The political scene in Karnataka is pitiful to say the least. The cabinet has been reshuffled at least half a dozen times in under two and a half years. Most ministers have been ousted due to their alleged involvement in Scams and fraud. The Hon Chief Minister of the state himself is embroiled in a property scam which involved denotifying land under litigation and then buying it at a throw away price. I returned yesterday from my native town of Shimoga, which also happens to be the Chief Minister’s constituency. Almost every alternate piece of land was called out to be owned by the Chief Minister or one of his family members. The road to an Engineering college, owned partly by our CM, is wide, pothole free and flat. Just 3 kilometers away, the road becomes half its size, is unkempt and is ridden with potholes. Almost every minister in the current cabinet has been busted being a part of some fraud or scam. The government almost fell thrice due to supporters switching sides. The Chief Minister’s son, during the course of the investigation around his involvement in property fraud decided to sell a questionably acquired piece of land for the sum of Rupees forty five Crores. What was hilarious was that the CM, apparently summoned and threatened the person who was doling out this information to people as per the Right to Information act. Despite proof about fraud, nepotism, immoral behavior and attitude, the Chief Minister and his cabinet are still intact and in Power. When asked to justify his actions, he simply referred to incidents where ex chief ministers were involved in similar situations, and said he will not be singled out. Truly exceptional, I must say.
This brings me to the role of Wikileaks in the international political scene. The amount of Buzz that is created by Wikileaks is tremendous, but when it comes to acting on the information that is available at hand, the response from the respective Governments is really really poor. As is the case with our current government in Karnataka. Despite mountain loads of proofs against the CM and his cabinet ministers, they still are in power trying to maximize their profits while in office. What is the point of information in the public domain if its not going to be put to any use. Is bringing confidential documents into the public domain enough to stop the wrong doings ? Here’s a question I always wonder about; Once a minister is proved to have made say X amounts of money in a scam, is the minister liable to pay that money back to the Government or the treasury? I haven’t of such a thing happening. He/she falls in disgrace, but he/she falls an extremely wealthy person.
Karnataka’s Anti Corruption bureau, the Lok Ayukta is akin to WikiLeaks in Karnataka. They catch people red handed and set up a detailed enquiry or an investigation on the matter at hand. Its a pity they do not have prosecution powers. I guess, bringing the information to people is definitely a start and it should continue, but it also lead to concrete results and punishment.
I was surprised to see the website of BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Shri L K Advani. Seems like President Obama’s use of internet during his campaign has inspired many to establish their presence on the net. The internet has become synonymous with the younger generation and this new form of campaigning is an effort to find in roads to enticing the youth to vote. Other efforts like Jaagore have also been designed especially to encourage the otherwise uninterested youth to vote. Jaagore almost reminds me of P Diddy’s vote or die campaign. Looking back at some of our politicians and the diligence with which they handled issues like terror , allegations and instances when they made news, I am but over enthusiastic about the legislative future of my country. With such inspiring prospects being added to cadre, not to forget the seriousness with which they treat this post, its almost certain that our country is headed to being utopian at the least.
Whats my take on this ? I am not very clear. I am in a fix to decide which leader to vote for. I am trembling on my stands of libertarianism when faced with such convincing candidates. Let the big choice not be so hard on us folks. If capable leaders is what we need then we have dozens of them. Why make us choose ?