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The arrogance of politicians – Ajit Pawar makes a very arrogant remark




The way that the system is India is supposed to work is simple. People elect their representatives, who in turn elect their leaders until a Government is formed with ministers. The idea is that these people work for the benefit of citizens, implement policies that do good to people and most important, when people are facing problems, they provide some solution. Now, all of you can stop laughing. This is how the system was supposed to work, but in reality, there are certain tweaks to the system. Politicians look at the job to provide them funds and money through the patronage of corruption, they look down upon the citizens who they represent, and every 5 years, they come back to the citizens with pleas for support (and typically they get support). In between, the Government implements policies, some of which help, some of which cause problems that in turn will need the Government to do more policies, and more money. And in India specifically, the politicians also decide on policy which they feel will help them get votes from the public. However, the distance between the citizens and the politicians is so large that you should forget about something called representing the people; instead you should call this the lording over people.
There are many examples of the way that politicians can show that they are arrogant and much above citizens – they can ride in bullet-proofs vehicles with large number of securitymen, with the beacons on their vehicles that causes traffic to stop when they are moving; they can hold darbars where normal citizens come in the form of supplicants when they need some help, and so on so forth. All you have to do is to listen to some politician when they appear on TV interviews and there have been some accusations against them or their colleagues / leaders, and see how arrogantly they respond to such accusations. Another good example of the disconnect between politicians and the citizens is seen in their public utterances during some crisis. There have been many cases of politicians running off with their mouths, most noticeably during the December agitations against the gang-rape, and some of them were very arrogant (such as by the MP son of the President).

When people are in a bad way, when their livelihood is threatened, when they are being deprived of one of the most important ingredients needed for life, it is then that a politician can make their mark. But when you have sat still as the crisis approaches, when you are accused of being responsible of wasting huge sums of money that could have prevented such drought like situations, at such a time if you make jokes about the suffering of people, that is when you come across as very arrogant. Unfortunately, there are no lessons involved in such situations – even if you feel that there is public reactions, you apologize, and then resume your career without much of a loss, till the next time that you put your feet in your mouth again.
This is what Ajit Pawar has done. Maharashtra has been under the grip of a horrible drought, dams are empty; and there are lots of recriminations about projects having been setup for diverting water to favored industries, where Government policies are favoring plants such as sugarcane that needs huge sums of money, and where the former agriculture minister (Ajit Pawar) has been accused of spending Rs. 70,000 crore without any increase in agricultural irrigation availability. At such a time, for Ajit Pawar to make fun about no water in the dams, to talk about increasing water level in the dams through urination is horrible. This created such a wave of revulsion that he was forced to make a half-hearted apology, and then his uncle, Sharad Pawar also had to apologize.
Typically when people feel that a politician is getting too arrogant, that is the time when the politician should be unseated in the next election, but I am not very confident about such a thing happening in the near future.




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