A day in the life of a common man…means nothing to the powers that be…and yet they are designated representatives with liberty to mess with the lives of those whom they represent. Shame on our electoral system that forces us to be subservient to those who reach a destination of power by climbing on our souls! Or should we be ashamed of being blind followers? It’s time to stand up and rethink. Put not those who are manifestly intent to destroy, in power, for power corrupts…and absolute power corrupts absolutely!!
Babri Masjid was demolished when I was an article clerk doing my CA. Twenty two years down the line, if political parties use it as a bogey to win or lose elections, then regardless of economic growth and claims to financial and intellectual superiority, India and Indians would still be said to have retained the same polarised mind set.
We now have a new breed of young Indians who should ideally be freed from the pangs of communal divide if progress is really a priority for truly nationalist political parties. However, people with credentials worst than barbarians are now being projected to win with handsome margins. Their growth and popularity cannot be credited only to their own efforts. Their growth and rise from the ashes, literally, has been facilitated as a result of divisive policies of political parties who have ruled up till now in various formations.
The other factors that have brought India to a situation facilitating change of guard, is the absence of a MAN to lead. The outgoing government at the Centre had so many men but no real MEN so to speak, who could have brought glory to the nation. Merely by saying that an ‘economist’ was at the helm and suave well-spoken men of literary skills and legal knowledge drafting and articulating the policies of the nation, did not present a strong dispensation with a firm grip on affairs of governance. In fact, these old men were at best, puppets of subservient interests being dictated to bring in and implement policies to the benefit of this interest group of capitalist cronies.
Let us also not forget one more off shoot of the growth in corruption and malpractices in the Indian system. The arrival of Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Admi Party. This man and his party were pushed into India’s political system by the long suffering Indians who wanted someone to take on the corrupt political system. The initial phase of Kejriwal, beginning from the Anna movement, on to the split in the movement and the birth of AAP and culminating in India’s first common man’s party’s debut as a governing party was perhaps a sort of memorable phase. However, now, as the election campaigning progresses, it is becoming more and more evident that Arvind Kejriwal does not have the material or the team, to help them in gaining a substantial voice in Parliament. Sometimes, I often wonder whether it has really helped the Indian citizens by the arrival of AAP. Come to think of it, quite a few prominent members of the original Anna Hazare movement have now jumped ship and latched on to one of the parties whom they had opposed earlier. AAP’s presence is also going to ensure a division in votes to the benefit of the party gaining momentum. AAP has also not spelt out a clear agenda to claim its place in the corridors of politics.
The Grand Old Party has lost its shine. Life seems to have been snuffed out of the ‘shehzada’ even before he could take a few gulps of air. This election looks a clear one-sided affair and the results are all too evident. Only time will tell…where India goes five years from now. Whether, those who are now poised to reach the seats of power on the strength of their notorious past, would actually abandon the rhetorics of communal divide and concentrate on governance and growth, or whether they would succumb to the pressures of their so-called mentors. Their deeds in power will shape the course of the lives of many Indians over the next five years and beyond.
The new drama series “INDIAN ELECTION CIRCUS 2014” which is now playing on streets across India, on various FM channels, new stories being published every day in newspapers, internet and told by word of mouth, is back again to play upon the minds of the Indian electorate and, more importantly, to generate a revenue of Rs.30,000 crores until the day of announcement of the next government. After a mixed period of ups and downs of the present UPA government, with a significant part being the downs, India now awaits a new bunch of jokers who will entertain them over the next five year period. The elections also offer a seemingly ray of hope in terms of the activists who want to change the system. What remains to be seen is that whether Indians have attained political maturity or will they be allowed to be fooled yet again on the lines of religion and manipulative politics?
Arvind Kejriwal and #AAP will be the only interesting episode in the drama series. Interesting in terms of knowing how cruel and unified a well entrenched corrupt system can get, to throw out someone who promises change. The system will make him commit acts, which will then be presented and viewed as an antithesis of what the AAP stands for. It is well known that Kejriwal is a political baby; someone who preaches principles to the core, but forgets that to fight elections on a national level, as different from a city-state of Delhi, principles are the last thing that would help him win elections.
