The civil society is generally cynical about politicians, and do not differentiate between the performers and non-performers among them. The society's perception is that the entire political community is irresponsible, not realising that they were elected from the civil society they belong to. Be it a bureaucrat, a politician, a professional, an employee or a teacher, they are all from the civil society, which is a conglomerate of people of various characters and value systems. In such an environment, it is unfair to give a sweeping label of 'bad' to the politicians in general.
The media too focusses on the behaviour and sound-bites of only the 'trouble makers' among the politicians, giving them the limelight they do not deserve, for the sake sensationalism and TRP ratings. The real heroes, who are the initiators of discussions and debates in the Parliament are ignored and go unnoticed. This gives an impression among errant parliamentarians and the people at large, that visibility before the media and the camera is the main objective to be achieved.
Elected politicians govern the state. If governance is in the hands of good politicians, the people naturally stand to benefit. Way back in 2009, at the end of the 14th Lok Sabha session, the entire country was cynical about politicians and Parliamentarians. A casual remark by Dr Abdul Kalam, "Are we not having good Parliamentarians? Why term all bad?" triggered an idea to the Editorial Team of PreSense to identify and honour the achievers.
At the end of the 8th edition of the Sansad Ratna Awards in 2017, the Editorial Team is pleased and proud that this Award is considered the most prestigious award presented by the civil society to Parliamentarians in recognition of their achievement. The award-winning Parliamentarians acknowledge that this Award has motivated them to strive to perform better. This is a silent revolution, generating positivity in action.
During the Sansad Ratna Awards 2017 function held at IIT Madras on 27th May, the focus was on two issues, viz. (1) how MPs should think of innovative projects that help their constituencies and (2) the role of the civil society in appreciating the performing Parliamentarians and Legislators, and actively supporting them in the development of the constituency.
The news about these top performing Parliamentarians should reach the people across the nation. Instead of being cynical and arm-chair critics of the politicians in general, the civil society can definitely play a proactive and participatory role by working alongside their elected representatives for betterment of their own society.
(Data Source: PRS India – data relates to the period from 1-6-2014 to 12-4-2017)
by K. Srinivasan, Editor in Chief, PreSense
(This article was published in the May 2017 issue of ezine PreSense as Editorial)