At present, India is not only suffering from bad governance but also with “side politics” of the common man, who will climb up a cliff to defend the person who belongs to his side of the political spectrum even if he’s wrong and will argue nonsensically with the other to defend that point.
In the current scenario, where people are debating about the dearth of accountability in the government, there is a need to forget this protective bubble built by some of us. People are defending the government when it should be held accountable, not for one but for many reasons.
For instance, let’s talk about being hit by the second wave of the pandemic. A year after it arrived, the government had not prepared the health sector to fight against it.
Instead, there is an exponential increase in the violence against doctors, there’s a scarcity of oxygen cylinders, ventilators, ambulances, beds — all of which can be sourced by the colossal PM Cares Fund. Furthermore, the fund was kept out of the reach of RTI, as it would hinder its ‘efficient working’ if valuable time is wasted on giving answers to the RTIs.
People generally defend this by saying the pandemic has also exposed the health systems of the US and Italy. To counter this, I’d say, there are also many other sectors in the US and Italy that are flourishing and also waiting for their turn and needed to be drawn into this ongoing cynical and senseless debate.
Dual face of social media
The harsh truth of the current times is that most of the knowledge of our people is backed by WhatsApp forwards instead of facts and figures.
On social networking websites likes Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, thousands of pages, that have millions of followers, post random forwards, trending memes or even misleading information, which is then blindly copy-pasted. Try to Googling ‘Sarvjeet Sing Bedi’ and one can see for themselves how this can harm an individual.
At the end of the day, if you notice, you will end up seeing the same post by almost every page that you follow.
Meanwhile, there are several ways to tackle a page or an account that criticises the government openly. There’s the ‘unofficial virtual army’ that comments rape threats and death threats. And if things get out of hand, then the State can also slap them with the NSA (National Security Act). The acronym can actually stand for ‘Never Speak Again’.
If you’re lucky, you may also be charged with sedition and proffered the ‘anti-national’ tag.
I do not believe that only the government is responsible for the growth and development of a country, the people are also equally responsible, especially in a democratic country.
In a democracy, people elect their government. If they do this without any bias, they will have better administrators who can lead the country to growth. Often in India, it is quite common for people to elect corrupt and seemingly honest but dishonest people to offices of power.
Many people only bear caste, religion or other vested interests in mind when they vote and thus they get elected individuals who do not care for the development of the country. People are also equally responsible for the problems affecting their country.
To conclude, there are many factors affecting India but this extreme adulation of people towards “side politics” is preventing accountability from the government. And this is concerning because as has been rightly said: “Accountability punctures the facade that government builds to fool people.”
Anas Iqbal is a student of M.J.P. Rohilkhand University, Bareilly