Monday, May 14, 2012

The love for politics

In most countries, politics is just a study of power, who governs, who makes laws and what those laws are. But not in my country! In India, politics is a lot more than that. It’s the hottest topic of discussion, the bread and butter of a millions of news channels and above all the livelihood of so many party supporters. In my country, politics is larger than life itself and there is a reason for that. We are the largest democracy in the world. No other country has as many political parties as us. There is competition in every field in this country and politics is no different.

Well everyone knows that “With great power comes great responsibility”. But when you have the kind of power that politics bestows on you, you have arrogance, pride, superiority, over-confidence and a lot more that responsibility is forced to take a backstage. We are a democracy for the namesake. But on the ground level, many still refer to the system as monarchy! And why won’t they… what with generation after generation of the same family controlling the government at the centre. And when you see it that way, it turns out to be a pity. People here do not really have a choice in deciding who should be their leader. It’s like giving a young boy a dozen barbie dolls and telling him that he can play with whichever one of them he wants! The choice here is a delusion.

It is sometimes hilarious to see how this system works. A party comes to power on the strength of many, many false promises and then, during the tenure does a million changes to the local laws, which forces so many of us to change our ways of life because all of a sudden there might be new traffic rules or tax policies. And then after five years of this happening, the opposition swaps positions with the ruling party and what you see over the first one year is the repealing of all the codes that were put in place by the previous government! And this cycle continues with the only disturbance being in the life of a common man.

But despite all this, we all love politics! Talking about it, discussing at length with our colleagues, following newspaper columns religiously and even watching each of those million channels that talk about them! Of course I am writing this from personal experience but there is at least a 50% of Indian population like me. I think after cricket, this is the most common field of interest in India. I remember distinctly a particular period in my college life when I so wanted to join politics. There might have been quite a bunch of enthusiastic youngsters like me. But, the field in itself is intimidating! Not because it is dangerous, but if you really give it a meaningful thought, it is an enormous task to be in a field where you have to keep the common good before self. Not all can do that. And I definitely had my doubts.

When you are from a middle class family that has no political history, it is next to impossible for an Indian parent to encourage his/her child to enter this field for here it is like entering a battle. You leave your jobs, regular lives, families and friends and even your own interests behind. So rather than do this, people choose the highway, that of being a spectator. I am not blaming them for being this way. To be fair, there is very limited precedent in the history of Indian polity of a person with regular credentials and background making it big in the field. In a world where everyone is out to prove oneself, why would you even try to do that in a field where the odds are stacked up against you! The entries to barrier are super-high here.

But when there occur these occasional social outbursts (for e.g. the Anna Hazare episode), you realize the power that a common man in this country can have. We still can’t make a huge difference as an individual for there are these laws of politics that are always working against us. But as a society, you still have that influence to make heads turn, to stop and take a notice. We have the habit of finding impossible ways to keep our hope alive (Like expecting a no ball and a six from that when Indian cricket team needs 7 runs to win of a ballJ)!!! And is that not enough reason for all the politics lovers to be so passionate about the subject!


  1. Good to see a post from your end after a while da :) And need I say very clearly and crisply written as always (something I could pay for, given my own situation right now. :D)

  2. Nice piece. However, I suggest changing the blog theme to black on white...its a bit difficult to read at stretch... Keep writing :)