Much as there are a whole bunch of things I don’t like or understand about democracy, I won’t engage in arguing for or against it, simply because Democracy is here to stay, whether you and I like it or not.
What we do have in our hands, is the implications. Of divisive politics, and of caste based vote banks and the choice for us to become ‘relevant’
The underlying fact is, each of us, by himself, only has one vote and inadvertently allow vote banks to be created on the lines of caste and religion. One leader from an XYZ community can promise a few thousand votes of his people, knowing full well that they stand behind him. He can bargain for anything, including reservations, or other kinds of personal favors, or cash. He won’t even shy away from taking to the streets or outright hooliganism, knowing that the politician dare not displease him and his vote bank.
And then, of course, there are the businessmen looking for their share of the pie out of the thousands of crores of government spending on various projects. They can fund the candidates’ campaigns, and money can then buy numbers. Don’t we all know of the several instances of country liquor, saris, biryani and other things distributed to buy slumdwellers’ votes.
And if you can get a vote ‘bank’ by any move, it’s anyday preferable to collecting individual votes, it’s a much better Return on Time Invested after all.
On the other hand, if as Responsible Indians, we were to come together and take collective political decisions, there’s a lesser chance that we’d be manipulated by short term poll tactics. We could constitute a vote bank, that means business and can’t be fooled. I’m not asking for blind following, or denouncing individual choice and freedom, just a more collective approach.
Why can’t a Tax Payers’ association stand up and make demands, that we’ll vote for the government that shows better transparency with the way tax revenue is spent?
Why can’t an IT professionals’ association stand up and say that we want better educational institutes ?
Why can’t a Youth Group, promise a few thousand votes for better attention to youth affairs – employability and vocational education?
Because we’re too busy to unite. We’re too busy to lend our voices to such causes. And, often, we have personal interests, that rise above the interests of our group or even the nation. (one of my most disappointing personal experiences, to note this in a young professional, who was too busy to help, but was keen do it for money.)
The trouble with smart people is that they’re really smart. We’re extremely difficult to convince. We’re too smart to follow the words of any leader. We have endless questions. We’re wishful thinkers who can enjoy a political discussion in the drawing room, but leave it at that. And we’re supremely cynical about the politics of the country.
And We they stand alone. One smart guy doesn’t easily trust the judgment of another smart guy. Even after he is convinced, none of us can claim to represent the political preferences of even a close friend circle. Because we’re shy of taking a public stand. Because we fear defying group behavior. We can’t step out of the herd. We’re afraid we’d be judged.. We’d stand out, we’d lose social approval……
The essential Mantra, is United we stand, divided we are irrelevant.
It’s time to waken the voice within and add weight to it, to become politically significant!
So lets stop taking the holier than thou approach, and start getting our hands dirty to clean up our home!
It’s time to start talking politics.
To Join Hands! To Ask Questions!
It’s akin to the freedom struggle, the quest this time, is the redemption of the nation!
P.S. This is an entirely politically neutral post! The change I want to see in the world – Hear a voice, irresepctive of political preferences! And this pursuit must continue, even after the elections are over and the powers are established. Whichever way. The Change will not be overnight.