With the non-stop election coverage that has been in the newspapers and news channels, it is difficult not to get caught up in it all. We get the Indian Express at home, and for the past 10 days or so it had been listing out the net worth of candidates as filed by them to the Election Commission (EC). I must say, politics makes good money in India.
As a rule, candidates are required to declare the market value of their assets, so that the public is aware of year on year wealth accumulation and if this is fact was because they were in power. Not that it matters in my opinion since there are numerous politicians who have amassed wealth way beyond their means and they have had no inquiries on them. Also most tend to list paid value of their assets instead of market value and in some cases the value seems to have stagnated on the properties.
Just to give you some shocking numbers, there is a 25 year old worth 250 million Rupees, and a cabinet minister from Mizoram who has not even finished High School but is worth 1.75 billion Rupees. These are not figures being made up but those declared by the candidates themselves. Then there are those with houses in the capital worth 90 million Rupees and 50 kgs of gold.
Then there is the speculation. It is alleged that Congress President Sonia Gandhi is worth 2 billion USD, making her in fact one of the richest people in the world. Richer than Queen Elizabeth. Former Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati is said to own hundreds of Hermes bags, and supposedly has the largest private collection. I am yet to see a single bag on her. And ofcourse out very own Emelda Marcos with a twist Jayalalitha. This former movie star has a saree collection that extensive that she has never once repeated her look.
They all claim to work for and understand the needs of the common man, but are at times seen as taking advantage of the same and instead building their own private empires with offshore accounts.
Therefore when people went out to vote, they demanded change. A change from the same age old politics and politicians, and instead of someone who was the voice of the common man, they chose the common man himself. Arvind Kejriwal with his incumbent Aam Aadmi Party (literally the Common Man’s Party) shook Delhi CM off her seat. They are all for a corruption free government, where everyone is accountable irrespective of their position.
For now, they have the people’s backing and support. It is time to now sit back and see how will they practice what they preach. All I hope for is for a country we are proud to call home. A country where is it safe for women to go out and night, a country where you do not have to think twice about what you choose to wear, a country where work can get done without money exchanging hands, a country that builds infrastructure, creates jobs, addresses poverty and gives hope to the common man. That yes, there dreams will come true.
Only time will tell.