Where are we?
1. Few decades ago the ‘good’ citizens did not go into politics because it was ‘murky’ and they did not want to dirty their hands. Maybe it was their misconception both about politics as well as themselves.
2. However as has been well articulated by none less than Plato himself is the dictum “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors” transpired even onto this country. Rare is a citizen who believes otherwise. I have not met anyone till date who does have an opinion on how things are wrong or should have been or could have been. Maybe you are more fortunate.
3. Today, or yesterday for that matter and probably tomorrow as well, you could NOT (and I dare say would not be able to) apply for a job paid for by Public Exchequer if you had any criminal case pending against you. Even from the loftiest to the lowliest job profile this one condition was inviolate for an applicant to become eligible barring your becoming a legislator.
4. The cycle was complete; the ‘good’ stayed away from ‘murky’ business of politics thus allowing the not so and truly ‘good’ to flourish beyond all imagination and today it’s none other than the self professed ‘good’ who are bearing the brunt of it all.
5. The ‘haves’ always could and do buy what it is that they desire, ‘the have-nots’ have nothing to lose or buy with so they resign themselves and thus the middle class is being strangulated a day at a time.
6. With passage of time an interesting scenario is slowly but relentlessly emerging in the country; either you are with me or against me. Unlike the citizen of yester years who would be wooed at election time by all parties and candidates alike today the picture is different.
7. If you are not from the party that wields the sword you are condemned to ‘either pay for protection’ or be slaughtered by it. Simple nothing complex, nothing veiled, nothing said but enforced akin to mafia.
8. So not wanting to get your hands soiled in any ‘murky’ business today you will have to sooner or later be party of one party or another. Yes a day will come when no citizen will be non aligned to political parties and on that day the ghastly truth will dawn on you and your progeny that your cowardice (which you at coffee tables termed as your superior attitude) has led them into slavery albeit under their own countrymen.
9. From your graves your silent cries will reach none, not even the neighboring grave so if you think things are bad; review and answer to yourself - are they becoming worse and if they are you are as much responsible as anyone else you choose to blame.
What are our options?
10. Is then forming a political party and contesting elections the only way? No, you need not form a party, though I would suggest you do. Why you argue well:-
11. If you were happy with the state of your nation you would not be reading this article
12. It’s the parties already in existence which have singularly and / or collectively brought the nation to the brink of disaster (I dare say civil uprising) thus your pinning your hopes on them afresh is like an idiot repeating his mistake and hoping for a different result.
13. If you do join a party (any party) irrespective of who you are you will get relegated to the lowest rungs and just probably stop paying your ‘mafia fee’ nothing more nothing less will you achieve.
14. So your joining an existing party (you are already disillusioned by one and all of them) will only help you make your beliefs / suspicions concrete in the very infant stages of your political hopes and aspirations for a nation where a citizen is an entity worthy of being recognised.
15. Maybe some will still contest with tradition / logic and what have you but then it’s their free will to continue to suffer without complaining or doing anything about it and in such they should stop cribbing as well.
16. Now if you do decide to form your own party at least in the formative years of your party you may see hope for redemption. Maybe a time will come when you start to doubt your own party as well (corruption and greed being as deep routed as they are) but by then your time would have come and you shall have to watch no more the very ugliness which drove you to work for higher ideals.
17. Start now for general assembly elections and start awareness campaigns on rights of a citizen and power of vote, that’s all you have to do. Remember the adage ‘each one teach one’ well it is time for you to do it the only chapter in the whole syllabus is “Citizen’s Rights and Power”
18. Of course you could do none of this and then, if there is a hereafter as some of you may believe – I don’t, you will be doomed to silently scream for lashes for your sins that you grandchildren will have to bear on their naked skins but that day I don’t think even your neighbouring grave will hear or heed you. So now alone is the time for you to act or keep your peace for this lifetime at least.
19. I say all this not to or for any class but to all citizens who wish and hope their children and their children’s children and so on will get to live in a pro citizen India. You may even (if you believe in life after death) have the right to stand before souls of men like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and all others who gave their lives so that we could live in free India and thanking those souls say I tried to did my bit.
Col Rohit Kumar