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|August 30, 1999
India Speaks/ Adhyacharan Upadhyay
'Our present day politician is only bothered about saving his seat. How will he find time to save the nation?'
What do I think of our politicians today??? Does my opinion really make a difference??? I don't think so. Anyway what can I say about these politicians who just try to ruin the running government!! For whom the interest of the nation is the last priority. Our present day politician is only bothered about saving his seat. How will he find time to save the nation?? When elections are round the corner, they promise the whole world to us. They never lag behind in making false promises. After that, we all know what happens.
Today even if any party sincerely wants to run the nation, do you think they will last for long??? I don't say that we should have the BJP or the Congress. But at least the ruling party should do the jobs given to them honestly. Is that asking for too much??? Today all goondas have become politicians. Why do you think Laloo is still ruling? Only because of the prevailing goondaism. We really must have well-educated politicians.
I have seen the British rule. I have seen those days. Earlier when we had no food or clothes, it was provided to us. Our interests used to be looked after. People used to respect their leaders then. They used to respect the law and abide by it. Today we see no signs of any law and order at all.
But that will not stop me from casting my vote. Every vote makes a difference, and I too will vote. As there is still time for the election, I haven't chosen the party that deserves my vote.
What can my children ever learn from our present day's politicians? They represent the nation. But they can never serve as good examples for the youth. I think the current generation can make good politicians. But would they ever want to be??
Corruption is so much that no person can remain good for a very long time. Today even if there is a single honest person, the remaining politicians just gang up and try to remove him from the scene. That's their only job. Such is the horrifying extent that corruption has reached today. Our politicians just try to fool the public.
I have seen great politicians like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose... such great men they were!!! But I won't say that we will never have leaders like them again. Yes we definitely will. Even in the Ramayana it is said that good times shall return.
So I choose to be optimistic. Once again we shall boast of our great Indian leaders. But we'll just have to wait...
Adhyacharan Upadhyay has driven a taxi in Bombay for 30 years. As told to Kanchana Suggu. Photograph: Jewella C Miranda
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