In future we need politicians who have moral fibre and large hearts. We need politicians who are honest, generous to a fault, and, not greedy; with absolutely no aspirations for wealth and power for themselves and who are not richer than the poorest in their constituencies.
We would want politicians that are open books, and, who are above political games and one-upmanship, and no hidden agenda except to serve the people and the nation and reliably represent people and their needs, wants, comforts and desires,.
India in the future, requires politicians that are intelligent and yet are inherently humble and self-effacing; who never resort to boastful bouts of self-glorification; who are sensitive, fair minded and just, and never ever abuse their office or their official position-of-duty and would be above doing favours, bending rules, subverting justice or breaking the law for their cronies and favourites.
We would like to have politicians who are peace-loving and who never threaten, vilify, denigrate or use violence and assassinations to intimidate conscientious objectors and Independent minded people of principle who have the knowledge and the ability to think and see reality as it is and voice intelligent dissent.
In India, in the future, we would like to have politicians who know that nationalism, though a simple word, is a dangerous one. It separates and does not integrate. It is a tool for fascists to divide and rule. We would like to see politicians who love to unify and create togetherness and oneness amongst all the people of the country.
Politicians in the future need to build and maintain trust amongst their constituents by practising what they preach, and by not creating hype around themselves. They should not make false promises, suppress the truth, or lie and fool the people. They must deliver more than is expected of them and serve the people to the limit of their abilities and make themselves accountable to their constituents.
In the future we would expect politicians not to instigate violence and religious hate crimes, or turn a blind eye to, or indulge in, violence against minorities, and, ‘cow- vigilantism’. Politicians would be expected to follow the letter of the law and respect and revere the constitution and not mix religion and politics, which is what ‘secular’ really means. We would expect politicians in the future to have a clean record without even a hint of criminality or criminal behaviour.
In the future, politicians would be expected live by the basics of human decency as stated in Robert Fulghum’s wonderful Credo, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”, namely – Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
We would also want politicians in the future to be an example to children so that children do not take bad behaviour exhibited by politicians for granted. Children, should unlearn what they have observed in the last elections and learn:
That It is not alright to abuse, belittle and denigrate our fellow man, and It is not right to ridicule and caricature an opponent, competitor or rival,
It is not alright to abuse and misuse your power or position and be a bully to win anything, children must learn that winning at any cost is not as good as winning fairly.
Children should unlearn that lying is alright, And, they should learn that honesty actually pays, though dishonesty sometimes wins.
In the future, we would like politicians who would set a good example of good governance. Good governance means that politicians who serve the government of, for, and by the people, must take consensual decisions with the participation of institutions such as, expert bodies, civil society, civil rights and social activist groups and the representatives of the weakest members of society. And, that all decisions are transparent and are accountable to the public. And, that these decisions are acted upon with efficiency and inclusion within the framework of the law to ensure sustainable human development for all.
Politicians in the future would be expected to give priority to environmental collapse and the climate crises. We would like to have politicians who take the climate crisis, and, how to sustain and preserve our bio-diversity seriously.
We would like politicians in the future to take up the cause of water, clean air, and pollution-free living, and stop commercialism of our ecosystems and exploitation of ecologically sensitive areas in connivance with corporations and government affiliated organisations.
We would like our politicians in the future to have an understanding of the urgency and magnitude of the climate crisis. We would like our future politicians to start dialogue and discussion and honestly engage with experts in the field to find solutions and work out a strategy to do whatever can be done to halt greenhouse gas emissions and regenerate our collapsing and exhausted ecosystems.
In short, politicians in the future must prioritise the restoration and regeneration of Earth rather than prioritise economics. When the environment, that is our land, forests and mountains, rivers and air are exploited for minerals, metals and coal and oil etc, they are ravaged and degraded to such an extent that it results in long term desertification, reduced soil fertility, salinity, reduced water availability, and deteriorated water quality. When the environment is destroyed like this, it is like killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. So, when the environment is regenerated and cared for, the economy will accordingly improve and flourish.
And lastly, in the future, we would need politicians who are humane, loving and kind to their fellow man, and, who would raise and advance values such as ahimsa, truth and compassion, non-violence, brotherhood and pluralism.
Pratap Antony writes on ecology and environment, social justice and pluralism, management ideas and issues, jazz and western classical music and Indian classical dance.