First, let me define politics. Most people regard politics as a vile sport involving goons and henchmen of political parties indulging in liquor distribution, hate speech and idol worship. Politics is a gutter. I don’t want to involve myself in politics. Do something or shut up. These are some common replies you get when you engage in political discussions in a private gathering or a public space. But, irrespective of our will to care, we are involved in politics from the day we are born till our end. Politics doesn’t take place only in the Parliament or the state assemblies. The cloth we wear, air we breathe, water, gadgets, food, education, health, forest, natural resources and everything around us involves politics. Every group of people in a nation has access to these factors and are dependent on them. Politics is a process which secures the interests of this distinct set of people defined in a territory. It’s a structure that protects it’s population from external and internal exploitation, resolves conflicts and provides solutions.
Now let’s tread on the course that politics has taken. It doesn’t require me to say it out loud. Everyone who observes world events knows politics is largely corrupt and beneficial to only a few. The very structure that is erected to protect the livelihoods of people has started to exploit it. For convenience, let’s take into discussion only democratic politics. Since other forms don’t really want you talking?. There is widespread corruption. Right from 1948 Jeep scandal, the first scam in independent India to 2G, Coal block allocation scam, Granite scam, Chopper scam, Bribery – the new God. Did you know there was even a scam in coffin boxes ordered for Kargil martyrs ? Be it methane extraction in Cauvery delta, GAIL pipeline, Cauvery river water dispute, Andhra shooting, Tamil Nadu establishment has failed to voice and protect the concerns of it’s people. Polities around the world are increasingly self-serving. Union Carbide CEO, Warren Anderson, responsible for the deaths of nearly 5000(women, children who were sleeping at night) in Bhopal Gas Tragedy walked scot-free in-front of everyone.
In my opinion, the people of a nation also have a responsibility for this twisted nature of politics. Thugs, goons becoming elected representatives manifest the increasing criminal-politician nexus. While measures are being taken by Election Commission, true change is only possible through the people of a polity. But, what more to expect from a destitute, gullible population. Lack of awareness on critical issues is one of the reasons. So the onus is on the educated class to percolate informed ideas and opinions down into the society. What our society experiences is a dearth of intellectuals and reformers . During our freedom struggle, ideas were taken to a far more illiterate population than today by the intellectuals of that time. They were successful in mobilizing. Social scientists like them are no where to be found today.
I’m not having a miracle formula to mass mobilize people today. But, i can shed some light on the responsibilities, we as a learned population have to shoulder. There is a general apathy towards politics with the educated class. This political illiteracy is what is being harvested by goons and criminals. We can do a lot more than searching for leaders in cinema theaters. “What do you want me to do? Leave my job and shout on the road?”. NO. That is not needed. Change can be brought about by a simple aspect like adopting a different gesture towards politics. Unlike other organizations, a democratic polity functions to an extent, largely based on public opinion. In many cases, public have little to no opinion. They are just frenzied reactions. This recent war-mongering due to Uri attack is an example. Without knowing the crux of the problem that is going on for more than half a century, we can’t have an opinion.
People need to talk, debate on politics in daily life to understand the different dimensions of an issue. This will help formulating a rational opinion. This isn’t a corporate project where you plan strategies, execute and verify. It’s more like caring about the things around you and talking about them in regular day-day conversations. It-doesn’t-affect-me-so-i-don’t-care attitude isn’t gonna help. It’s just a matter of time before something falls through the roof. You will be a lot more pained, when you are on the receiving end of apathy. Exercising our political responsibilities like voting is a first step. But in order to vote you need an opinion. Else it’s as good as not voting. By taking self-interest and involving in day to day conversations, gradually you can realize the multitudes of an issue, it’s significance, the rationale of different stakeholders, impact with respect to political, social and economic dimensions. Doesn’t require much of an effort really. You can start with learning about an issue a week. Being neutral is opening yourself up to exploitation. Mere talking is something that is useful only in the area of Politics. When public opinion is intellectual and thought-oriented by not being reactive, the change will manifest. It will drive the polity to take decisions in a more responsible way.
It’s our apathy that has made Rahul Gandhi one step away from ruling our country. It’s reactive politics that has made Donald Trump a leading presidential candidate. Neutral, reactive opinions when mass harnessed is fatal to mankind as politics is what protects us. Politics brings out the most remarkable evolutionary trait of humans as a specie, Team Work. The collective progress of our globe is impossible without a better shaped polity. We need right leaders at the right place doing the right things. So Talk, Vote, Change and Make the world a better place!
Content : P.Gautham Guganesh