When will we Jail a Corrupt Polititian for 14 years

Today Rod Blagojevich starts his 14 years sentence in a federal prison joining another former governor George Ryan who is also serving his sentence for corruption.  The same prison also has Jeff Skilling the former CEO of Enron along with another 1000 inmates many of whom are charged for drug offences and even violent crimes like murder.  As an Indian I wonder what would happen in India if we find someone (a politician) corrupt. May be we will never find one.

Democracy is not system to make politicians rich through politics

We have always seen many political thugs in India take law for a mockery, Kalmadi being the latest one. We have seen that you can even get away with murder and instigating riots that massacre thousands with no punishment or remorse and again stand elections and win. There is a lot that must be changing when one becomes both powerful and corrupt. Do they become beyond law?

Being wealthy is not wrong and being paid high or making profits or increasing wealth through proper channels is not a crime, but the question is “Is politics the route to become wealthy?” In my opinion democracy is not set up to make the politician rich. If properly run and uncorrupt it does not give a chance for politicians to become rich by dedicating his or her life to politics.

So if your assets have increased substantially after you came to power or took up a powerful post in politics, then it is common sense for the common man to suspect a foul play. But we sit mum because everything works for us.

“Sab Kuch Chaltha hein Babu”

I don’t think it is the lack of strict laws but it is about the inherent lackadaisical feeling towards justice. What should end is the “I scratch your back and you scratch mine” attitude that makes even the common man to bend the system for their livelihood and this knocks off his only moral power to accuse someone. The infamous saying “Chaltha hein; sab kuch chaltha hein” translated as “It works, everything works” is ditto true in many case.

It is like giving a green signal to wrong doers as long as they do not come and defecate in our backyard. I think even big supports to movements happen at times because the movement does not pin its own followers to what they are doing wrong. And no anticorruption movement wins unless everyone involved feels that individually they should be uncorrupt.

Party support is the biggest curse of Indian Politics

When I compare Blagojevich with Kalmadi many would argue that this is just one case in America and there might be more. Yes, there might be, but we have seen over all these years that when a politician becomes naked in public by his acts he is more or less doomed if it shows they were corrupt or there was misuse of a political office or power. Party support remains the biggest curse of Indian politics.

When a politician in India becomes individually corrupt or wrong, the party and its followers believe it is their responsibility and bounded duty to protect him or her which is ridiculous because the guy should be jailed, period. Give him the leniency given by law, but put him on trial, bring justice and if proven guilty shut him behind bars for 10, 15 and 20 years as you wish. Many are already over 80 and might not live to complete the sentence.

If a party takes a disciplinary action on corruption the opposition party will welcome him or her with both hands just so that he brings his vote bank with him. Isn’t that ridiculous? Just because you belong to a party you don’t have to support a leader who is corrupt do you?

You have the right to remain silent

In US what I have seen is that even if you do corruption if you ever reach a tough wall and the news gets public, you are doomed. There is a moral code between people and politicians that says that wrong is wrong; you should not play tricks with public trust. Playing with public trust is a calculated wicked crime which needs to be punished. And interestingly you can see many people who are found guilty apologize to the public for their misdoings. And in India how many thugs proven guilty beyond any doubt shifts from denial and arrogance to acceptance and humility.  Now don’t tell me they don’t apologize because they are never found guilty.

It is not just about politicians but also Government servants. Law and rules should be safeguarded by upholding both human dignity and justice. When you get arrested in the US the cop tells you “Sir, You have the right to remain silent; anything you say can be used against you in the court of law.” And what do you hear from a policeman in India arrests a common thief or criminal who is not a man of power. Do we hear something similar?

The world is getting smaller and people are travelling all over and see things happening in other places both good and bad. It is up to the individual to take the good and in the process try to reform oneself and the society.

We have passed the times where we can point fingers at others. What we need to really be worried is the other four fingers that point to us when we try pointing one. Change Now!

Categories: Opinions, Politics

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