India is a huge nation. And it has a lot of problems. Problems that make the perfect water cooler discussion topics in every part of the country. Everybody has solutions to every problem of India, but yet the problems remain. We have come to accept that “We are like that only” when we come face to face with various problems which the country faces. Some say the large population is the problem, some say poverty, some think lack of education and literacy is the problem, and our politicians and babus are more like road-blocks than smooth flyovers.
So, the question is, how do you manage a country with a diversity as large as India’s. As a democratic country, the pillars of a successful India are its legislative, judiciary and executive. I would like to add “media” as the fourth pillar of any vibrant political system. All these systems exist in India, but are not working as they should be. Or in other words, they are not “Accountable“. Anybody in a powerful position has a lot of responsibility. In our system, those in power are not accountable to anybody if they do not perform their duty as expected from them. It has become too easy to escape a punishment after doing something wrong. It could be as small as jumping a red light and bribing the traffic policeman to escape a challan to a minister framing policies for corporates in return for financing for his party activities. Why? Because the traffic policeman has no fear of accepting bribe. Even if caught, he will not be given any strict punishment. Even IAS officers cought taking bribe are suspended with 70% pay while an enquiry / case is going on. Which can take ages to complete? and so on and so on…
Everything sitting in a position of power in this country can escape easily if he does not do what is expected to do? Because he is not “accountable” to the people of the country. If he does not perform, he should be punished / penalized so hard that others think twice before committing the same mistake. People say that people in government jobs , employees dont work while private employees work as expected. The only difference is in accountability. The same people will work when they move from public sector to private sector, but not in the government. And the same people, be it politicians, bureaucrats, babus, police, or a peon, will start working as expected if they were made accountable and every irregularity be harshly dealt with.
But where will this “Accountability” come from? Who will make the rules? Who will implement them? And the answer is a Leader. India today needs a leader who is strong, tough and can implement and stand on what he/she says. A leader that can inspire from the words he speak, and from his/her actions. We have a few examples here and there, and the departments under such tough leaders have always performed better than the average what is expected of any government task.
Unless such a leader comes, who thinks beyond himself, his party, his state, his religion and thinks for this country as a whole and who has the courage to take tough decisions and stand by them, the problems will remain. But India has the power to become the most developed state in the world if led properly and accountably. In a democracy, we cannot make such a leader, we only have to wait for him/her to come!! And that is the irony of being a democracy.