The electoral politics being practiced in the country in its present form has come under increasing attacks and criticisms from all quarters, and with credible reasons which are acquiring greater relevance considering the fact that even after more than sixty years since the country regained independence, the rate of development and progress across every parameter remains dismally low, especially in comparison with countries like China and many of the southeast Asian countries. Yet, despite the conceived flaws and drawbacks, representative democracy or electoral politics remains the most widely followed form of electing public representatives throughout the world, a clear indication that either the system or the method of implementation has gone awry, either through inefficiency or as a deliberate mechanism. The seemingly inexplicable contradiction should be analysed in detail if the country is to make radical changes and expedite progress and development. A perfect or fail-safe system, when used in the context of a political environment, is something non-existent, and yet this inherent drawback should not be allowed to be used as an excuse to cover up deficiencies or, more alarmingly, to pilfer from the huge amount of resources allocated for public welfare by a few who have the wherewithal to control and regulate such schemes. There has been a perceptible increase in the pace of initiation of development measures with more promises and assurances, a signal to the changing work ethos of the government and the increasing awareness of the general populace of the intricacies of governance coupled with the willingness to air one’s views and opinions ably supported, and at times, sensationalized by the rapidly expanding reach and influence of the print and electronic media. What is woefully absent is the fruitful completion of these initiatives. Till date, almost every public project conceived for the general welfare of the public has yet to have a smooth run and are often beset with disruptions, cost and time overrun, and in many cases, ending up being scrapped altogether after huge amount of funds have been sunk in. There surely has to be a remedy for these unfortunate and undesirable deviations and shortcomings. Public opinions have it that the overlapping jurisdiction and authority of many implementing agencies and departments have been playing an unenviable role in propagating such rampant inefficiencies, discord and opportunities for pilferage and misappropriation in the actual implementation of the schemes and projects which are always often launched with much pomp and promise. A persistent and continuous monitoring system with clearly defined objectives and procedures should help in carrying out the plans. A system of checks and measures to take prompt actions, whether remedial or punitive, should also be in place which would act as a deterrent for any individual or department with the intention or inclination to deviate from the given procedures and process. Perhaps it is high time for the government think tank to hunker down and draw up a system which would improve the delivery or implementation system rather than conjuring up populist schemes and grand plans that serve to benefit a few unscrupulous individuals because of the inherent loopholes and defects that allows them an easy escape route.
- Published in Editorial