Politics is dirty, confess leaders in Karnataka, Australia

Politics is dirty, confess leaders in Karnataka, Australia

 An interactive session on local governance involving elected representatives from Karnataka and Australia witnessed some confessional moments with both sides admitting that politics in their respective places was not clean.

Malleswaram MLA Dr C N Ashwath Narayan said politics gets dirtier when it moves from national to state and local levels. “During elections, we do everything to get elected on the basis that ‘everything is fair in love and war’. The challenge is after the elections, when we start doing work and realise that it is the most thankless job,” he said.

Palani Thevar, Australian Labour Party representative, admitted that politics in Australia had reached low levels many times. “It is not entirely clean. But it is not as bad as in India,” said Thevar, who migrated to Australia from Tamil Nadu.

Australian MLC Sally Talbot, who was an MP for 12 years, said the world of Australian politics can be cruel and unforgiving.

“We become victims of personal attacks too. There are times when I have drained myself physically and mentally to reach out to people. Having said that, things have changed a lot over the last few years. This is true especially when it comes to representation of women in politics, who are as articulate and resilient as men,” she said.

Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Gowda intervened during a discussion on the idea of compulsory voting in India. Gowda said politics has evolved in India and people, especially in rural areas, are actively participating in voting.

Gowda, at the same time, expressed concern over the polarisation of society. “We come from a culture of tolerance when one respected the intention and causes of others despite the ideological differences. But today, we are living in a polarised environment. Our social media and TV debates are worsening the situation further,” he said.

The event, organised by Bengaluru Political Action Committee, also threw light on the situation in local body administration. MLA Ashwath Narayan noted that local bodies have more responsibility but less power.

“There is a need for devolution of more powers to local bodies if we want to bring transparency in their administration,” he said.

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