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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Our pseudo culture and politics

This is to remind each of us to stop being hypocritical about our expectations on the Indian politics and the political culture….!

We are traditionally a society with pseudo culture and practices. I would like to underline the word ‘we’, because I don’t exempt myself from this….it is definitely including me and this note comes as a result of my ‘self criticism’.

§  We don’t express ‘No’ to any one even when we really don’t like something! – The whole thought came from this point and I realized that the culture in which I have been brought up, where I am trained to say ‘Yes’ to avoid hurting others, it is very difficult for me to say ‘No’ in many occasions to avoid heart burn for others…! The negatives of this are that we put ourselves in lots of stress and lose interest in what we had taken up with half mind and then as a result, we don’t peak in our performance. The positives are that we respect others’ desires and expectations, thus obliging to the social pressure!

We expect our politicians to be Gandhijis with simple life styles and high moral values. But what we conveniently forget or deliberately ignore is the fact that except one ‘Mahatma’, many of his contemporaries had many whims & fancies with respect to various things in life and we never bothered much about those during their lifetime as we were focused on the deliverables of each of these individuals…! Nehru, AKG, Indira, Patel were all having their own choices of life styles and fantasies!

Now, as Carl Marx rightly said change is only a word which does not change and as an irony the party which follows his ideology had time and again shown their intolerance towards change!!

Now, at least for God’s sake, let’s accept the fact that those days ended to exist, where you can find people who are in politics with this so called ‘Simple Life’ in real terms. Now we have only pseudo advocates of simplicity and live in ‘make-up’ to show us their austerity. As we are used to this hypocrisy, we get offended when someone in politics become frank and bold on his/ her fabulous lifestyle!

As a matter of fact, how many of us took pain to understand their lifestyles and assess each one of them? How many of these so called investigative journalists took pain to bring out details of the life of these public figures? In fact, no one really cares how they all live until some controversy erupts and that’s the way the life is…! For us, we are comfortable on the thought that ‘All is well’ about our ‘masters’ and their dirty habits as long as they do everything secretly! Our pseudo culture does not allow us to accept this in public!! What I’m trying to say is that if a politician travels in Mercedes Benz, it’s his choice and only thing what we should be bothered is whether he’s doing it at the cost of ex-chequer? For this there should be a mechanism to publish expenses of the ministers on a monthly basis, at least in the web. The public being the boss of these politicians in a democracy should have the right to do a social audit to assess, analyse and correct these politicians and their habits.

We come across stories of misappropriations in many of these ministers’ offices and stories of politicians getting caught on spy cameras in compromising positions is common news item nowadays…! Still we expect our politicians to be “Ramas and Lakshmanas”! Very sad…! Have you personally kept up the sanctity of the institutions of morals to poke on somebody’s private life! Unlike yester years, politicians are no more ideals of our young generations and you need not worry about wrong influence on the youngsters…! During his life time, Jesus Christ had insisted to the one who didn’t sin to throw stones at Madam Magdalene, just to teach that it is important to keep ourselves clean, before pointing out dirt on others…!

If a social worker who works in NGOs can take a salary, why it is considered a sin for a politician to be paid? My personal suggestion to all these political parties is that to form a corpus fund (Could be partially funded by Government and partially collected from sustainable activities and opportunities created by the party) and create a payment structure for hierarchies and recruit people in those vacancies with certain entry criteria….Attitude,  Aptitude & Some Minimum Qualification. This will push youngsters to study before getting into politics! Promotions in the hierarchy should be based on the good work he does in his portfolio and a social audit is made in this effect for his/ her appraisal. The criteria of social audit could be Mileage for the party; Utilization of funds allocated to him and of course, the beneficiaries’ feedback on the individual’s performance.

The social audit should be on their action on set/ promised target achievements and not on his personal life and lifestyle! Definitely there should be respect for the moral values and personal/ professional integrity, which our country had been proud of…! However, by forcing our pseudo morality, we are encouraging them to pursue hidden personal choices, which many a time happens to be illegitimate!!

It may sound impractical at this point of time, but I’m sure it is going to happen in our system as we are shrugging off our nature of pseudo culture as we are getting more and more exposed to global scenario, where they call a spade, a spade! 


Prasan Vadasseri said...

Nice one Pappettan...

Chandra Menon said...

Dear Padmanabhan
A very nice write up. I lke the last line.
It may sound impractical at this point of time, but I’m sure it is going to happen in our system as we are shrugging off our nature of pseudo culture as we are getting more and more exposed to global scenario, where they call a spade, a spade!

To that I add my own feelings....that "this will happen in our system during our life time itself"
I presume you took the "cue" from my post in our group to write this wonderful article.
Good one indeed. Keep it up

With warm regards

Anonymous said...

That's a well-written post!

Meera Sapra, New Delhi