LalooI recently saw this television programme, a discussion was in progress, what caught my eye and imagination was Mr Laloo Prasad Yadaav sharing the platform with a glitzy lady and some eminent regulars at such type of programmes. The contrast was un-ignorable. What must have been going through Mr. Laloo’s mind, I wondered. Did it discomfort him in the slightest bit that his level of education and in all likelihood its quality was hardly comparable to that which his co- speakers possessed? Yet the smugness with which Mr. Laloo handled the entire session was at one level admirable and at the other, disturbing. Here was a man, who could afford to display such smugness, because all the intellectually affluent who sat around him, with unveiled contempt and who appeared to run the show, had in effect nothing to do with the running of the country. Whatever Mr. Laloo’s abilities at comprehension and analysis, it was what really mattered. So if Mr. Laloo thought that those around him were doing nothing but making noise, then it became just that….noise.

Politics for most of us is a roadside circus where we watch the drama and throw in the pennies of our advice.

Success they say is 99% hard work and 1% luck. I beg to differ. Success is 59% hard work, 1% luck and 40% politics. Its one of those things that no ‘how to become successful’ books will ever tell you. It’s something they never taught you at school. What is the difference between the protected environment of school and the big bad world, they keep warning you about? Politics. In the game of life, politics, the play of power is a rather essential ingredient. Human history is replete with power struggles. But as a matter of fact, not all of these power struggles were played out on battlefields, Kyunki Saas bhi Kabhi Bahu thi stands testimony to this. It’s a ‘never ending’ (literally) saga of kitchen politics finding its way into pooja rooms, offices and even court rooms. For all the hyperbolized portrayal of life, the reflection of reality is hard to miss. If politics wasn’t considered dirty it would be ‘God’. It’s everywhere!

‘With great power comes great responsibility’

Our first brush with politics usually happens in our college days. Yet we brush aside the encounter as we move along to goals that seem more important, like shaping our careers. Politics the profession, has enough glamour and money to give the film industry a run for its wannabes. But you would any day become a model than a role model. Where lies the difference? Responsibility. Responsibility is in a sense our ability to respond, but we prefer inertia, because status- quo is such a convenient position. In India, University politics is not a training ground for the leaders of tomorrow, it is the breeding ground for power hungriness that flourishes in stagnant set-ups. And is almost as harmful to the health of the country’s politics as malaria is to our own.

Maybe its time the people who sit smugly in the audience come onboard and display a similar smugness.