at such senior levels, how can anyone talk of honesty and pride for the country. People look up to these elected representatives, but they in turn cut a very sorry figure. Power is wielded in the hands of those who do not understand what to do with it, how to use it for the welfare of the country. Today , most of the people have become so dejected with politics as such that they do not want to go to vote. The reason being all the candidates not worthy of their votes --- or this is how they feel. However,this is wrong because if everyone thinks in a similar way, the country will go in the hands of undeserving candidates.

                        But we cannot generalise and say that all politicians today are not up to the mark. We have dynamic leaders like Sushma Swaraj, Sheila Dixit, etc. who are  wonderful orators, Sonia Gandhi and many other upcoming and young leaders and politicians who are dynamic and making a difference. They work hard and visit their constituencies regularly. They work for the upliftment of those who voted for them. We have also witnessed some very talented politicians like Shri Vajpayee who wrote poems and the compilation has been published as a book. Shri V.P.Singh was a poet as well as a painter and Dr. Abdul Kalam Azad is the inspiration of millions of children as a stalwart in the field of science and technology and also someone who rose to become the President of India.

                     The politicians should be conscious of their behaviour in public as well as private lives. They should be law abiding citizens of the country and should be responsible to the people who elected them.They should actually  view themselves as care takers and servants of the people. The common public looks up to them. If however, their character is flawed or they have FIRs against them in various police stations, they cannot win the confidence of the people.

                          India can be proud of all its able politicians  who are ruling the country. The political parties should abide by rules laid down by the Election Commission and should only choose candidates on their merit and experience in this field. The dubious candidates and criminals should not be given tickets to contest these elections.

                         Due to mass media like newspapers, T.V. and especially the Internet, the people are well informed and choose their candidates diligently. Politicians send a message to the entire nation through their  moral conduct and behaviour. When they visit a foreign country, they represent India and its culture. They can build or ruin diplomatic relations between two countries.They are the medium through which the voice of common man reaches the Parliament.

                       Politics is something in which a person has to play the role of a leader, a servant of the people, a good speaker, a diplomat and a valued citizen. The focus is always on him and it is not easy to manage the affairs of a country. However, as a good politician, they can at least become the torch bearers for other young minds and change the image of this office as one which generates interest and  respect. A good politician comes out of the confines of his air conditioned office and mingles with the common man. He tries to understand his problems and finds ways to eradicate them. Good governance is a means of changing the lives of people for better in villages, towns and cities. In a democracy, a common man's voice should be heard.

                                    We indeed have a "dirty picture" of politics and politicians because we are exposed to negative news of scams, immorality of certain politicians, price rise etc. and we are burdened with mixed feelings of helplessness and anger. But the good news is that our country can boast of capable young and old politicians, both male and female who genuinely think for the betterment of India and are working towards it.

                         Charles W. Pickering has said ," A healthy democracy requires a decent society; it requires that we are honourable, generous, tolerant and respectful." The life of a politician is always under a scanner. It requires toughness of mind and body .One has to deal with true and untrue stories in media and still remain undisturbed. One has to put issues and people before self. With promising young politicians, we will not have to vote for people who we dislike the least. There will be stable governments and not numerous elections with interchangeable candidates.

                       It is indeed an irony that although we have minimum educational qualification for every exam in the government, there is no basic educational qualification mentioned to become a politician who has the reins of the country in his hands. However, the verdict of the people is final and it is our duty to use our Right to vote and use discretion while choosing the right candidate. Let the future of our country and its people go to right hands and moral minds.