“It is surprising that our political parties which have the constitutional validity do not want to be either transparent or accountable to the people. They want to ensure that they don’t come under the new law which makes them answerable to the people,” Venkatesh Nayak, transparency campaigner at Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative said. Venkatesh Nayak, with other civil society members, was speaking to journalists on the parliamentary standing committee report recommending exemption of political parties from the purview of the RTI law.
He added that in the original Lokpal Bill the government had brought any association of people which accept donations .. like political parties and NGOs under the ambit of the ombudsman. The standing committee exempted religious organizations and charitable trusts from the purview of the section. The government went a step ahead and got an amendment approved from Parliament deleting the section for political parties. “Not a word was uttered on the amendment in the Parliament when the Lokpal Bill was passed,” Nayak said, adding that the parties want to rule people but were not willing to come under people’s scanner.’ ( Source: ‘Lokpal bill: ‘Politicians shunning transparency’, Hindustan Times Dt Dec 31, 2013)
Both ‘Transparency and Accountability’ are essential for any democratically elected political system to function effectively .. all the more .. because the people who elect their ‘chosen’ candidates, place their complete trust and their future on them knowingly or unknowingly, willingly or unwillingly. Let me drive home the point I am emphasizing on .. by illustrating through a small example. When we chose a class Perfect/ Monitor in our junior schooling days, as students we have faith in him or her that he or she will do good job as a class monitor. The same ‘expectation’ will apply while appointing a Head of the family .. naturally, he or she has to take good care of the family. And, it is the same ‘expectation’ while appointing a ‘General Manager Sales’ responsible for the growth of our company revenue through sales, or while appointing the Managing Director to manage our company, or the University Professor and the Dean of the Graduate College responsible for academic excellence, or the Music teacher responsible to inculcate required artistic discipline among his or her students, or the Gym Instructor who will help us build our physical prowess, or the Carpenter who will furnish our house, or the plumber who will set right our household sewage and other related problems .. this list can go on and on.
Even, when you go to buy a new car for yourself .. you check well, scrutinize all options available to ensure that .. what you buy is worth the price you pay. When you buy vegetables for your daily consumption, you ensure you do not get rotten tomatoes or soiled potatoes. When you select your life partner, you are extra careful to ensure he or she will meet to your needs or complement what you do not have. When you are so careful as well as well interested in these aspects of your life, why don’t you ‘vote’ in every elections to select your ‘approved’ MLA or MP in your constituency ? Why don’t you voice your opinion in matters related to your own well being ? Why don’t you expect your elected representatives to be transparent and accountable ? Think about this before you lament or complain about Indian politics the next time.