'Most parties based on personalities than ideology'

'Most parties based on personalities than ideology'

Kavita Srivastava, general secretary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Rajasthan reacts to the recent trend of politicians engaging in loose talk and trivialising the demand for basic issues like drinking water and says, politicians and their utterances have become irresponsible and there is a serious disconnect between the rulers and the ruled. Excerpts of an interview with P Joychen of Deccan Herald:

What do you make out of the disgracing comment of a senior minister in Maharashtra to a farmer demanding a basic amenity as water?

The utterances of these politicians have become a ruckus and they are like loose cannons. No responsible political leader could make a statement like the one made by the Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar who was virtually asking the people to drink urine if there is no water.

What he did was an insult to injury to these parched farmers who were demanding the basic thing for survival. It is the duty of the government to devise ways and means to tackle drought. If it fails in its duty it should take him to task. Their utterances show the scant regard they have for the plight of the people who elect them to these posts. It is time to fix accountability.

Do you think the media is also partly responsible as very often the trivial gets noticed in the national media while serious basic issues are ignored? 

Media also goes hyperbole on such statements. But the spotlight is on one issue for a day and it shifts focus so quickly from one issue to another. This gives an opportunity to the politicians to get away with whatever they do and say.

Earlier politicians used to claim that media misquoted their statements; now with the growth of electronic media, they started owning up their statements and  apologising.
Yes, the growth of electronic media helped to expose these politicians. They could no longer disown the irresponsible statements made by them as media misquotes. They have started owning up and making apologies. But it is nothing but their hypocrisy showing up again. What comes out spontaneously are the real thoughts and the rest is an afterthought.

What is the problem with present day politics and politicians according to you?

Today’s politicians have no ideological affinity or commitment to their party. Many, like Ajit Pawar, who piggy back to power as him on his uncle Sharad Pawar, think that what matters in politics is money. They have money and muscle power and use it to come back to power again. Then why should they fear the people.

Do you think party leadership should inculcate party culture and disciple in its cadres? 
 
Political parties have the responsibility to groom its leaders in the party ideology and culture. But unfortunately many parties in India are based on individual cult than party ideology. Whether it is Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee or Jayalalitha, there is hardly any ideology to differentiate one from the other than the personality cult of the supremo.


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