Fix politics before it hurts democracy

July 23, 2008

As a financial journalist, covering politics and parliamentary debate is sometimes part of my job. What I witnessed on Tuesday in parliament — wads of cash being flashed around inside the lowerhouse– is something I had never bargained for.

sg.JPGThe civil-nuclear deal with the United States will go through, and some reforms may be pushed by the government with the help of
its new allies. But politics will never be the same again, tainted by allegations of bribery and a vulgur display of money power.

Shortly after his government won a convincing victory in parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the victory sent a message to the world that “India’s head and heart was sound and India is prepared to take its rightful place in the comity of nations.”

India has attracted global attention due to its strong economic growth and aspires to be a global power. But now more than ever, it needs to fix its politics and governance so that these two key elements do not derail its ambitions.

All political parties will need to seriously think about the events of the past few days and work out mechanisms to prevent it from happening again.

Global best practices need to be imbibed to help politics and governance catch up with the demands of a globalising economy. If it does not happen soon, then ordinary Indians’ cynicism and disillusionment with their politicians will become irrecoverable.

Too much is at stake.


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Cynicism and disillusionment are the right words. A carefully worded post that summarises the main points of the Indo – US Nuclear deal. I congratulate you for your post which seems to indicate a neutral stance on the deal but well-deserved criticism on its manner of realisation in ‘Parliament’. Kindergarten would be a better term.

Posted by Kartik | Report as abusive

By looking the live telecast of the debate in the parliament I, as a proud India staying abroad, came to conclusion we have to make sure the indecent idiots don’t get into the public offices. I strongly request indian cable operators to telecast C-SPAN for the indian audience. Indian folks will realise how decent are the public officers in other countries like USA, UK etc. So that they will learn and think about the coming elections.

Posted by Reddy | Report as abusive


For you and all your readers who are serious and keen to do something about the rot in the system, I have included the links to two (of the many) posts on my blog on this issue…

Please have a look and join the discussion: ixing-the-system/

AND ets-come-together-to-build-a-new-and-pro ud-india/

Posted by B Shantanu | Report as abusive

Can you smell it???
That is the unbearable stench of Indian democracy.

Convicted MPs sermonizing on TV how the Indo US nuclear deal is good for the nation. We might never know the total transaction amount that enabled the Govt to survive this trust vote. And the irony……it is all “our” money – public money which changed hands from bribes we commonfolk tender for the politicians or their chamchas in the government taking care of our interests.

This discussion should shed some light on HOW global best practices should make their way to our political set-up. And mind you, the biggest hurdle is that these crooks that adorn our legislatures are the ones who should make them into laws in this land.

I know I am coming off as cynical here, but someone give me a reason why educated folk starting efforts like Lok Paritran (as an example) have not made the slightest ripple, or shown tangible results? It makes me wonder whether our present-day politicians have mastered the art of finding the pulse of the public, where as genuine interests are still out of touch with the voting block which is funneled cleverly to garner votes.

Posted by Kautilya | Report as abusive

India has earned itself a position on the world stage through its people – skills sets and competitiveness.Thanks to the untiring efforts and aspirations of people and industry of the nation that its due share in the eyes of the world is longlast being bestowed.
But what’s surprising is this is happening inspite of the mediocre level of politics and politicians.I don’t think even its worst well wishers would have done the nation such damage then the bribe allegations and display of it with world media focus.
Politicians – wash your dirty linen but do not denigrade the dignity of the Indian parliment in the eyes of the India & the world.

Posted by Samir | Report as abusive

India is full of rotten politicians. Democracy is safe in India, but democracy is doing a big harm to India. Actually now Indian society is totally fragment. Thanks to the encouragement to cast & religion. The day is not very far when this countary will also vanish from the world map like USSR etc.

Posted by Vaibhav | Report as abusive

In Democracy , there is no need to agree to party’s view all the time . Law makers can vote on issues of National importance even the against the wishes of the party .
Law makers just do not represent their party in Parliament but also represent their Constituency .

Posted by S P TOSHNIWAL | Report as abusive

Kautilya: You said This discussion should shed some light on HOW global best practices should make their way to our political set-up.

We do have such a dicussion on-going on my blog (pl. see links in my comment above) …Please take a moment to visit and share your thoughts..We need to move beyond the stage of leaving comments on the web and wringing our hands in despair..

Also, you mentioned, “..someone give me a reason why educated folk starting efforts like Lok Paritran (as an example) have not made the slightest ripple, or shown tangible results?

There are many reasons for this but the main one is that we ourselves (“the educated folk”) have not shown the slightest interest in politics and governance beyond making observations, cursing the current system and occassionally commenting on current affairs…If we are to start the blame game, let us start with ourselves..

I do not mean to offend but we need to be shaken out of our complacency…

There is a parallel (very serious) effort on-going on this site…I do hope at least some of you can join..

The background to FTI is here: reedom-team-for-india/

Posted by B Shantanu | Report as abusive