Why do we say ‘Congress ruled states’ or BJP ruled states? This innocent remark by an Acquaintance triggered off a series of thoughts. We never say ‘Congress governed states’ Or ‘BJP governed states.’ May be because there’s not much of the governance happening, (Narendra Modi & Nitish Kumar the possible visible exceptions) . Another reason could be That on winning elections, our elected representatives start behaving (and spending) like Rulers. Has anyone noticed the lavish lifestyle of our elected representatives two years after being elected. How is it that a majority of our representatives run flourishing companies, own fancy SUV’s, reside in palatial bungalows in contrast to their humble beginnings. Does being in the government rewire their mental faculties to make them more enterprising in their business acumen. The average small time businessman almost never makes such dramatic progress in such a limited time frame. The term public servant indicates that elected representatives are there to serve the public but in real life the public becomes the servants to the elected representatives whims & desires. Many times I have heard in the media of ‘so & so’ being politically immature, or ‘so & so’ being a good politician. Is it not more important to be able to provide good governance rather than being able to play ‘good politics’. After all the word ‘government’ has ‘govern’ not politics at its core. Like they say, we have lost the plot somewhere along the way. Our expectations of civic amenities (good roads, street lighting, cleanliness) are so low that even a basic fulfilment of our infrastructural needs makes us disproportionately happy. Any government official who does
his job efficiently without any expectation of any gratification makes us suspicious. Another strange fact in our country, that the ‘Governor’ does not govern. In fact, I am not sure what he does. That sure says a lot about the importance of ‘governance’ in our political system.