For past couple of months, there seems to be a new word that has penetrated the political sphere in India, Crony Capitalism.
On every news channel there is talk of crony capitalism and how it is bad for us, the common man. With just about every political party accusing the other of supporting crony capitalists, with the names of big business houses being dropped left, right and center.
However no one seems to be talking about the crony capitalists who number in several crore and who daily fleece common man like you and me.
These crony capitalists rob us daily by charging 20-40% more than what the metered rate for a journey should be.
These crony capitalists annoy us to no end by refusing to travel on what they consider is unprofitable routes.
These crony capitalists charge us MRP and then sell us counterfeit products, which in case of eatables and medicines, endanger our lives.
These crony capitalists work with impunity, having bribed the local officials and police.
These crony capitalists impact and shape government policies in their favor, by utilizing their numbers, and turning it into a lobby and vote bank.
These crony capitalists influence politicians by contributing to their election funds, at times illegally.
These crony capitalists disturb and endanger public life by going on bandhs and violent protests, when their selfish demands aren’t met.
These crony capitalists are only interested in maximum profitability, at the expense of you and me.
These crony capitalists usually treat us in rudest way possible, even though we are the ones, who are actually responsible for providing them with their livelihood.
And yet, no one seems to talk about this form of crony capitalism, which is everywhere around us. Maybe because all political parties (new and old) equally treat these as vote bank and count on them, while news channels and papers view them as consumers/TRP and hence keep mum.
Granted not all retailers, auto rickshaw and taxi drivers are bad, and I have come across quite a few honest and hardworking individuals. However most manage to tick almost every criteria above.
At the end of the day, it is this form of crony capitalism that is most apparent to you and me. And the only way this sort of crony capitalism can be checked is by ensuring police and courts can take action against offenders freely and a consumer (i.e. you and me) has the choice of going to a local retailer or Reliance Fresh, Big Bazaar, Walmart etc..
Sadly, this is something no political party wants to do, irrespective of whether it is old or new.
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