When I pick up newspapers or switch on news channels these days, I can’t but wonder about the unfathomable depths that our political system has plunged into.
Not so long ago, politics in Kerala was different. Political parties in our state had a certain level of decency. Even bitter rivals fought on the basis of their ideologies; there were no personal allegations. Families were spared in the battle. Politicians of yore very rarely attacked their opponents on the basis of personal matters.
I still remember the camaraderie that K. Karunakaran and E.K. Nayanar shared on a personal level. They never indulged in mud-slinging; their families got along well together. Even when the Palm Oil issue rocked the state, there was never any personal attack on Karunakaran by Nayanar.
Unfortunately, things have changed for the worse. Today, there is so much nonsense going around that you can’t even figure out who is right and who is wrong and what the hell is happening. The single-point agenda of our parties seems to be how to tarnish the reputation of their opponents. And the most disturbing trend is that they are making use of our legal system to accomplish this. They file lawsuits without any substantial evidence or even on the basis of hearsay to sully their opponents.
Media too plays a big part in this. The explosive growth of electronic media means the competition for 'breaking news' is breaking all limits. Earlier the tag of 'breaking news' was used only for big news breaks such as assassination of leaders or major catastrophes like earthquakes. Today, every bit of news is 'breaking news.' In their quest to be ahead of others and boost their ratings, media organizations have forgotten to stick to the fundamentals of their profession and ethics.
All of us know what happened with the ISRO spy scandal. Now it has become clear that several people had vested interests in that scandal. Without verifying facts, the media went after individuals, and ended up ruining the careers of several people and negatively impacting their families. After all this, there is no repenting.
Sadly, politics is failing to attract talent because of all this. The younger generation is fast drifting away from politics. Nobody with a good academic track record wants to go anywhere near politics. When quality people stay away from politics, the process of nation building is affected. We need to get our brightest of minds in politics; otherwise our systems will continue to rot the way they are rotting now.