The malaise of Money and Muscle Power is now well embedded in Goa’s political turf. It was very evident even at the grassroots level, during the recently held Panchayat elections. The distribution of cash and freebies was galore. This sad situation is irreversible and will only get worse.
Aspiring candidates have realized that even getting elected as a Panchayat member or Municipal Councilor is a very lucrative venture paying huge dividends. So those contesting pump in all the money they can arrange even by borrowing. Politics is one business where if you are elected you are assured of rising from Rags to great Riches. Merit counts for nothing. The skill, experience, talent and integrity of the candidates is no longer essential.
In the 60’s and early 70’s we had to coax people to contest elections. Today candidates are coerced and even threatened with dire consequences if they do not withdraw. The unacceptable face of this type of crude politics erodes the trust that people have in the political and electoral process and in their unfairly elected representatives. This leads to a poor caliber of elected officials because of voter apathy and an arm’s length approach to politics with damaging consequences to people and our State.No wonder people now take their comedians seriously and their politicians as a joke! This is deeply worrying and concerning as the late President Charles de Gaulle reminded us that ‘Politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.’
Regrettably, in the world’s biggest democracy, Politics is no longer a mission to serve the common good with honesty and integrity, but a personal investment at all costs, for personal wealth development. The French President Emmanuel Macron warned us that ‘When politics is no longer a mission but a profession, politicians become more self-serving than public servants’