Perform or Perish


A couple of months ago, I was @ a parent-teacher’s meeting at my daughters school. I was very surprised to see the turn out on a weekday. I was in for a bigger surprise or should I say a bit shocked, when a few parents started confronting the teacher on their kids performance.  One parent even wanted the teacher to give report cards at the end of every 6 months. It was another story that all these kids were just in preschool and in fact I was very close to starting a debate at that point, but my wife pulled me away :-). But this kind of a scrutiny on performance is something that starts right from the babies first visit to the doctor and continues till that person retires.

From kindergarten to high school; from undergrad to the first job; from sports to agriculture, it plays a role in everyone’s life. One is rewarded if one’s performance is rated high and one is punished if one’s performance is rated low in other words one would either have to perform or simply perish.

Neither perform or perish

But as always there is exception to every generalized rule and why should this be any different. Enter our politicians, our dear neta’s, our babu’s and the words such as accountability, performance, responsibility are out of the door. They disappear in thin air. For a large percentage of our politicians this is true. As a matter of fact, I don’t have to say it, our politicians have done everything to prove that this is true. The neither perform, for the most part nor do they ever perish.

Very ironical 

We as individuals treat these performance reviews very seriously. So serious that we sometimes forget that it’s just a 5 year or a 7 year old and we take the teachers to the task. But when it comes to the politicians who in a way control our future, we let them loose. We don’t question them, we don’t hold them responsible for their actions or lack of it, we don’t pin them to the walls when they are found guilty, we rather stay in different, we pretend as if this doesn’t matter to us. It’s very ironical how we have tuned ourselves. One on front we are ready to punish even our own children because they are under performing and on the other hand we chose to ignore those adults who deliberately underperform or even worse never perform. Very ironical.

I’m not sure if there is anything in constitution which forces the politicians or the government, by law to disclose what they have done in their term as elected officials, but even if it’s not there, given the tools we have, if we really wanted to, then we can potentially do our own evaluation.

  • Election manifesto’s
  • Government websites
  • National information commission
  • RTI
  • Election commission
  • and more on those lines

Challenge the status quo

We’ve seen a criminal turn into a politician, we’ve seen a politician turn into a criminal, we’ve seen how elections are being fought on money and not on issues, we’ve seen how politicians make a mockery of the parliament instead of using their power and authority to forge and build synergies, we’ve seen it all. There is no reason for us to have a planned power cut of 4 – 6 hours every summer, there is no reason for the roads to be flooding because of the occasional rains, there is no reason for the massive traffic jams. Unless we start challenging this status quo, the situation will never change, in fact, it’s guaranteed to get worse.

So yet again, it’s our time to perform or …. perish ! So what is it going to be ?

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