Is it worth it being a Parliamentarian?
As I continue in politics (37 years this October) and continue to sit in Parliament I must admit that I Am Becoming increasingly frustrated at the impotence of the system to change the experience of our people to one that satisfies their basic needs and gives hope for the future. So much of our time is wasted on getting st each other rather than doing for the people.
Frankly I have given deep thought to resigning as a representative and engaging in a different strategy to change the system. But I have realized that you also need to have sort of power whether it is social or political to affect the system.
In a country that is still so wealthy I cannot understand why the basic issues of people are not being addressed.
As a politician I get blamed for many things and people are correct to be critical if me and chastise me. I accept their chastisement because they elected me to represent and serve their interests But I am also fed up of public officials and public servants not doing their jobs, not committed to serving efficiently by cutting the crap of bureaucracy and stopping the daily frustration which people face. I am Tired of the talk of public service transformation and realize that it is just that – talk. Transformation can take place only if people want to change. We are romanticizing non performance. We are excusing poor productivity. We are afraid to shake and rock the system because we are too concerned with the retention of power even if this means that the country is sinking. It is always about the politics and not the people. Except that when the first concern is the politics we enter behaviors and decision making that is selfish and self serving.
How can we continue to justify the billions of dollars in subsidies to state companies when productivity and process improvements can cut subsidies by close to forty percent. Let us face it we gave a management deficit in state organizations. And we are afraid to fire some of them. The level of managerial accountability is dismally low in state companies.
I am tired of the seemingly useless parliament debates which do not result in real change. How much of our debates have reduced crime and created a more secure environment for our citizens. We continue to debate and debate but citizens feel Less safe in their homes in their workplaces and on the streets.
When people no Longer respect the Judiciary and when the judiciary refuses to Take responsibility for the state of justice how can there be a change to law and order.
I am tired of seeing so much government waste while people are hungry and homeless. I am tired of ministerial excuses and of blaming the past.
A nation has to Understand the lessons from our past but when the collective mind of decision makers remain in the past the nation does not move forward.
When every parliamentarian accepts that he or she is an agent of change and a servant and when each parliamentary representative asks and answers the question “how can I best serve the needs of the people” change will occur.
Believe it or not this is how I have tried to work and serve as a public official. It has been difficult not being able to deliver to everyone. People are not very willing to empathize with a representative.
The conflict mentality that exists between political rivals has to be neutralized on the altar of the higher goal of citizen security and contentment.
The cynicism of youths about politics and the system.
Is growing at a rapid pace. We are seeing the discontent and hopelessness in individual acts of violence even among children. Youth cynicism that results in them Dropping out of the system and becoming fringe citizens is our greatest danger. They are already exploding in school violence, in gangsterism and in many anti social behaviors.
And for these comments there will also be critics. I have three more years to make an impact on the system and I intend to do do. My decisions will be guided by what is right for the people ! Love me or hate me this is my Divali reality check. What use is Divali if it cannot inspire me to light the flame of wisdom in my mind to being the kind of servant of the people as desired by the people who elected me to do do.
When elephants fight the grass gets crumpled. When people who manage the system are always in conflict the people get trampled upon.
And lest I be misunderstood I also take responsibility for the state of affairs in the country. But I intend to make a difference. Just wait and see.
Suruj Rambachan MP