“All politicians are corrupt”, “India is drowned due to red tapism”, “Manmohan is a very lenient Prime Minister”, “US duped India in the nuke deal”, “Future of BJP is doomed”, “Jaswant singh shouldn’t have published that controversial book”.
Well, these are not topics of debate in a political science class at JNU or a topic of discussion in parliament but these are road side tea stall discussions in which many of us get involved in order to kill time in an intellectual manner. Well to this entire brainy and intellectual crowd we pose some basic question.
Q. “Who is the MP of your constituency?”
Q. “Well who is the MLA of your ward?”
Q. “Well why did you choose him/her?”
A. “Because he/she is from some particular party.”
Q. “What is his/her track record or experience or competency for the post?”
Q. “Well, what agenda/ promises did he/she had for you in the election?”
Q. “Against whom did he/ she contest in the election?”
Q. “What changes have you seen in your city, village in his/her tenure?”
Superb! Thanks Sir/Madam, it was nice interacting with you! Just a request, please find these answers first and for now stop cribbing about the state of this nation since you do not deserve to do that.
This is the plight of almost every Indian. The intellectuals claim that the state is going nowhere but if asked the above questions, they are unable to answer them.
We very often discuss the plans of Central Government, their policies but have we ever bothered ourselves with the discussion of the progress plans, policies followed by MPs and MLAs of our wards?
Politics is one of the most talked about but least studied subjects in India or in fact least understood subjects in India (since I don’t want to be countered by figures of Political science students in India). Everyone who is 18 years of age or may be below that thinks that he/she is making right choice by voting for Ghandis, Advani, Mayawati or anyone else.
No doubt people do have political thoughts and understanding and I have no right to challenge their knowledge base and awareness. They discuss politics very often at some wedding waiting for the host to serve the dinner, at funerals, at bus stop waiting for bus. And they don’t discuss political issues concerning our country as according to them they are trivial issues but discuss national and international issues like attack of U.S over Iran, Iraq (although neither they or their ancestors would have visited any of these nations or plan to do so). Good! You know about the world but what about your own country. Is it what you call POLITICALLY ILLETERATE? I doubt.
Ok! Even I understand the about point but please explain the nation of such a low polling percentage during elections. In a nation with adult literacy rate of 66% (as in 2007) the average polling percentage, in the Lok Sabha elections of 2009, turned out to be 59.7 %. So this means that even if we assume that only the so called educated people go and cast a vote (a daring assumption looking at voters turnout in cities like Mumbai after the 26/11 attacks) there are still 6.3% people who were sitting at home or BUSY in some serious stuff while the country was gearing up to choose a Government who will decide the destiny of this nation over next 5 years and may be more.
We satiate our fantasies for power by discussing action and policies of the PM & CM instead of being an active participant at ground level discussions of gram sabhas or citizen forum.
Ok, fine Politics in India is highly vandalized, we have good number of MPs, MLAs with criminal charges on them and cases are pending against them in court. It really takes a citizen to be bold enough to survive in the jungle of parliament but how can we ignore the best brain in the podiums of Parliament, like Harvard educated Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, Yashwant Sinha, Omar Abdullah, Bhudhdev, A.P.J Abdul Kalam and a huge list of highly learned politicians and diplomats who think and live for only India. Why we ignore the modern day Chanakyas like late PM Narsimha Rao and Sardar Patel?
It’s high time that we, the youth of this country, start taking politics and social sciences seriously. Alright, that they won’t help us to land in good engineering/ management/ medical college and help to get an over paid jobs in MNCs but they do help us to develop a better and holistic understanding about the working of a nation that we all live in. They help us to understand the way in which we are governed and they also acquaint us with the rights which the constitution has provided us.
Thus the need of the hour is to bring a change and this is possible only when we think freely and in the right direction. Let’s stop saying the old phrase- “Politics is a dirty game” because it’s this very thinking which is hampering the progress of the nation and its people.
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