This is precisely a one line summary of all the problems faced by India – Lack of Accountability. Anybody can do anything and get away with it easily, the larger the crime, the more chances that one can get away with it.
An unemployed youth who steals a small amount of Rs.1000 is beaten badly in the police station and sentenced for a few days of imprisonment immediately.
A overemployed minister who swallows crores of rupees of public money continues to lead his luxurious life.
The entire system has evolved in such a way that small fishes are always the ones that are punished for both small and big crimes while whales and sharks get away freely with whatever they do.
Take the simple example of the recent cash for questions scandal. 11 MPs who took cash for asking questions in the parliament were expelled both from their parties and from the parliament. A good move, we all agree. But what was the amount involved? Well, from Rs 10000 to Rs 100000. Nothing, compared to the corruption levels of crores of rupees swallowed by other members of the same parliament. Laloo who has swallowed over 950 crores in fodder scam alone is still a member of the same parliament and must be laughing at the plight of these expelled representatives of the people. Natwar Singh and his son jagat singh whom the volcker report has named openly in the iraq oil scam still continue to be the members of the parliament and rajasthan legislative assembly respectively thanks to the crores of rupees involved in that scam.
Again it is proved, no matter at what position you are, small scams are a great risk and if you are a parliamentarian and get involved in a scam of small amounts, then it is a shame to both the party and the parliament and they both get angry and you will be expelled both from your party and the parliament.
Who is to be blamed here? The system?? What is the system? Every person blames the system as if the system is made up of everybody else except him. Can we forget that we are a part of this system? Some frustrated youth separate themselves from the system and become naxalites and target the system(?) But will this solve the problem? Definitely not.
The only solution is to grow as a part of the system itself and correct it from within. Mindless violence kills innocent lives converting social goals into personal rivalry.
Coming back to the lack of accountability in the society, what do you think is the reason for this. Well, very simple. Absence of punishment.
A politician promises us the luxuries of heaven, wins the elections, becomes a minister and makes a few crores. He may or may not win in the next election, he may or may not become a minister even if he wins (there is lot of competition you see!!). So his one point agenda throughout his ministership will be to mint as much as possible.
At the end of his tenure what happens if he has not lived to his promises that he made before the elections? Nothing!!! Shouldn’t he be booked under section 420 of IPC for cheating and fraud of millions of people?? Shouldn’t he be punished for lying?? Shouldn’t he be treated as a traitor who hijacked five valuable years of growth of the nation?
A doctor aspirant has to pay a few lakhs to get a MBBS seat. But the returns again are high. As a doctor he takes oaths to treat and try to save people’s lives. But what about the investments that went into his seat?? While it has been a known fact of the sorry plight of government hospitals and the doctors there pracising at their own private nursing homes instead of attending duty at their government hospitals, a recent scam in mangalore government hospital revealed that doctors have also been selling free medicine provided by the government for poor patients to medical stores and denying the patients proper treatment!! Shouldn’t these doctors be punished for committing a crime on humanity on lines similar to that of trying saddam or milasoveich?
These are all just the tip of the iceberg. Only things that have come to light, thanks to the efforts of the fourth estate.
It has all become a game of investment and returns. Politics is promising best ROI on one’s investments. Investment to win an election, let it be in the form of cash, liquour, bribes for the party ticket, hiring of mafia and what not and once there is a victory there definitely will be no stop for the earnings for the next five years!!
Every election, people are left with the choice of selecting best amongst the worst.
Do you know which are the bills that have been passed in the parliament just by voice vote unanimously with the support of all members and parties without any protests? Bills that raise the salaries and allowances of its members. Is there no price for non performance. For the working class of people non performance even can cause a person his employment. Is there no punishment for non performance which affects an entire nation, 1/6 of humanity, denying it a competitive edge for full five years??
Currently on paper, the salary of an MP in India is Rs 144,000 per year, which works out to just Rs 12,000 per month.
But it is meagre only if you don’t consider the numerous allowances and freebies an MP is entitled to. Here is a look at the allowances and perks that an MP enjoys.
Each Indian MP gets:
Rs 14,000 for office expenses every month, which includes Rs 3,000 for stationary items, Rs 1,000 on franking of letters and Rs 10,000 for secretariat services.
A monthly constituency allowance of Rs 10,000.
A daily allowance of Rs 500 when Parliament is in session. Parliament has three sessions every year. The Budget Session (February to May), Monsoon session (July to September), and Winter session (November and December).
A daily travel allowance of Rs 8 per kilometre.
Each MP and his spouse or companion are entitled to unlimited, free, first class railway travel anywhere in the country.
They can also travel anywhere in India with a spouse or companion 40 times by air free of cost every year, business class.
An MP gets a sprawling bungalow in the heart of New Delhi for which he pays a rent of just Rs 2,000 per month.
Each MP gets near-free electricity of 50,000 units every year. And free water.
The MP’s bungalow is furnished with air conditioners, refrigerators and television sets free of cost. Maintenance of the house including washing of sofa covers and curtains is done free of cost by the government. (Most of them dont vacate their houses immediately after losing in the next elections, like laloo, and yet they are not made to pay any more for that!!)
MPs are entitled to three phone lines and 170,000 free local calls every year.
When an MP travels abroad officially, he is entitled to free business class air tickets. He is also paid a daily travelling allowance, which varies depending upon the country being visited.
Most medical expenses of MPs are taken care of by the Contributory Health Service Scheme of the Union government.
Each MP also gets Rs 20 million each year from the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Fund. But the MP does not get the money directly. Instead, it is transferred to respective district headquarters where projects are being implemented.
After an MP completes a term in office, he is entitled to pension. The basic monthly pension amount is Rs 3,000. But it goes up according to the number of years an MP has served in Parliament.
All the above mentioned amount is what an MP earns legally.. white money. But if one really sits and calculates the CTC (Cost To Country) of an MP it amounts to not only enormously greater monetary amounts (including the scams so on and so forth, not to forget the external loans taken from world bank, IMF etc, these MPs are not going to pay the high interest rate or pay back the loans they took, are they??) but also stalled development in most constituencies, increased casteism, vote bank politics and what not. MPs are highly overpaid for what they do.
Dont you think at the end of his/her term every people’s representative has to be voted for his/her performance (as their representative) by the people and any politician who scores less than the number of votes which gave him victory in the previous election should be jailed for the next five years and should be banned for his lifetime from contesting the elections again??