Another important fact also would be that the team which Kejriwal carries with him has no credentials, forget proven credentials, to run a country of the size and complexities as India. Although there are many from the educated middle class who seem to be very pro-Kejriwal, the larger chunk of those who vote are the lower middle class and the poor, who can easily be influence to vote for a party or an alliance which has been in the system for long.
It is probably known to all that Kejriwal is not going to get a chance to rule the country; its a foregone conclusion. But what is important, as I mentioned earlier, is to see whether the political class lets him survive in the political space. For AAP, being able to get sufficient seats in Parliament is perhaps the need of the time so that five years down the line, they could claim some legitimacy to present themselves as an alternative for the future.
With Congress’s political fortune surely on the downslide, with a number of old warriors opting out of electoral politics, and with a leader who has got no vision and no maturity, the field is now wide open for the Bhartiya Janata Party to take the position long occupied by Congress. If the man, notorious for the acts which propelled him to national stage, proves a man who can do business with the diverse population comprising India, then the party stands a chance for a long innings at governance. The man may perhaps need to do away with his ideological mentors, otherwise, the days of wishful thought of trying to repeat acts done decades ago are long gone. It would be foolish for anybody or any religious fanatic on either side to think that they can rule the roost by indulging in vendetta on religious grounds.
The Congress party deserves to be sent into oblivion. It was given to long a rope to play divisive politics right from the time when Rajiv Gandhi brought the Babri masjid into focus. The Congress I believe, is the only party responsible for the growth of fanatic divide of India. The Preamble of the Constitution needed to be implemented in letter and spirit, but the Congress led Indians on path to divisive growth and thus today we stand at a point in time, where even after sixty seven years of Independence, we have never been able to shake off the bogey of communal and caste disturbances. For progressive growth of any country, a political establishment which sees the merits of utilising potential of the population as a whole in contributing to the development is required. Sadly, India today also cannot claim that level of maturity, despite being known in the world as a money generating force.
Let us now concentrate on enjoying the drama series and also the best of time on various interesting news channels on television.
First time in Indian political history…a man…a movement…Arvind Kejriwal, ex Income Tax officer, who resigned his Indian Revenue Service to fight the corrupt system and his Aam Aadmi Party. Kejriwal and his party who were expected to fail miserably and be wiped off from the political scene, in fact wiped off the Grand old party and its actually buddi Chief Minister from the political scene of Delhi state. Mr. Kejriwal is now on his way in Delhi’s Metro to Ramlila Maidan to take oath as Chief Minister of Delhi State.
He has stuck to the basic issue concerning governance…CORRUPTION. He is now on the verge of creating history by being the first common Indian to take oath as Chief Minister of India’s premier city-state. If he succeeds, he will lay down the way forward for governance. Both the two major political parties, much against their wishes and agenda of greed, are noisily emulating and trying to take credit for all things which they never ever stood for.
He may have been oppotunistic in his activism; from the tearing up of the Lokpal bill to the decision of entering the political mainstream to fight within the system; but looking back, it seems that he played his cards perfectly well. He may have probably not envisaged that this movement would thrust him to the seat of power of Delhi, but call it destiny, he is now moments away from becoming the Chief Minister. Undeniably, he has left an impression on the common man, though not on the cold blooded politicians.
Let’s now hope that this is the begining of a long overdue change in the political scene of India. Although, the fact remains that activism and governance are two completely different aspects. Running a country or a state is not an easy task. AAP is a first timer in governance, and there is nobody who can claim even a day’s experience in running the affairs of a state. Thus, it would be interesting to observe, and it will be followed on a daily basis, how the euphoria of activism translates into effective governance.
If he does manage to provide a clean and effective government, then the true politicians can gradually expect to fade away into history. If they want to survive, then they would need lessons from Kejriwal and learn to respect the common man.
Hoping for a change…hoping for a kick in the ass of the politicians who have sucked the common man dry.
Politics is a means to shield the acts of misuse of power done under the guise of discharge of political obligations. The shield is the mass of followers who believe the word of the leader, while the leader, using (misusing) the power generated out of mass following, indulges in self-gratification under the guise of political obligations. In the ultimate analysis, the politician grows in stature and in wealth, while the followers either go back home under the perceived happiness of having followed their leader, or, in case of them being used for violent protests, land up in jails or hospitals.