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The people resemble a wild beast, which, naturally fierce and accustomed to live in the woods, has been brought up, as it were, in a prison and in servitude, and having by accident got its liberty, not being accustomed to search for its food, and not knowing where to conceal itself, easily becomes the prey of the first who seeks to incarcerate it again…..Machiavelli

 Some truths are forever, considering that Machiavelli said it in the 16th century ! He was talking about the Royalty ( since they represented power then) but it can be easily translated to the Politician of today’s world.

Well, the topic for Day 2 of the Blogathon is quite a thought-provoking one…

How do we change the focus of politics from caste/religion to grassroot issues?

Well…to tell you the truth, I think we cannot. Period. It might sound defeatist, but I still think thats the truth. We, as in the citizens of this country, cannot or do not have any power to exert over the Politician, given the fact that the average educated Indian has distanced himself or rather insulated himself from Politics to such an extent that I doubt how many would even cast their votes, and the other half, the uneducated and poor, are vulnerable to all the machinations of the Politician.

It’s in reality a Us vs Them. And in this war, I think We have lost out. Even the so-called Young Politicians( including the Hope of the Nation, or is it Congress ? ) have proved that Politics is an animal which only lets those survive who are subservient to it. The others simply perish.

I am not discounting the importance or power of Politics in the way we and our country are progressing or will progress in future. We have to do it despite Politics and Politicians, and the subsequent corrupt and cruel practices that they have ingrained into our society. And of course, religion added to Politics makes a heady concotion. No denying that. So definitely all the more reason that majority of the politicians cannot be weaned away from religion, since that is one of the pillars on which the entire system hinges. 

Well, having said all this, I still think that there are some ways in which WE can nudge the society in a direction which will be productive for everyone ( not the politician, of course). I don’t like to sound prescriptive, so please look at these points only as thoughts.

  • Don’t give any more power to the politician. Of course, we have learnt to live our daily lives without him, mostly. But try and make a difference to the lives of others who still don’t have the capability to do so.
  • Education , I believe, is the most effective way to deal with this. It need not be education in a formal set-up ( though for the younger generation, thats the best way to include them in mainstream). It can be as simple as making your maid aware of the rights she has. Helping them see that citizen power can be much more effective in threatening away the likes of opportunistic politicians.
  • Raise your voice. Use new tools like the RTI ( though there are still hiccups in the system, its better to have something than nothing).
  • Contribute back to society, not just in financial terms. I mean, devote some time to help and teach the underprivileged and marginalised. In whatever way possible. By helping them towards a better life, we are making it possible for them to stand up against the exploitation of politicians and religious fundamentalists.

 Do let me know if you think there are other ways, or that We as citizens still stand a chance against the Politician ?

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  1. […] the entire post at: https://santhi.wordpress.com/2008/04/21/know-thy-politician-blogathon-day-2-politics/ previous:Infrastructure by Balaji […]

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