Published on July 16th, 20130
Saying ‘I hate politics!’ does not absolve us of our duties as Indians. When are we going to demand change?
Chanakya said that a country is not ruined by corrupt and evil ministers, but it is ruined by the youth that hates politics and doesn’t believe in the political system.
What the father of Indian politics prophesied a thousand years ago stands true today. Today we as the youth have completely given up on our political system. We just like to comment on politics and political statements that are fed to us by the media channels, several times out of context. Repeated exposure to the news makes us think that we are experts on the topics that are currently ‘hot’ in the newspapers, or are trending in the social media space.
Whatever side of the fence we’re on, whatever our political inclinations, we believe in shouting only when we can direct a hate message towards our politicians. Okay, so Narendra Modi may not have actually rescued 15,000 Gujaratis, but bhavnaon ko samjho. And why just Narendra Modi, we are cynical about any and every politician, even the small fry down the road who contests the corporation elections and loses every time. And whenever we come across a story that speaks about the positive actions of a politician, our first reaction is that of disbelief, and we justify our thinking by saying that he or she must have some vested interest in doing the good that he or she did. We, a supposedly educated bunch, are buffoons when it comes to understanding the systems and the people that run our country. We love playing a victim, helpless against the system, when secretly, we enjoy the political tamasha on Youtube or TV and enjoy the venomous hatred we and others spit.
We have stereotyped all our politicians (and anybody who disagrees with us deserves to be called the choicest names); while someone is a mute puppet in the hands of an Italian remote control, someone else is a gaai-bhains neta. Someone is a statue-making machine neta, and someone else is a regional North Indian hater. But have we thought of going to the roots of all these characters, who, whether we like it or not, are strong forces in today’s politics? Let alone anything else, have we questioned our own undying hate for our politicians?
Isn’t it because it is easier to hate our politicians than to love our country?
Isn’t it easier to blame someone for the mistake we are committing?
Isn’t it easier to pass on the guilt of our own actions and enjoy our lives without stress?
Isn’t it easier to be a stupid person with half-baked opinions (such as ‘All politicians are CORRUPT! If you don’t agree with me you are an idiot!’) than to become an intelligent one who cares enough to clean the mess?
What disheartens me the most is that the people today have actually started believing that no matter what, nothing can be changed. And what is worse is that they are not letting their negative energy express itself in positive ways. All of us choose to vent in our social groups, over alcohol and snacks or in tweets and status messages. We look at our own country and laugh at the ‘fact’ that nothing can be done, that we are not expecting a change. We are not remotely interested in being the change.
But think about it: the politicians that we accuse of corruption can also turn around and point a finger at us. How many of us can truthfully say that we have never paid a bribe? That we have not tried to influence our bosses’ minds by being sycophantic? That we have not told a lie in front of our children? That we have not used foul language towards a member of the opposite sex? That we have not had corrupt thoughts about an attractive person who is not our wife or husband?
If we have done any or all of the above, how different is our corruption from that of our politicians’? And what gives us the right to use profanities against politicians when our own moral compass needs correction?
We need to blame ourselves for becoming so helpless that we feel we cannot effect a change in our surroundings. We need to stop making fun of our mute PM when we ourselves are silent on several burning issues. We need to stop making excuses and start loving politics, start demanding the kind of politics that is inclusive and pro-development of society. Writing something clever and getting a hundred retweets is not a solution to any problem, and laughing at jokes on the falling rupee will not ease our economic woes. All of us need to become a force, a pressure point. Becoming an Indian in the real sense is the biggest favour that you can do yourself and your nation.
And who knows, we might just clean up our politics, too.
Jatin Sharma is a media professional who doesn’t want to grow up, because if he grows up, he will be like everybody else.
(Pictures courtesy www.facebook.com, thatswhatshesaid922.blogspot.com)