Corruption has been a major talking point in the past half decade of Indian politics. Though it's good that awareness about demanding more honest governance has increased - however, what has disappeared is pragmatism from political narrative.
Was this a reaction to the irresponsive and blatant arrogance of Congress regime? Yes. Did some players create a political niche for themselves while promising the moon? Also yes.
One must understand the nature of corruption endemic to India before setting expectations and timelines to achieve the results.It is true that corruption slows down growth. Like friction on a road slows down a vehicle. The more the friction the slower you go. Though friction is a reality of the world, much like corruption. What you do not do is that stop you car, climb down and start shining the road until it's mirror.
You can never expect zero corruption in a democracy and that too of India's size, which also puts a lot of pressure on per capita resources, of all kind.- There's lower level corruption, then babu-level. Then higher level. Sometimes it's interconnected, sometimes not.
- There's cultural inclination towards bribery and cutting corners. You can cause that to low resources and hence, socially learnt behavior of getting you a piece by hook or crook.
- Then there're crooks - the larger the population, the more the crooks. Generally, crooks know how to acquire power at their levels, better than the relatively honest ones.
- There's also capitalism, which has its own pros and cons. Free market also brings incentive, and the urge to maximize it more and more. However crooked this system, it still works better than socialism and other more left-aligned ideologies.
- There's something called justice. You can't execute thieves like North Korea. This ain't China either. Law takes it own slow course.
- Lastly, there's a set system, which is dependent on people who have been running it for a long time. You just can't replace all these people, who have their vested interests with an entirely new set of people. Those who promise the moon, they don't tell you that their human resource also comes from the same condition.
Which is why, it'll be foolish to collect all your attention at reducing corruption.
Don't get me wrong, we must still be intolerant towards corruption. Public awakening is a good development. However, getting stuck at "removing corruption or we won't go forward" will always take us back to the socialist era. Where everybody is watching somebody else. This is no way to grow.
The only way to beat the friction is to step on gas. Nitro power your effort for performance, while also keeping an eye on keeping the road clean and smooth.
What is happening right now?Narendra Modi realigned BJP's focus from Hindutva towards development. It was a paradigm shift. And this is exactly why his vision resonated across Indian voter. Briefly, Kejriwal powered movement had tried to gear 'corruption' as the main agenda - but majority voter found it naive and negative. And incomplete, like I explained earlier.
Delhi, where all the media is constantly focused (god knows why), bought the moon. Now the Kejriwal government is trying their hands at governance, with the promise of ending corruption. And a sidebar of populist (and classically socialist) promises.
Now some say, Delhi is slowly waking up to a nightmare and it is going to last for 4 more years. But I hope AAP does well, although I don't see it happening. Not because I hate AAP or it's rather autocratic leader, but largely because, lack of vision on development and a very strong urge to play to the galleries. There's also a bad mixture of power division between AAP and BJP, it will always be dysfunctional.
Rest of the country is going to be facing a completely new challenge. A nexus of media, opposition and the BJP's disgruntled old guard trying to derail the present government from executing development promises.
Let's state it, the much touted "Acchhe Din" is not an easy task and though Mr. Modi may appear to be with the perfect resume, he doesn't lead a perfectly functional group.Gujarat performed and hence Modi was rewarded. However, BJP wasn't entirely a clean party. Why? Anti-corruption has never been a prime agenda for the BJP. Under Vajpayee, it was development and nationalism, while under Advani, it was Hindutva, Hindutva, Hindutva. The BJP was not even a proper opposition under Advani.
Advani never kept a leash on his chief ministers to reduce corruption. If there was less corruption in the BJP states compared to the Congress and others, it's probably because of RSS lineage and nationalism. But it was there. The BJP being a conservative party was always business oriented so it produced better numbers.
It is after Modi took command, who brought with him the pressure of Achhe Din, so he had to exclusively recognize the new 'anti-corruption' as an added agenda. Kejriwal's wind in Delhi too played a role in this. However, he never made it his primary agenda. Why? Because he had the pragmatism to keep his focus on the positive. Build more, it's a classic capitalist approach.
Modi is blamed for keeping a tight leash on his ministers. This is the first thing he did when he landed in Delhi. Everybody working under him knows that he'll breathe down their neck to see the performance. Modi wanted to change the culture of lethargy. This controlled corruption at the top too. Unlike queen Sonia, who was always the invisible end of the dirty money trail, during the UPA - all power and no responsibility.
The Congress taunts Modi for being a hard taskmaster. It's ironic and hilarious at the same time. They should know better how a paralytic culture needs a jolt to correct itself.
This influence however doesn't reach the BJP controlled states. They've been running thing how they've been running things. The BJP had a bad experience with Yeddyrappa in Karnataka when they tried to do the right thing. They, it seems, have become a little wary of disturbing the delicate balance. This is probably why Modi is forced to tolerate Vasundhara Raje, Raman Singh and Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The world knows they never liked each other. Something as low as Delhi and Mumbai municipality seem to run defiant. Modi however is fully supportive of Devendra Phadnavis, who is thriving under his leadership.
Hypocrisy is a part of politics.Retaining power is also very important. And right now on the top priority of Modi and Shah is Bihar, UP and West Bengal. Much of the development game won't begin until some level of control is established on these widely ruined states (thanks to socialism).
The Congress has found a new ally in media. Or, media has always been an ally of the Congress. Or, should we say that right leaning politics never found any traction with Indian media so it never matured fully in that way. Or, is it the old games of paid media influence?
Media seems to have become the new Kejriwal. I don't think it's a compliment. Why? Media is entirely focused on finding faults, with a microscope and a time machine. There's barely any focus on policy. Or, even an attempt to understand the right-leaning politics. The entire political narrative is neck-deep leftist, and this despite witnessing 60 years getting wasted in chasing butterflies.