Politics: Of the People, For the People and By the People

gallery9ap.jpgAnother bright morning with the sun playing hide and seek now that the winter is here…with a steaming cup of warm coffee I sit down to read the morning newspaper. I pick the paper and the bright sunny day that seemed so cheerful suddenly becomes dark and gloomy the instant I read the headlines: ”13 killed as serial blasts rock Uttar Pradesh.” “Mob violence in Kolkata.” I move further ahead, but hopes of better news are shattered as I read more news of violent outbreaks in Darjeeling and the army being called down to restore peace.

The legacy of violence can be traced back to our Independence. In1947, with Independence we were promised a united and peaceful nation with ‘unity in diversity”. Yet, we know that with Independence came the grief and agony of Partition, leading to bloodshed and violence …with the passage of time came more wars and more violence. No one can forget the1962, 1971,1998 wars either. The question then is when have we seen peace?

The answer is simple: Never. Forgetting the wars, what about the rampant bloodshed and bombings every now and then? Who then is responsible for such chaos and misery? Immediately, we answer ” the government”, but are we sure of this answer. Where do we stand in carrying out our duties and responsibilities? Do we take out time to realize that we may be at fault too? But then who has the time to think over such useless issues?

It is easy to say, “If the government would have done this maybe the result would have been different”, Ifs and But’s, Do’S and Don’t’s do not bring about changes. We vote during elections, some of us don’t even care to do that but then that is it. Simply voting or not voting and then complaining about the way government exists is not enough? When will we actually care?

None of us want to join the system because the system is corrupt. Who makes them corrupt? We do. By ignoring these issues and moving away from the system. The problem is then not with the system, but the ones making the system. IT does not take even a minute of our precious time to think and find solutions but do we have even a minute to spare?

Today it is Uttar Pradesh, tomorrow it maybe somewhere else, the thought is troubling and painful but will this pain stay long enough to bring about a change? It is never too late to sit down and seriously think about bringing about changes. Change does not come at the blink of an eyelid but then it should not stop us from thinking. The first step to change is to think, for it is our lives and our world.

The time has now come for us all to realise that the system need not change but the ones operating the system need to be changed. Politics is not just about the leaders and their thirst for power but it is about mass participation. After all, one cannot forget that India is a democracy by the people, for the people and of the people.

Dipti Tamang