Monday, August 10, 2009

Political Parties Inc.


“We proudly present before you our candidate from the Indian National Congress, sponsored by Anil Ambani and Reliance Petroleum Group. Vote for our champion of the downtrodden masses, soldier against corruption…. “

The Central Budget presented by Pranab Mukherjee had a proposal which has not been largely noticed or debated by the mainstream media.

The proposal was to allow cent per cent tax exemption for donations made to electoral trusts. The Finance Minister claims that this is with an intention to bring transparency in election funding of political parties. This, in fact, legalizes corporate funding of political parties.

No wonder the Media ignored the issue since, just like the politicians, they too depend on corporates for their funding and survival.

Now, of course, everyone gives donations to political parties. We, individuals, do. Petty shops and traders do. Students and teachers do. Corporates do.

Wait a second. Does that last group belong to the same category as the others?

I don’t think so.

Individuals can be muscled into making contributions. But it is not the same way with corporates. When corporates give contributions they have very clear agendas in mind. We all know that politicians already take kickbacks from big companies, but this proposal will make it legal bribing.

Unsurprisingly the Communist parties were the only ones to come out against this move, obviously since no Corporates notice them or pay them any money. Most of the other parties have whole heartedly welcomed the move.

I, for one, wouldn’t want my MLA or MP obeying the orders of Coca-Cola or Wal-Mart.

Would you?

No comments:

Post a Comment