“Politics is the last resort for the scoundrels,” wrote George Bernard Shaw. A better statement is yet to be recorded in the literature related to politics. In most of the countries and especially in India, politics is business. Shaw’s definition holds good for all time to come– absolutely no doubts about it. Politicians won’t let down an intellectual of Shaw’s caliber! Majority of them do everything to prove Shaw right! They carryout nefarious and anti-social activities and don’t deserve the honor of political leaders in the true sense. Some of their adventures are listed below:
- Winning the election is the beginning of another type of robust activity. Horse trading to grab the chair of power is pursued relentlessly.
- Defection from the party on whose ticket one is elected. Is it not stabbing the voters in their back, for the trust they reposed in voting for the candidate of a particular party on the basis of its avowed principles?
- Name a government deal without kickbacks and scandals. Is there one?
- Turn the pages of any newspaper. News about political killings, criminalization of politics, character assassination is order of the day.
- For political survival, principled approach is sacrificed.
- Black money is the political oxygen, its very breath.
- Political ideologies are easily sacrificed to retain the power-chair. Allegiance to the party is sacrificed with impunity by time-servers.
- Just know the art of staying in politics. Everything will happen for you one automatically.
- Education? Conscience? These are not owned by most of the politicians. Character, culture and moral values are not in the dictionary of a die-hard politician.
- A politician need not work to earn his bread. The system works and provides him with butter too.
- Politicians are not afraid of being sent to Jails. They enjoy all the facilities there. Once released on bail, they resume their original activities with more vigor!
- Once in politics, they are prepared to die for the sake of politics. They continue to be in the mess, until they are carried by 4 persons, followed by their followers to the final destination. Their children carry forward the family tradition.
Adherence to party principles and policies is the thing of the past. Most of the top business houses are hand in glove with the top politicians. So politics is sort of a business and for businessmen, playing politics is part of the business! Name any unlawful activities—land grabbing, getting kickbacks for grant of licenses and amass huge wealth—the team of politicians and businessmen work in tandem.
Muscle Power is another handy weapon with the politicians extensively used at the time of elections. This power can be easily secured with money power. Just examine the credentials of the candidates for elections, be it any party. Some have dozens of criminal cases pending against them. They all know that money spent on elections is an investment and they well earn ten or more times of the invested sum, through dubious means.
So, for a gentleman, politics is certainly not a career over business. With all the constraints, it is still possible to do uncorrupt business but in the given circumstances today, it is not possible to remain an honest politician. Business can be carried out without killing one’s conscience and there are some top business houses that do straightforward dealings and follow the rules than buttress the politicians to get the things done.
Inter-dependency of business and politics cannot be avoided. They need each other. But it should not be collusion at the cost of the consumer and the common man. No young, ambitious and honest individuals choose politics as a career over business.