Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
With the conduct of the general elections in India and the simultaneous elections in Arunachal Pradesh, the political scenario is in high heat with political gamesmanship, political manoeuvring, accusations and counter-allegations dominating all electronic, print and social media. Almost every electronic, print and social medium is dominated by political news only. Shouting matches, heated arguments by spokespersons and representatives of different political parties dominate TV shows. Press releases are about complaints and the wrongdoings of other parties.
It is also seen that most of our villages and towns are dominated by political discussions. One can spot many groups in remote villages discussing politics. Even children and youths are politically aware and talk about Modi, Rahul, Khandu, Mamata Banerjee, Conrad Sangma, etc. Most conversations end up with, “So, who is winning the elections?”
Thereafter, most villagers and other citizens turn into expert psephologists or election experts. In fact, it appears that many villages are totally divided by political affiliations. It seems there is too much politics in our lives.
Aristotle quoted in 350 BC that “man is by nature a political animal.” Politics is an essential part of any democracy. There are political manoeuverings in autocracies, communism, socialism and kingdoms also. In fact, there is politics in social organisations, village societies, NGOs and even in our families. It is known that political considerations are behind the appointment of key senior personnel in any government.
However, when politics starts overshadowing everything else, merit and capabilities take a back seat and society starts deteriorating and decaying. Once elections are over and governments are formed, politicians should transform into leaders and good administrators, focusing on development, progress, peace and stability in society. Politicians should appoint capable and progressive persons to key senior posts to ensure fair and efficient administration. If required, professionals and experts from private institutions may also be drafted into the administration via a lateral entry system.
It seems that everyone is an expert in politics. However, the expertise in politics is not corroborating with good governance and administration. The recent results of the board examinations show dismal performances in the Class 12 and 10 exams. Newly constructed roads and highways are deteriorating; power lines are malfunctioning; buildings and bridges are collapsing, and infrastructure failing.
The question to ask is: Does any government have such impact on the lives of the common citizens that their lives are transformed for the better? Does a new government lead to eradication of poverty and corruption, and brings efficient governance and fair administration? Does a new government change our lives in a major way?
If there are no major changes to the lifestyle and livelihood of the common citizens, why so much fuss about elections and politics? We should carry with our duties and responsibilities diligently, and pay less attention to politics. Point to ponder: Can we live life peacefully and progress without politics? If yes, let’s talk, discuss and get involved in less politics. Do you agree?(The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)