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   Friday, February 22, 2019
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First check obscenity of corruption
By Carmen Miranda

It is baffling that people from the land of Khajuraho get more agitated when their representatives are caught watching pornography in the assembly, but continue to ignore widespread corruption, violence and damage to public health and environment.

As Goa prepares for the polls on March 3, MLAs’ antics in Karnataka’s Assembly have awoken pious and ethical consciousness among former members of Goa’s Assembly.

Cries of “desecration of the house of democracy” and considerations of “worthiness to be sitting in the Assembly” and expressions of horror at watching pornographic clips during a session of the Karnataka assembly are considered “unacceptable and disgraceful”, Oh! Horror of horrors!

Yet the obscenity of widespread corruption, criminal activity, day light robbery of the state coffers, illegal activity, ignorance and incompetence, lack of integrity, irresponsibility, bribes, scams, involvement in dubious businesses, being caught red-handed in criminal activities seem to be acceptable worthy actions and worthy people to occupy various seats in Assemblies around the country including Goa and Karnataka. These are not considered anxiety raising issues, and hardly provoke a raised eyebrow.

But watch pornography during an Assembly session in the land of Kama Sutra, Tantric Sex and Khajuraho temples, and we get a reaction. “Apologise!” some cried in outrage. “Apologise to whom?” – the MLAs asked in disbelief, and resigned.

The measuring of “values” is bemusing, where pornography is an almost “no” conditional to place, and fraud and violence are not even an issue… no matter where.

At least now we know what politicians are really interested in, and why progress is slow and “service to the people” remains a vague intention.

Yes, there is a place and a time for everything and watching pornography during an Assembly session is indeed disrespectful, but perhaps just disrespectful of an idea that only exists in our imaginations…DEMOCRACY!

The measuring of “values” is bemusing, where pornography is an almost “no” conditional to place, and fraud and violence are not even an issue… no matter where.

The moral bankruptcy and decadence is not only that of the political parties, but also that of the voters who have tolerated the low calibre politicians to dominate politics, election after election. But people’s gullibility and ignorance is part of the equation in India’ brand of democracy, and that is why “people’s representatives” get away with doing nothing, and get rewarded by the people voting them back into power despite involvement in fraud, illegal mining and probably despite watching porn during the Assembly sessions.

Watching porn during Assembly is the result of immature electorate voting for immature politicians. It’s the ultimate expression of people’s sentiments towards the brand of politics dominating India, which are just dirty politics, the politics of taking people for a ride and getting rich in the process whilst majority of the population remains exactly where they have been for ever - ignorant, gullible and in dire poverty - a golden vote bank!

To be fair, some MLAs are true “representatives” of people’s interests and feelings. But there are a growing number of them who represent just their own interests, and are responsible for the politics of NO VISION, NO HOPE, NO FUTURE, and NO RESPONSIBILITY.

The views expressed above are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of d-sector editorial team.

Carmen Miranda  |  carmitamiranda@gmail.com

Carmen Miranda is a renowned environmentalist. She is based in London and actively involved in Save Western Ghats movement. Her crusade against mining in Goa is well known.

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Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

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