Time to make politicians pay for false promises

Updated: 24 September, 2020 07:38 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

This time, a top politician is being accused by survivors' families of not following up on a promise to compensate families of security guards who have lost their loved ones to COVID.

There are 1.73 lakh security guards working for government agencies across the state. Representational pic
There are 1.73 lakh security guards working for government agencies across the state. Representational pic

Fake promises have become a disappointing staple when it comes to political leaders and representatives of various government arms.

This time, a top politician is being accused by survivors' families of not following up on a promise to compensate families of security guards who have lost their loved ones to COVID.

A number of security guards of government and public institutions have succumbed to the novel Coronavirus. Yet, their kin are still awaiting the Rs 50 lakh cover promised by the high-profile politician. Some non-profit organisations have now become the voice of these families, reminding the leader of his still unfulfilled promise.

All our people in authority need to think very clearly when announcing such compensations or making promises. They cannot simply mouth platitudes and temporarily mollifying statements, those garnered to give them some two minutes of fame and then take recourse to complete silence.

This column has stressed earlier that this pattern of fake promises needs to be broken. In fact, it is better if these are not made at all, if there is little to no chance or even inclination of them being fulfilled.

It is also good if people display a healthy dose of scepticism as such promises are rarely backed by how this amount will be given, what is the deadline by which it will be paid and the way in which it will be disbursed.

If there is some takeaway from this controversy is that it has brought the suffering and role of security guards to the forefront. Little known till now, they have also proved to be one of the warriors of this pandemic.

One word of advice to our netas who use promises to score brownie points with the voter base, when in doubt, cut it out. As for short public memories, that may hold true, but in these days of social media your utterances may never go away and resurface to bite you in the back when it matters most.

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First Published: 24 September, 2020 06:38 IST

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