By Nitten Gokhaley
Nitten is a consultant journalist based in Pune and he writes on crime, politics, as well as business.
According to the stats released by UPA Government, back in 2013, 21.9 percent of country's population is poor. Again, this data is based on poverty line calculation suggesting Rs 42 per person is enough to take care of all expenses in urban areas while Rs 32 per person is enough for someone staying in rural areas. So, the number of people struggling to meet their ends may even be more than 50 percent of country's population as claimed by certain NGOs.
Anyway, getting back to the topic, the point here is that a considerable part of our country's population probably does not find time to focus on political developments due to their daily struggle for bread and butter.
“I hate politics” “Not interested in politics” “Politics is shit”-are some of the reactions that you may get from the educated folks when you ask them about their opinion on politics.
Believe it or not, but more than 50 percent of country's population won't be even able to name their local MLA if asked to do so. The absence of 'alert and aware public' makes it easy for politicians to indulge in corruption.
Almost every politician claims that he or she has entered politics to do something good for people and the country. But, wealth accumulation from public affairs becomes priority immediately after winning elections.
Corporators, MLAs as well as MPs talk about transparency during TV debates, but most of them prefer to take important spending related decisions behind closed doors.
Perhaps, public participation can help in increasing accountability, transparency, as well as in reducing corruption at various levels.
People remain unaware about their constitutional rights
Constitution has given enough rights to people in order to ask questions to the government machinery. But, they must have the desire and knowledge required to get the information. The only way to change India's political scene is joining it and helping those who wish to keep politics away from corruption, religion, caste and negativity.
As former American President Barack Obama often says-"We are the change that we seek; we are the ones we've been waiting for." If people want good leadership and government, they need to pay attention and observe. Politics can really prove to be good if people come together, compromise, and sit together in order to get things done for everyone's benefit.
Residents should know who is their corporator, MLA and MP, as well as the developmental work that he or she has done. They should attend political meetings in their area to keep themselves updated regarding various developments and to engage with local political leadership.
Bangalore-based political analyst and activist Akshara Damle interacted with us and shared his opinion about the importance of getting India's young population involved in politics as well as policy making. He also works for the initiative called-My Parliament.
"India is a democratic nation. But still, in India, participatory democracy has not developed at larger level because of lack of participation of people, especially youth! Unless youth engage themselves in government policies, they will not be able to see the change that they expect from people's representatives. If we want a better life tomorrow, we have to work today! Similarly, if we want to see a progressive India tomorrow, then we have to engage in developmental activities," said Akshara.
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