Politicians should avoid “business-stroke “
Dr. P Pullarao
Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister’s careers might be finished if further revelations come out from businessman Lalit Modi. If Lalit Modi makes some more revelations, then both will go.
Chandra Babu Naidu is surrounded by businessmen. There is nothing wrong with that. But Babu should not listen to their advice and make them his closest aides. The problem with businessmen is that they do not understand politics .. They simply feel that everything has a price. But when you are dealing with people, price cannot be fixed.
The allegations against Chandra Babu Naidu about vote-buying would never have happened had he kept recently rich businessmen at a little distance. Sure, give them tickets to Parliament or the Assembly. But keep them at a distance.
Sushma Swaraj, Chandra Babu and Vasundhara Raje have definitely not read one of the stories by greatest English novels F. Scott Fitzgerald “ the Rich Boy “. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote
“ Let me tell you about the rich . They are different form you and me .They possess and enjoy early and it does something to them. It make them cynical while we are trustful. They think they are better than we are .”
Lalit Modi is wealthy and he spends money . Naturally, SushmaSwaraj and VasundharaRaje were dazzled by the money spent. They enjoyed every bit of it. Lalit Modi did not spend money on them because he was a charitable person. He had his own objectives.
Similarly, Chandra Babu Naidu is surrounded by the rich as other Andhra politicians earlier. They love the feel of wealth and when near wealth, they felt terrific. Remember that most politicians come from very humble backgrounds and when they see’ Lakshmi “, they get transported to another world.
How did the businessmen earn their wealth? That question does not arise. The simple answer is that he is rich and so must be intelligent. Since he is so generous, he is a nice person. Politicians in India lose office or go to jail only because of “business-stroke “. By having taken money or favours, the politicians cannot reject the rich donor….or he will be exposed. That is what is happening to SushmaSwaraj and Vasundhara Raje.
Politicians forget some basic principles of politics .Elected representatives should serve as a bridge between people and government. But business tycoons, once elected, feel they need not associate with the public. Further, they feel they spent much money and won office. They realise that they will have to spend money again and why waste time when the voters have to be bought again ?
A number of MPs from all parties got tickets only because of their money . There is a political gap since they are not connected to people. This political gap eventually leads to defeats and scandals.
One of the richest people is Savithri Jindal who was a Minister in Haryana. In her constituency, at least 35,000 people work for her. Yet Jindal lost and came third in the election. People eventually get fed up and defeat the rich.
Politicians should realise that most scandals start with business people turned politicians . For businessmen, getting anything done through any means is okay. They are used to this philosophy of “gettingthingsdone by money “. Usually, they follow a legal route. But when they become associated with politicians, they start trying to subvert the system and get an additional advantage by using money and politicians.
In most cases, no one ever gets caught. It is only when there is an aggrieved party that things come out in the open. In most scandals there is at least one dis-satisfied and angry participant. Even in the Lalit Modi case, from newsreports it isobvious that he was personally angry with the Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. Here one of the main actors ( Lalit Modi ) in this scandal-drama himself spills out secrets. Eventually, whatever happens toVasundharaRaje and SushmaSwaraj is difficult to predict. But surely, Lalit Modi hashimself signed his o wn arrest warrant.
This is also a warning to politicians that at some crucial stage a businessmen will cooperate with the authorities to save his skin and he will be in trouble.
Politicians feel that money is needed for elections. Aside from elections, most of the money form business people goes into the private bank accounts and wealth of politicians . It is an easy way to earn money. Corrupt politicians feel that they are giving a gift of a Parliament seat . Why should they give it free? That is when the business folk come in.
Once a seat is sold to a rich man, then the eco-system around that politician starts to get corrupted and eventual downfall. Of course there are many clever politicians who have sold seats and yet survived. But now and then they get caught and they can never recover.
But the greatest punishment for a politician who fraternities with rich people and gives s them seats in Parliament and legislatures is that their political party eventually gets destroyed. That happens slowly but surely. Take very intelligent politicians like Sharad Pawar. His party the NCP has stagnated. Thera are just too many rich people in his party.
A politician should avoid becoming close to any rich person. What F. Scott Fitzgerald said nearly a 100 years ago on the rich is true today ….” The rich are not like you and me. They are different “.
Dr P Pulla Rao is a Socio-political and Economic analyst
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