Ask any college going student or a young working executive about politics, the consensus comes down to a few words – ‘dirty’, ‘not for common man’, ‘complicated’ etc. Politics is a dirty game and no person in his sane mind would ever have any better word to describe it. Rightly so. The way things are working in the political sphere for last some years now, the way a new scam is unearthed every few months and the way mud-slinging happens on the floor of the house.
I have had interest in politics ever since I was a child (yes! I can understand your disbelief but that is true!) and here is what I feel on the colorful drama that Indian politics is:
Lack of choices – In Uttar Pradesh, one term its Samajwadi Party and next term, Mayawati returns. In Tamil Nadu, DMK and AIDMK alternate the power between the two of them. All this because people don’t have choices. There is no one other than these to whom people can cast the vote and bring to power. This, somehow holds true for many other states and constituencies in the country. People don’t have a better option. And there is only the choice between bad and the worse. Indeed, a sad state to be in.
Youth is not so young in politics – Umm, so a Rahul Gandhi is considered answer to the new young India. He is 42 years old. That is how we define our young leaders? One of the many reasons L K Advani did not work in 2009 elections for BJP was that they projected him as the leader for youth. Termed him as ‘Iron-man’ or Lauh Purush. More than 65% of India’s population is under 35. Does any of the parties has any answer in the form of a leader to understand the needs of this demographic? I know I sound cynical but I guess the parties are not ready for this.
Development or Caste – India votes on many parameters. In some places it is purely the development plank that works. Like Gujarat, MP, Bihar, Delhi. The CMs in these states, Narendra Modi, Shivraj Chauhan, Nitish Kumar, Sheila Dikshit, have held more than one term and each time in elections the development that they have brought in their states is the only talking point. The opponents, of course, bring up issues that get lost in the development design. There is no other reason for these people to have won each time. Also, having no leader in the opposition to match their charisma has helped each of them so far.
There is still an India that votes on castes. And there are political parties who ask for votes basis the caste. So, Brahmin, Muslim, SCs, STs, urban, rural, urban-rural and many more micro divisions of castes have been loyal vote-banks to one party or the other and whoever does anything to displease the vote-bank runs the risk of getting a rap from the party high command or worst still, would lose the party ticket to next elections. Retaining and keeping the vote-bank happy is one of the key KRAs of a politico.
Dynasty Politics – No party can claim to be absolved of dynasty. There is always a son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, nephew or niece in line to the throne. This is not confined to a meaty party president post or a MP constituency. This goes as down as to the village panchayat level as well. Taking over a seat well-warmed and hatched by a veteran is not limited to pro like Congress or BJP. Take any regional party and it all runs rampant. People with merit and right intention to work for society by taking the political route are few and it takes them longer to prove themselves than the heir-apparent to the throne. From Rahul Gandhi, Varun Gandhi, Omar Abdullah, Sandeep Dikshit, Supriya Sule, Udhhav Thackrey, Jagan Reddy, M. Stalin..it is always in the family. So, definitely, if you and I want to take a chance, where do we stand?
With a new party and face of common man on board, Aam Aadmi Party let us see how that changes the dynamics of current political scene. Right now, AAP is busy with Delhi assembly elections and that will be its first real test in the dirty political arena. Talking and fasting over electricity bills is all good PR but how are they going to build up their cadre and consolidate their position on major national and global issues other than their pet project, Lokpal Bill, is to be seen.
Let us hope general elections 2014 turn out better and awaken an India that votes beyond dynasty and caste and votes for a better, younger India.