The Enormity of Vote Bank Politics

The grim hilarity of the current state of Indian politics makes me wonder- “Why? How”- And as usual I can come up with no answers. I mean, I can’t even decide where to start looking for answers. If I look flip through the pages of history, I am left utterly aghast at the chaotic and incoherent political evolution that we’ve have gone through. So giving up retrospection when turn to the present for clues, I find that there is just no undoing the political blunders of past. Our political babus have ensured that there is no scope left for any kind of radicalism that would really help modify the current state of affairs.

So how did or netas achieve such ‘stability’? Well it all starts from the time of independence. The triumphant patriots felt it in their hearts that the ultimate solution to political instability would be democracy. India being so ‘diverse’, there was bound to be conflicting ideas and emotions and therefore the only chance of her survival was the binding power of Democracy. The ever spurting population could only be held together by this very gossamer thread of the right to vote, but it would nonetheless prove to be completely infallible. Hence, when India was born, a roaring,searing flame of hope was ignited in the hearts of the politically charged souls hopeful of ‘deliverance from all kinds of injustice and inequality- pant! Too idealistic?

But when a country is prematurely made to grow up and bear the burden of very harsh worldly issues, what does an adolescent nation like it do? It either really does grow up, or it simply lapses into a condition that we are in today. Our netas have simply not been able to let go of their id instincts; as if still governed by baby instincts, they still haven’t been able to tame that hunger for power and their need for control.

Over the years, we have seen so many protests carried out, innumerable referendums issued, and countless orations given, all in the name of liberation, freedom, awareness and rights. But all of this so our netas can have what they want- want, want, want! – But! …but, but, but, however, we must remember not to generalise as we must not overlook the fact that are a few earnest politicians who would definitely bring about radical socio-political-economic etc changes- If only they had the power. If they really had the power they would surely unify the country under that one magic ideology of theirs and redress all those issues that have till yet been ignored by otherpoliticians… Sigh, if only we gave them the chance… they would show the world how brilliantly India shines in her full glory!

(Snort) ‘Jai Hind’ anyone? You know, at this point I am so tempted to touch upon the issues of 1. Bribery 2. Extortion 3. Embezzlement, but, I shall not. These are the very common synonyms of democracy. I wish to talk about a yet more common synonym of politics- the vote bank politics. Then again should one really put it in the same category as the other vices of our leaders? I mean after all, it is one major characteristic in the election campaigns- the best negotiator wins. And this is after all the only way those few earnest leaders can climb up the political ladder and contest the monopolists. Can you then really call it wrong to make a few adjustments here and there in order to achieve the ‘greater good for the masses’?

Oh well, at least you’ve got to hand it to them for being really ambitious. With so much of competition, (politics is after all a very sought after vocation) they will not stop at anything to achieve their dreams. The Muslim appeasement should surely not be called manipulative or opportunistic? Yes you act a little soft on Jihadi terrorism but hey, some compromises can be made right? Isn’t that what every profession demands? Plus, why break the tradition? And it’s even better when you have a choice in the way you want apply this stratagem. Set your creativity to work. The bombastic Varun Gandhi recently gave us a very novel and interesting demo of an alternative to favouring Muslims in order to gain power. His hard rhetoric against them had sent all of us tethering! Sigh, when we see these young leaders in their revolutionary mode, the chests swell up and one is assured that there will never ever be a break in the tradition.

What’s more, the utter professionalism in their attitude is simply unbelievable! When these gleeful babus get to work, they like to be extremely thorough. Common sense tells them that the best target groups will be the down trodden, the relegated masses. So now that they have the people on whom they can work the magic on, they simply apply the golden rule…and pronto! They ace the elections! How hard is it really? All you need to do is touch upon the core issues, promise profusely, and harangue dramatically and the crowd will be won.

Admire with me RSS’ sheer business instincts; their convenient vote bank generation in the Marathi manoos. Now which bigoted, pompous party would not want to resort to such techniques in order to gain recognition? Could our constitution makers ever have predicted the astounding discriminatory ethnocentric policies of parties like this that breed violence and hatred and actually preach the ‘othering’ of people not belonging to their own culture?

However it is the reservation policies that really take the cake on this issue. The bewildering percentages of reservations made in the favour of backward classes have made us marvel the sheer nobility of these political babus. “These classes need to be empowered so they are able to work shoulder to shoulder with us in every sphere of life.” They explain. And so true isn’t it? So manyscheduled castes, scheduled tribes, minority groups need to be safe guarded, after all our babus are the ultimate messiahs to them. So generous are their policies that they will even relent to any group demanding to be recognised as backward and needful of quotas. Though this sets sirens of alarms wailing in our heads, we can surely take confidence in their democratic setup to soon realise our plight and grant us the boon of ‘reverse’ reservations. Otherwise all we need to do is pelt stones at a couple of their precious DTC buses and the trick is done. Ah, the simplicity of democratic running!

This ominous side of democracy, despite applying all sarcasm, cannot be ignored. Democracy after all did not prove to be as fool-proof as was romanticised. The political system that was actually framed out so very cautiously, simply failed to foresee the cunning of our twenty first century babus. These political vampires are sucking out every dreg of blood, every feeble breath of life out of our country. Will Indian politics ever rise above Vote-Bank politics?

Ipshita Nath