2o12 has begun with a bang! It’s not even been 3 months into the new year, and we’ve seen a roller-coaster ride on the political landscape from the National level to my very own Karnataka! From the central budget in Delhi to the goondagiri of the lawyers in Bangalore… from the Didi’s dadagiri to Yeddy’s ‘bhai’giri and behenji’s hafta-wasooli, the intoxication of power and the ego of leadership have done a naked dance of filth, farce and despotism in the democracy of India.
Uttar pradesh has long been glorified as a game changer for the politics of India. Any party that can come to power in this region, has the clout and the magic ring that can alter the game plan in Delhi’s Parliament. Congress was desperate to rebuild its image in the aftermath of the blistering scams and the crumbling failure of its policies and changes to which its own ally – the TMC became the legendary spanner in the wheel. If succeeded, this was supposed to be the launch pad for the Congressian prince, and he did pour himself into this – tearing manifestos and thumping the podiums, while the entourage went about with the carrot of reservation on the stick, melodrama of tears in their eyes and vows of martyrdom on their lips. As the news channels ranted 24 hours on the prospects of each party, one thing was clear, Mayawati was going to be booted. The idea that dynastic powers were not going to impress people didn’t hold much ground, especially in the post results scenario. Nor was the show a great empowerment of democracy in my opinion. That the whole of the state could poll only an average of 60% voter turn out is still abysmal. Even though its regarded as the highest so far, it clearly shows the apathy and disinterest of nearly 4 crore voters were just not bothered about the state of affairs. In a murky world of caste driven politics, where the balance is always swung between the OBCs, Muslims, dalits and a few Brahmins in the tow, needless to say, money and fake promises of security and special previleges are the luring traps set. It has barely been a few weeks when the victorious SP has reined in the power, and already the sham of their “clean and goonda-less” regimen bluff has been called. A truck driver was killed by a SP hooligan for not paying his usual hafta! While Congress and BJP are left licking their wounds and whimpering like a kid who’s chocolates are taken by a local bully, the entire nation and its developments shall be at the mercy of few prejudiced and mindless blokes! Case in point, Ms. Mamatha Banerjee. From the FDI to the most recent Railway Budget, Mamatha’s mercurial attitude has only resulted in embarassment at the National Forum. I term it more like the ‘first-time-power-intoxication’ syndrome, akin to people who get drunk for the first time! Her prejudice against the Left and even Congress for its erstwhile treament is now brought to fore, as she proves herself to be the thorn that cannot be wedged out, nor borne in! From thoughtless remarks on rape victims to the overkill on the Railway Budget, she has established that not much has changed between her rule and that of CPM. The BJP without a National leader of the stature of Sri Atal Behari Vajpayee, and Congress with its spineless administration are both proving utterly useless for a country looking to break through the shackles of detrimental policies and get out of ramshackle administration.
Closer home, the same “first-time-power-intoxication” has held the BJP government in its grip. Those who have tasted the heady mixture of leadership such as Congress and the likes of Deve gowda, though corrupt to the bone, are clandestine about it. But BJP and former CM Yeddyurappa have no qualms of washing their dirty inners in full public glare. We see history repeating in a span of less than 2 years! When North Karnataka was battered by floods, the troupe of monkeys in the state cabinet were seen frolicking shamelessly in a resort, desperately trying to bring down the CM, and now when the same region is being burnt down by famine, they bundled themselves again to a resort. Every known shred of decency and respect has been torn and burnt out in their shameless political existence that is now littered with scams ranging from rape to fishy land deals. Is it then a wonder that even the lawyers meant for public service turn out to be hooligans and hold the city, its residents, media and administration to ransom? There is total anarchy and the legislators are taking turns to ensure there shall be no governance in the state. The Congress or JD(S) has no charisma or vision to offer to people, except beat the dead horse of corruption against the incumbent government.
Underlying all of this, is the universal hunger for power. When one reads of stories of demons in mythology, or fantasies like Lord of the Rings, its fascinating to read the adventures the good undertakes to defeat the evil. But it is afterall, a battle for power! The strength one experiences when vested with the ability to wield their might is so blinding that it deludes the mind to imagine that one single person or a group of them are the sole torch bearers of humanity. There have no doubt been people who have indeed led the masses towards their liberation or upliftment, but these are leaders who derived their strength from within and from their humility. They recognized the transcience of external factors and instead developed their self-worth. The true mark of a leader and a powerful one at that, is his knowledge of his own self-worth and belief in his potential, not withstanding the external circumstances. This cannot be wrought by the superficial materials of ego, money, manipulation and violence. This can only breed insecurity and fear, which is the primal cause for what we see as a nation around us. Unless the younger generation of leaders do not disentangle themselves from the set path of their predecessors and learn to grasp the true pulse of the country and study its people and their day to day lives, we cannot hope to have an administrator who can understand the needs of this Nation. Unless we as citizens exercise our voting right, shed aside our skepticism, hopelessness and lethargy and teach a lesson and demand action, we shall continue lying in the putrid filth of our own waste, slowly decaying into a dead civilization. It pains me immensely when I think back to the reasons for my return to India. It pains me to see where she is heading… state by state… party by party… citizen by citizen…