Friday, May 23, 2008

After Sports, Now It's the Turn of Politics

The latest issue of Outlook has this story about how business is the prime mover in politics and how business lobbies help win elections. It also listed the business lobbies siding with the Congress: Information Technology, Infrastructure, Liquor, and Higher Education. This is with specific reference to Karnataka, but I think it has a point of reference in other states too, IMHO. Excerpt:

“Elections 2008 in Karnataka are all about powerful business lobbies and the influence they wield over key political parties. They have apparently had their way in the distribution of tickets, and now, the manner in which campaigns are run and votes are sought. So whichever party or coalition comes to power after results are out on May 25, it will have to pander to the lobbies which have backed it.”

After Indian Premier League this is bad news. That the gentleman’s game has been taken over was bad news, but now even politics has been made a tool in the hands of the powerful businessman. I mean, the bad news is that business and money power is taking over another hallowed precinct while we can only stand and stare. What happened to sports has happened to politics and what happened between Vijay Mallya and Rahul Dravid can also happen in politics, i.e., the businessman can ask, “What happened to your promises to me?”

There’s a by-election in New Bombay, where I live. A policeman who comes for a walk with me in the mornings confesses that at the place where he was posted there were hardly seven per cent polling. Why? Because they knew who will win even before the election was held, so people stayed away. How? Because the man who was ultimately going to win had the support of the local business, and was himself a businessman.

Need I say more?

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