“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors”. Explain. Suggest some measures that can be taken to increase political participation in our country. (150 words)

Mentors Comment:
The quote gives the perspective idea of vital need for political participation to uphold the superior political values. Accordingly answer can be framed in the following manner:
First part of the answer should explain the given statement and highlight the need for good people in politics. You have to mention a few real life examples and then mention the deteriorating condition of ethics in polity and politicians in recent decades.
Second part should suggest ways to increase the political participation in the country. Try to be real and don’t get too academic with your approach.
The tone of the question may be inflammatory but your answer, specially the second part should be optimistic.

Answer:

When the ruler himself is right, people naturally follow him in his right course. If governance is by men who are derelict, the governed will suffer. If one refuses to participate in politics, he is virtually paving the way for others, perhaps the less able persons to govern him. If people with virtues decline to participate in politics, people with criminal background and apathetic attitude towards public good get the chance to sit atop the political hierarchy. This may create further aversion for politics among masses.

He, who administers government by means of his virtues, may be compared to the Pole star, which keeps its place and all other stars turn towards it. He can make the governance more ethical, more effective and inspirational.

Some of the measures that can be taken to increase the political participation:
 Electoral reforms to curb the use of muscle power can encourage women to participate in electoral politics.
 Electoral reforms aimed at curbing excessive use of money power may generate more chances for the disadvantaged to compete with the rich in electoral politics.
 Women quota in Parliament and assemblies may be a big push for greater participation of women in politics.
 Making political activities more ethical and working of political parties more transparent can transform the public image of politics as business and decrease the aversion among masses. Political parties should allow themselves to be covered under RTI Act.
 Inter­party democracy should be promoted to give a greater say to party workers and party leaders. It may make workers more aware and active. Difference of opinion should be respected to allow the sense of democracy to prevail.
 The 2nd ARC has recommended a code of ethics for MPs, MLAs and Ministers. This recommendation must be adopted to infuse ethical values among our politicians. Ethical politics may become an attraction for youths.
 There should be proper and effective legal mechanism in place to punish the erring politicians and encourage the virtuous ones.

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