Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Vote Bank Politics

I have been witnessing, on Television, an ironical development happening during the current election. The people who are seeking mandate for themselves to book a seat in Lok Sabha are busy in personal attacks on their rivals whereas TV ads of various companies are talking about social issues like not treating women as kitchen appliance etc. Ironic isn't it? Let us concentrate on the election campaign, the debate on vote bank politics is not new to us or any other countrymen with multi-culture. Vote banks are those communities which are usually backward, deprived, minority but sometimes they can also be a upper class or majority community.

Vote bank as such is not a bad concept for democracy. If a person aspiring to get elected to Assembly or Lok Sabha seeks votes from a particular community so that he can, once elected, work for the development of such community then, at the outset, there isn't any problem. But the problem arises when this vote bank politics traverses to 2 adverse directions.

One, the person who gets elected with the help of his vote bank does not work for the development of that community. Why? Well, that is because of his 'foresight' where he calculates that if the said community does get benefits and start to climb up in the society then the very agenda with which he won the election will cease to exist. Once it happens the community development will no more be the election talking point but good governance, transparency, accountability will come into picture. So he will try hard to keep the status quo and at the end of 5 years he will portray himself as a martyr, who fought hard for the community and will again the fight the election on the same agenda as he had done 5 years ago. Time does not move here.

Two, the elected candidate will invoke a chauvinist agenda where he will work in such a manner that his community will be benefited (?) at the cost of other community. Why? The benefit, referred to earlier, may not exactly be a benefit but the propaganda will portray it as such. Here, the elected person catches that human psyche which makes people believe that their community is always superior compared to other communities. So when people see that the person whom they elected is working to 'show the people of other community their place' that psyche is reinforced and invigorated. Not only will that elected person can keep his vote bank in tact but also he can win more fringe votes. At the end of the day the real issues of good governance, transparency, accountability remain back benchers. Per se, time does not move here too.

The direction taken by the elected person might depend on whether the candidate is going for majority or minority appeasement. But the real losers are both of them, the general public at large. We are the people who elect such candidates then if such candidates use us as a pawn of election chess then we are ourselves to blame. We are the monetary assets of vote banks and thus it is our responsibility to give ourselves to responsible managers who will not lead the bank to bankruptcy.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

The two sides

I was coming back from Belgaum attending a marriage. Every one of us, accompanying me, were tired so nobody was speaking. I was getting bored, just then I remembered that one of my friend had asked me to write about NATURE in my blog.

I started to think about what to write. Just then awesome lightning struck followed by a horrible thunder which, I felt, shook the bus. That moment was quite ironic- When I chose to think about nature- picture of a lush green meadow, water-falls resembling huge gallons of milk, tropical mountains covered with dense forest came to my mind but what I really saw was nature at its best devastating best!!

The climate just before it rains is the most romantic climates of all but if nature decides to precipitate heavily, it can put human lives at stake. It can cause floods and wash away key features of nature too.
Note: Nature devastating itself

On a nice weekend evening we all want to sit in our balcony and enjoy the wind gushing at us with a hot cup of coffee. The same wind can come in the form of hurricanes, tornadoes to destroy our weekday's commitments too. It can leave life quite exasperating. The winds can rip off the natural resources in a jiffy!!

Some of you might feel by now that I have written too much anti- nature quite pessimistically.
Actually, I am trying to understand what we can learn from nature, probably learn something that it wants to preach.

Anything which is pleasant can be dangerously uncomfortable if not kept in limit. We all earn money, we spend it lavishly. We are greedy to earn some more money and spend more lavishly. Spending what we earn is perfectly okay. But trying to earn something which we do not deserve is not acceptable.As it happens with nature, the greed will destroy our own self. The bottom line is- We should know our limits!!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The INC : Gandhi to Gandhi

The year 1920 was significant for the Indian National Movement as it saw the lean-yet-courageous barrister from Gujrat actively immersing himself in the national movement. The year was also important for the Indian National Congress as it underwent a remarkable change in its party structure under the guidance of M. K. Gandhi. Provincial Congress committees came into existence, a democratic structure was put in place in the party. The party from then represented a democratic structure which continued even after our independence. Having said that, Gandhiji himself defied this structure at times  viz., SC Bose issue of 1939, Sardar Patel issue of 1947 etc. Yet, the party largely stood for the representative democratic structure in the Indian polity.

Come 2013, the INC has lost its charm as the legacy holder of our national movement. It has allowed itself to rot under the dynastic politics. The recent AICC meeting was a testimony of the dynasty worship. The party-workers were busy shouting the slogan demanding "The Prince" to be the PM candidate in forthcoming elections. They chose to be oblivious of the fact that the prince has never been part of the Council of Ministers (CoM). They seem not to care about the prince's (dis)qualifications. The prince is so much so worshipped that his request to increase the LPG cap was immediately put into consideration by the PNG minister, who was earlier too much reluctant to even consider it. The CM of a state had to reconsider his cabinet decision because the prince thought so. This blind 'puja' of a member of certain dynasty does not suit the INC which spearheaded the national movement. Now that he has mentioned only women empowerment to any questions asked in the "interview of the year", we can expect few, new half baked, women oriented programmes aptly named after Indira Gandhi in coming days!!

Well, the sad story doesnot end here. The party bigwigs are not even aware of the fall that the party is about to take (or are they?). The country is awakening and becoming more and more aware of the day to day politics. The youth is demanding a transition from representative democracy to participative democracy. How the INC can expect such a generation of people to support and vote for it considering its medieval style of politics? INC has to compete with Narendra Modi (not BJP ?!) who has been increasing his following day by day under the clout of Hindutva and Development agenda. There is absolutely no comparison between NaMo and RaGa (would you like to compare David Fincher and RGV ?!!).

Its a shame to see a political party with such a historical significance failing to stand up to the values on which it was built more than 100 years ago. Only a messiah can whisper a sense in the party now and help it to reinvent itself. At the looks of it, that messiah is no where near the party rings now.