Ministers Staying in Five Star Hotels - Why Such a Controversy for a Non-Issue?
A controversy has broken out after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee asked External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Minister of State for External Affairs Dr Shashi Tharoor to vacate their suites in five star hotels where they were staying since Dr Manmohan Singh government took over. Both ministers have claimed that they are paying money from their own pocket for the daily rent.
Now the channel, visual media and people have started reacting like these two ministers have committed a big crime. See some reactions of readers that are published in Indian Express
“The PM should hang his head in shame due to such a shameful act of his non-performing ministers. The minimum that the PM can do is to sack these ministers thereby granting them the freedom of living in expensive hotels on their own expenses, if they are so rich. The Indian public can not afford them and do not need them at all for such a high price tag.”
“Another proof that educated ministers are not necessarily the solution. This is another shame for all of us. Shashi tharoor came
Now my question is – why does staying of these two ministers in Five Star hotel paying from their own pocket became such a big controversy? I think such an act by Ministers should be appreciated. Why? Instead of looking for avenues to make money in politics aren’t they setting a good example by spending their own money which in turn will be used for the developmental activities rather than that money being locked in some savings account?
Now when the minister stays in a five star hotel for three months and pays from his own pocket it is a huge amount of money. That money can be used by the hotel to pay its employees or for hiring new employees or for building new hotels that can give job to more people or invest in some other areas by the hotel that can create job/wealth for the common man. If these ministers used the government guest house and never spend that money does this money ever come to the hands of common man? Another point to remember – they are spending this much money since they have enough savings as “white money” and not “black money” as majority of the politicians have.
Now the question – why do such controversies arouse and why people leave message like one above? Reason is simple – We Indians think that politics is a social service and politicians are not entitled to do stuff other people do in their day to day life. Even in 21st century, majority of the people are not ready to accept that politics has to be considered a profession like any other job. If your job is that of a politician, your boss is people and if the people are satisfied with your performance they promote you and can climb politician ladders. If the boss doesn’t like you, then you are fired from the job.
If we consider politics also as a profession, then such controversies will never arise. Let me make my point clear with an example. Assume an engineer working with the Central Government of India for the last 25 years gets transferred to a new place. When he reports there for work he is told that he will get his new accommodation in another three months. For three months he goes and stays in a very expensive hotel in the place of work paying from his own pocket. This engineer like minister is a public servant. Does any one cares for how the engineer spends his money? Why? We feel that the money engineer earned is through his profession and can use it the way he wants. Now if the same thing a politician does what will be the reaction of the crowd? All hell will break loose – why? Being a politician is never considered as a profession in
Time to change our views about 21st century politicians…