They are quite a
lot, in our kaleidoscopic politics, be it any party, including its newest
entrant, Aam Aadmi Party, though the malaise there has not reached chronic
In fact, if any
factor that has been a constant irony in an otherwise robustly functional
Indian democracy, it is about our politics, that has dragged us back, that has
let us down.
Yes, there have
been and there are good politicians but they have always been a rare breed.
Most have been –
like in the category of Eknath Khadse – being parasitic on us – even if we are
being forced to die – because our politicians have not been able to take us away
from the pangs of an agricultural economy dependent on rains – even if we have
seen almost 70 Independence Days.
and India are witnessing one of the worst drought years, such apathy, such
callousness can only be expected from a politician. Mr. Khadse saw it unfit to
take even 40 minutes of road, even if he was rushing to take credit over dead
bodies. Yes, Marathwada and Vidarbha crisis is as much man-made and as it is
IPL was a symbolism.
Its court-forced shift from Maharashtra for wasting water in maintain pitches
when the state is reeling under severe drought is a lesson for everyone to get back
to the business of humanism, to get sensitive to the cries of people dying, to
contribute as a social obligation for your place in society.
But who will
tell this to our politicians, politicians with their fiefdoms who are as much a
culprit as nature in forcing droughts in lives of the common men of this
country. The biggest water guzzler in Maharashtra, the sugarcane industry, has
names of some of the most prominent Maharashtra politicians as its barons.
Yes, they employ
thousands in their factories, but are they beyond this basic tenet of social behaviour
– that you have to care for the survival of your fellow human-beings. In fact,
it becomes all the more imperative for them to come up with alternatives to
compensate for the cruel exploitation of natural resources, in this case water,
in a drought year, as they are from the bunch who is entrusted with writing
policy guidelines in crisis hours – like the Maharashtra drought of the these
politicians have made it a habit to fail us, even if we try hard to repose our
trust in them.
What Mr. Khadse
did was akin to mapping another level of bad politics, something that
politicians like Mr. Khadse feel adept at. Books and articles have been written
on how a drought is eagerly awaited by bureaucracy and politicians in India –
with free flow of resources and credit to exploit.
shifting from Maharashtra is a defining moment for all of us and Mr. Eknath Khadse should have thought 100 times
before going on his ‘helipad bravado’ that wasted some 10,000 litres of water,
10,000 litres that are lifelines for many families. He could have taken a road
journey to receive the water train. Showing a bit of sensitivity would have
only helped him in claiming his share of credit in this season of photo-ops, drought-politics
(and water politics).
But only if they
care! But only if our politicians care for what we think!