Justice N. Santosh Hegde, the former chairperson of the Lokayukta in Karnataka, delivered a talk on the ‘Role of civil society in reshaping democratic India’ in the UTC during the pre council of its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on August 10, 2011. He brought forward years of experience of meeting ordinary people in India and how they felt the system was not helping them.
The former judge took the listeners back to the independence period when parliamentarians were dignified people from different backgrounds, who had the welfare of the people in their minds. Thus was formed the constitution of the Indian republic where the stress was on the rights of the common person in India.
This has changed drastically now. Parliamentarians are more bothered about themselves and open their mouth in the parliament mainly to yawn! Important issues are not debated enough in parliament and bills are passed through without anyone even asking what it is about. He referred to Dec 23, 2008 when 17 bills were passed in 13 minutes in parliament. The politicians are supposed to be public servants and therefore supposed to serve the people of this country. Now it is vice versa and money meant for the poor is siphoned off by the leaders.
Public money is wasted on self portraits and self benefit while there is no money for the poor. Justice Hegde said that this it is time for this culture to change in India. Leaders have to be accountable to the public and they should do what they are paid to do. While poor women walk kilometers for a pot of water, politicians like Madhu Khoda made 4,000 crores of rupees in just two years. While we have several dollar billionaires, the the benefit of democracy does not reach the ordinary person in India. This is what has to change and it is possible if people in India get together.