Friday, February 13, 2015

Wow !!! Congress faces funding crisis ...

As I opened the morning papers ...I was delighted to see Business Line reporting that ' With big business tap shut, Cong faces funds crisis'. What a wonderful news !

Nobody pays you when you can't work for them anymore - and certainly not business men. Donations to political parties are investments ...or protection money or both. So, it is natural that the Congress will find no money from big business ...who clearly see that this party will be unproductive for atleast the next five years. But businesses keep on investing ...and logically now, money is flowing somewhere else.

But, think a little more and we immediately realize that if only the congress party had relied on people directly for funds, it would be unlikely that they would be facing such a crisis....small granular contributions don't dry up easily . We are told that the Kerala unit of the party does it....and the Congress has a strong presence and now weild power in the state. But, if they had indeed done it across the country , the Congress would have worked hard to ensure that they serve the people - who would have been their paymasters. In part that explains why politicians in Kerala are -at least outwardly - humble and accessible .

When big business is your paymaster , you do what they bid you to do....but you can throw your weight around and ride fortuners and boleros. You sell the idea that big business and big investments naturally mean development and welfare. To aid you in this proces is the big media (also owned by big business ). And , when it is election time, when it is big money that is supporting you, you can buy votes.

Coming back, we realize and it is obvious there is big business money that has now flown into the saffron party ....and hence it is natural that we will see pro-big business policy action by the government...and naturally all these need not be pro people. One of the first evidences of this is the Land grabbing ordinance...and other such ordinances. Unless the saffron party actually broad bases itself and approaches people directly, we can only see policy for big business and preachings for the people....broad basing will require a humongous effort and change in mindset - which is unlikely.

Over time, I don't expect the saffron party to be any different from the hand that passed on the baton of governance to it, for, as they say ,  எல்லாம் ஒரே குட்டையில் ஊறிய மட்டைகள் (they are all from the same marsh).

Interestingly, this probably explains why the AAP , which has not raised money from big business yet (that two crores is small change when compared to donations for other parties and even they don't seem to be from any big corporate house), is labelled as left of center, the emerging left, extreme left and what not.

Parties know that big money is hot money and as long as they pursue policies that favors big business, and also sell it people as reform and development, they will be able to swim in it. When polices don't come forth or when people don't buy the story ...the model collapses. We are delightfully seeing it happen to the Congress and I hope it happens to the saffron party as well. I hope that this model collapses so many times that parties dump it once and for all. Only then will we have true democracy ...until then we will have to suffer this kleptocracy.

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