This is a post which I have written digressing from my conventional Artistic and creative writings.
I have been following Indian politics since last few days as a new party in India has raised expectations of changing the way politics is prevalent in the country. Somewhere, I think this curiosity is shared by most of us. We do realize that we are related to the system in one way or the other but with our ‘chalta hai’ (let it be) attitude we always get back to the status quo.
I am bewildered as to why there is so much fuss even about the petty things the new party is doing. A decent sized home along with an office space was chosen for the minister so that he can stay in Delhi and work but even that is being questioned by people. This is very unfortunate for our country that such small issues are being highlighted in the Media and elsewhere. This also exposes the very nature of human psychology of relenting to accept a change. A political change is a massive change as it would, in long term, mean granular changes in the society. Do we realize that we need a change in the system?
I was forced to give a bribe when I was a minor and the concerned official asked me the bribe amount stating I should give him some money for chai-pani (tea and water [A way of asking bribe]). I was a naive back then but I realized the implications of that occurrence when I became mature. Our own existence is on a hypocrite platform. I am sure there would be less than 10% of people in this country who wouldn't have given a bribe to the Travelling Ticket Examiner of a train. It raises a big question. Can any entity in this political system cleanse it?
I have traveled almost all of India and noticed that even though the country is diversified but the people have common requirements. People are very similar in their thought process, their daily proceedings and in their familial and professional lives. But the element of hypocrisy has always been there. And unfortunately, political people who have exploited this weakness of the countrymen have been successful in reigning this country and pushing it into a dilapidated state.
So what should be politics all about? Should it be about people? Should it be about issues people face? Should it be about power and power mongers? I am not a political science grad to answer those questions. I am just a normal human being who wants to live a decent life in my country which should be hassle free (at least free from the troubles created by mankind).
So when I asked those questions to myself, I came up with a few answers.
First, translation of Politics in Hindi is ‘Raaj neeti’, which literally means ‘the policy of governance’. Politics word is derived from the Greek word ‘politikos’ which means "of, for, or relating to citizens". Any person can differentiate between the meaning of the word in different languages I stated above. The latter is the real politics for a democracy. We can’t be sticking to the conventional politics where in the rulers decide the policies for governance and the citizens are asked to comply. Ironically, very few politicians in India show the difference in India by their actions.
Secondly, Politics is about policies which the representatives of people should decide and implement in favor of the people of the country. The policies might be harsh or liberal but they must have a purpose and a ‘long term’ impact of positivity on the people and the country. In a diversified country like India, critics will say that the aforesaid might not hold good. But, if politics is not done for the people, it is always against the people. It is a different question that the current scenario in India is all about the vested interests of the different parties and their agenda and desire to gain power.
So, what is the role of people? Is it all about casting a vote, selecting a representative and forming a government? Don’t we have a bigger role to play? Are we just meek spectators of the political gimmicks of the politicians. Don’t we have a right to question the misdoings of the government. The constitution of India says that the Prime Minister and the council of ministers are collectively responsible for any of wrong charges made against them and they should quit the office for the same. In the last 10 years of this government, they have had lot many cases of corruption against few ministers, but they never took any action. Unfortunately, the Indian polity has forgotten the meaning of the words ‘collective responsibility’. So I would say in the current scenario, the people have taken a back seat in the Indian polity. The people power has vanished and the political power has taken over.
Issues. I would say A BIG LOL. There is a small country called South Korea. It also got independence in 1947. But today, South Korea is a developed country. What are we? We are dragging that ‘developing nation’ tag since long time and it might continue for many years to come. Our political leaders might say that in the last 65 years they have done enough for the country and for the people. They forget to mention that they have done twice for their own family and their OWN people. This is ridiculous as well and unfortunate. Since my childhood I have seen basic issues with everybody around. The issues of water, electricity, infrastructure and the list goes on. I understand the biggest problem of our country is the massive population but it is also the biggest resource. But sadly, the political fraternity has not done enough which they should have done. There is no urgency shown in government offices for developmental issues. When an employee earning 10L a year work in a private company for 15-16 hours a day, why can’t a government employee (whatever grade he may be) do so?
Power mongering is something which comes when a person comes into power and starts to enjoy the privileges power brings with it. The ailing political class of India doesn’t want to let go of the immense power it has been enjoying. I remember once I saw a Member of Parliament from my city at the airport. He was drunk heavily and was being carried towards the flight and few bureaucrats were flocking him. This is something which I have witnessed personally and I must say I was very disappointed with my countrymen at that point in time. We never bother to see what people we are sending to the Parliament and just go and vote based on our meaningless loyalty towards parties, based on communal agendas, based on regionalism and based on fake promises. A very significant reason for that is illiteracy as people don’t have the intellect to decide on basic right of ‘choosing the right’.
There might be many more aspects to Indian Polity which we can’t understand as those come out only in Cabinet and assembly meetings. But Politics for me, should be for the people. If we were governed honestly all those 65 years, things would have been really different today.