Politics Here, Politics There, but True Politics Nowhere
What can be done then against prejudiced social climate change? This virus can only be stopped from spreading by not wailing on the community leadership for not establishing educational institutes, hospitals or chartering a society level policy framework. We should, instead, unburden ourselves of this colossal task of changing the fortunes of society, leaving the intellectual class to meditate upon it. ‘What can we do?’ should be replaced with ‘What can I do?’
The success of any Democratic political exercise is judged by the involvement of individuals who are relevant, associated or affected from the consequences of it. The recently concluded seventeenth Parliamentary election [in India] was one such democratic gala staged in the world’s largest democracy. It was the talk of the town, the buzz of the time and the gossip topic of every circle. The hoary, the elderly, the teens and kids alike – all were ardent to catch a quantum of wisdom to showoff among their mates: “I am Gandalf, the Wise, who knows much, if not all.”
As involvement is the paradigm to measure the performance of a democracy, so is the idea of voting for a democratic election. If the involvement was all-time high and voting was no low from previous elections then How and Why was it a differential feast?
Critics quote many differentiating factors like – Weak Opposition, Dictatorship, Unprecedented use of money and muscle power or even ill-use of independent government institutions to affect the electoral mandate. Unfortunately, the country has seen all these cards played by the past regimes to win elections. Then the main point of difference lies not entirely on them but mainly, if not wholly, in contaminating the secular, democratic and liberal air with the toxic elements of fear, mistrust and hatred. It can be felt by everyone as we breathe the same air but can be understood by a few social scientists and is communicated by a very few courageous activists.
The fear and hatred are manifested when fellow citizens are looked upon, not as fellow citizens, but as strangers coming from Galapagos Island. Voices of dissent are common to Democracy, but abandonment at such a level was seen vaguely during the Emergency period when individuals threat to an individual goal were targeted, but is witnessed clearly today when a section assumingly threat to an ideology is detested.
No nation will perform any better in any aspect, if its citizens live in mistrust of one another. This attitude is as strange to India as the white faces sailing to the Indian coast from British land once were. The most afraid among the feared is the child who had spent his childhood singing and believing “Mazhab Nahi Sikhata Apas Mein Bair Rakhna; Hindi Hain Hum, Hindustan Hain Watan Hamara”.
What can be done then against this social climate change? This virus can only be stopped from spreading by not wailing on the community leadership for not establishing educational institutes, hospitals or chartering a society level policy framework. It will surely give us an adrenaline rush leaving us as lazy creatures who sob publicly in the day light but who snore peacefully in the night. We should, instead, unburden ourselves of this colossal task of changing the fortunes of the society, leaving the intellectual class to meditate upon it. “What can we do?” should be replaced with “What can I do?”
Remember, a smile given in a Kirana shop to the shopkeeperwho belongs to a different community will do much good to the humanity than studying the cause of someone’s victory or someone’s debacle. Society will respect only those who contribute towards its welfare. We should work hard to contribute towards the society through whatever individual means we may find and wasteno timein showcasing our fake care towards fellow citizens for the sake of entertainment. As the real care is cherished by reaching out, and empathizing, with others,instead of watching newsroom debates,often filled with pumped-up morons.
If you don’t know who Madan Mohan Malaviya, Maulana Azad and Jayprakash Narayan were, then read about them: it may not make you the gossip queen, but shallhelp you in understanding national politics through which you maydecipher conflicting opinions and not create a theory fanatically. Nevertheless, not honouring the rights of neighbours irrespective of their religion is a sin whereas not knowing the above-mentioned figures is not, until and unless you say that which you know not.