Indian politics has taken front row even with those who decided to stay away, even those who decided to support brain drain and went out of the country.
These are people I relate with because I was never concerned with politics. I grew up hearing how bad our systems are and how to stay away from politicians and police unless I wanted to become an IAS officer. Administrative services come with authority and prestige. I grew up seeing my school and college mates focus on engineering or management, medical or back jobs to find stability and make a life for themselves. I grew up seeing everyone wanting to move out of the country to find a “better” life. Many of my Indian friends are scattered all over the world, living the American or Australian or Singaporean dream.
Something happened to get everyone to turn towards and take interest in Indian politics. It was the anna movement. Youth today seems to love activism. Revolutions and protests have become the ‘in thing’ across the world and we Indians were not to be left behind considering our Gandhian legacy. There are serious reasons for any protest or activism.
We have moved up in our hierarchy of needs as per Maslow’s definition – http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html. The increasing stability in middle class youth created by a fair amount of security in finding a new job or source of money and heritage created by parents who have property or other investments. This safety net is another reason youth today is able to look beyond the basic food water shelter needs.
I am writing about politics because I am aam and there are bunch of people claiming to represent me, the aam people. I am not aadmi, I am aurat and want to be gender neutral. Unless the Aam Aadmi Party really is to represent only the common ‘aadmi’. Well, during one of the speeches they did talk about bringing safety “aapki behno, biwio” etc. “ke liye”. Without talking too much about gender bias in liguistics, I want to talk about few things I am cynical about in party that claims to represent me.
1. Free stuff: There should be no free stuff unless necessary and everyone should be accountable. I can go on civic rant about people dirtying water supply, roads, environment because they pay tax and these are ‘public’ spaces. Look at minority reservation – it has lead to accepting mediocracy and in some cases poorest of performance to lead critical positions in the country. Entitlement takes away accountability. The logic of free power and free water is downright ridiculous. There is no free lunches and free power and water is paid off with votes. Other parties give money to get votes, Kejriwal offers free stuff to get votes. People need to learn to earn instead of taking things for granted! I read this article today which I felt has more logically articulated my concerns with offering freebees. http://www.forbes.com/sites/anaswanson/2015/02/16/the-broken-economics-of-indias-aam-aadmi-party/
2. Self-righteousness: I have ethical issues with Kejriwal. He projects himself in a certain way – any celebrity, politician, any public figure does that. There is nothing wrong about it. Ethical problem is when you shout out loud saying you are the purest thing in political world and it cleaarly shows otherwise. If we do relative analysis on honesty and morality, there is a possibility he will win. On second thought, I am sure there are many more who are better than him but have enough humility to not shout it all the time. I and many more like me are tired of Kejriwal’s self-victimisation on everything. Kejriwal is doing what any other politician does – “I am the hero who will save this country from vilians”. He is cashing on the hero mentality that people unfortunately are not getting over. We have grown up with legends and heros always save the day. Kejriwal is projecting himself as hero risen from common man out of torturous rule. He is same old politician with short term benefits and lacking long term vision and view.
We need a change, we need alternative politics and we need strong leadership. We need leadership of culture change. Culture change that is incremental, authentic and with long term vision.