इंडियन आवाज़     25 Sep 2023 09:55:42      انڈین آواز

Gandhi Jayanti: Nothing to cheer about

What we see now is total degradation in almost every walk of life. The rising inflation coupled with cancerous growth of rampant corruption in public life is making the life of common man miserable. With the country facing the depressing environment of crisis of leadership there is an air total despair and hopelessness. One desperately feels that there is really no body around to lead the country and uplift it from the gloom of darkness that has engulfed the soul of the country.


What an irony that we are celebrating Gandhi Jayanti when the overall socio-economic fabric of the country is being torn into pieces day in and day out with the cancerous growth of corruption, which is threatening the very survival of the country. Corruption in public life has now emerged as the most serious problem facing the country. Gandhiji all throughout his life fought for establishment of a fair and transparent system in every walk of life. Throwing all Gandhian thoughts and beliefs to dustbin the political leadership of the country has closed its eyes to merciless onslaught of corruption on soul and heart of the country.

In fact corruption in India, which is adversely affecting its economy, has shocked the entire world. A study conducted by Transparency International shows that India is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.  The study has found that more than 62 per cent of Indians had first-hand experience of paying bribes or influence peddling to get jobs done in public offices successfully. In 2011 India was ranked 95th out of 178 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

The rampant growth of black money, which is eating into the vitals of the Indian economy, is adding fuel to growing corruption in India. The menace of black money is growing day by day and the government is remaining a silent spectator to the growth of this monster, which is threatening to swallow India’s nationhood.


What is most painful is that the spiralling rise in prices of essential commodities is making the life of common man hell. Inflation hurts all but it hurts the poor most. Though the disease of  inflation can be caught by any individual, but the most affected one is the common man, a category which on one hand includes people below the poverty line and on the other the middle-class society.

The people below poverty line have to struggle very hard to attain their daily bread and feed the family. Some even go without food for days together. This leads to a situation where the children of such families suffer from various ailments, and gradually they come under the category of the malnourished. Most of the times the children, who are old enough, are sent to work and earn a living for their family’s survival. Such kids are often seen working in hazardous factories, small restaurants, dhabas and automobile garages. They lose their childhood in doing odd jobs instead of going to schools and gaining knowledge.

The rising prices of petroleum products like petrol, diesel and LPG have put up all the more pressure on people, as now they have to think several times before taking their vehicles out of the garage even for a very important work. One now increasingly witnesses people at large exchanging their thoughts about the rising prices of the products and the difficulties faced by them.

While the common man is struggling hard to make both ends meet the Congress-led UPA government has made fun of the poor by making a ridiculous definition of poverty. For this government if a person earns Rs 29 per day then he is not poor. What could be more ridiculous than this when one wonders what one can get in Rs 30 in these days of rising prices.

The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while advocating austerity in every sphere of life has virtually made fun of people by spending Rs 7700 per plate—that too at tax payers’ cost—to treat his guests while celebrating the third anniversary of the UPA government. What could be more shocking than this.

Crisis of Leadership:

Faced with twin evils of rising prices and corruption in public life the India policy is now witnessing a crisis of leadership. It now appears that there is no credible leadership which can address the multiple problems facing the common man of this country. There is a growing sense of disquiet and a crisis of confidence is growing, but is anyone in charge?

Socially, the stench of corruption is now too odious to bear. All major institutions of governance are now struggling to retain their legitimacy. Politically, the Congress-led UPA government has lost all the capital it had earned in the 2009 election. There is no coherence in the government with all departments working as if there are no national imperatives, only departmental interests.

The political landscape of contemporary India tragically is devoid of both, effective Chief Executive Officers and visionary leaders. The Prime Minister, despite his noble intentions, has singularly failed to either manage the country well or to provide a vision for the nation’s future.

Yet, it is not his fault. He did not earn the political capital in the last elections. Sonia Gandhi, as the leader of the Congress, did and yet she seems to have failed to use the capital that she had earned against heavy odds to carve out a vision of where the Congress should be leading India in the crucial years.

Regrettably, there is hardly any choice before the Indians. The Bharatiya Janata Party, as the main Opposition party, is equally bereft of leadership. Various Chief Ministers, once they become popular, start running their states as their personal fiefdoms. Regional parties propagate a version of leadership that is even more draconian than the two main political parties.

Today’s political class seems incapable of either inspiring or effectively managing the country’s myriad problems. It says something about the dearth of political talent in the country when the best that Indians are offered are either the derivatives of various dynastic legacies — the Gandhis, the Scindias, the Singhs, the Pilots — or are those who play to the worst fears and anxieties of their countrymen — the Narendra Modis, the Thackerays, the Mulayam Singhs, the Mayawatis. No wonder, India continues to look to the film industry and its cricket pitches in search of its idols.

India today is in dire need of leaders who can not only spell out an idea of India that this moment in history demands, but can also effectively manage to bring that vision to fruition.

Surely, this great country of India, which is soon going to be the most populous nation on earth can produce leaders who can dream big and help Indians realize those dreams by embracing the better angels of our nature

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