I received few comments on my article on Raj Thakre & MNS – the road ahead. Most of the comments on the article and the entire electronic media specially Hindi & English had only one point to say – “Look at the violence Raj & MNS have done. Look at the loss to public property. This is the reason MNS should be banned. Raj is dividing the country. We should not encourage this and this should be one country.” My daughter also reacted in somewhat similar manner like the last statement. But it was far more effective than the comments. She said all of these guys must be asked to say the prayer “India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters…” Well said Janhavi.
Anything is possible in Bihar
I was wondering, when everyone is objecting to the violence in Mumbai, did these guys not see what was happening in Bihar as a reaction to this? There the students unions hijacked a TRAIN ENGINE. Now isn’t that a bit too much. If the MNS is burning buses here, Bihari students are burning whole train there. Is that not property of the nation? More than the busses of local governing bodies, the train is really a NATIONAL property and not state. But then no one is surprised because it is BIHAR. Anything is possible there and one wont even wink after hearing horrific stories of crime, vandalism over there. It is all accepted.
Can you show courage in UP & Bihar to change situation there?
One person commented that he had to leave Bihar as there are no jobs over there. He also said that he is willing to stop any vandalism by taking personal risk. I really sympathize with his situation in Bihar and appreciate his courage. But will he dare to show the same courage in Bihar? If all these poor Biharis and UPites show courage in their own state and fight the landlords and politicians there, they don’t have to come to Mumbai or Maharashtra for roji roti. Sitting here in sophisticated well cultured state of Maharashtra (This is comparative statement and not absolute truth… please…) it is easy to talk about courage. Why the common man is falling for Raj’s arguments is because he is seeing his culture is under threat. His cities are under threat. Even after taking out terror activities, there is lot of crime coming to the cities of Maharashtra from up North. (Once again this does not mean that there are no criminals in here. But the level of criminals in MH and Northen states is quite different.) Can you imagine ladies roaming freely & safely in the night in any of these North Indian cities?
Non violence is not effective against today’s politicians
Coming back to the main point, go anywhere in India, political vandalism is not an exception but a rule. Raj in one of his interviews said that Gandhiji’s non-violence was for well mannered British (I am sure he treated General Dire as exception) and it is no longer effective against today’s politicians and bureaucrats. Forget about the British but is this not really true for the current situation? So the question is what is the most effective way to influence the politicians other than money to do the good and right things? Between the 5 years of election how can we get things done the right way and not what majority thinks is right.
Democracy is flawed and we are lucky to be here
Democracy in itself is a flawed concept but we do not have better alternative. Presidential democracy could be more effective in India as historically we are used to monarchy. But still… The purpose of any political system is to raise the bar, raise the living standard of the people. We are lucky to be in the current economic boom. This was possible because we have one learned PM backed up by one equally learned FM. (Narasinha Rao & MMS). But then in general the politics has been driven by electing a representative from the most deprived people and not the best person who can do good to all. The very sentiment that the person from other cast cannot help my cast has divided the country long back. We are seeing Raj dividing the country but he is uniting the Marathis irrespective of their cast. Recently he spoke about reservations. He said that when we are set to work for all where is the question of doing favor to one cast or the other? Is this not far different from other politicians? Back to the point… that in democracy in India the overall standard is actually being averaged out. Rather than choosing the best of the best, we are choosing best amongst the worst. So the politician you can expect to deal with your non-violent techniques is a very thick skinned person who knows that you are not going to hit him back. So he resents to all possible techniques of delaying justice their by denying it.
Rang De Basanti vs Lage Raho Munnabhai
In Rang De Basanti movie, Rakesh Mehra suggested that violence against the politicians can be one ways to fight the injustice. But no one actually wrote back that violence is not the solution. Most of us feel that violence against corrupt politicians is the best way to fight them. So should the common party worker now seek this solution rather than damaging public property? Will YOU be that type of party worker for MNS? Non violence sounded so good in Lage Raho Munnabhai that many people fell in love of that and started sending flowers. Soon they are realizing that there are not enough flowers in India cause then everyone will get at least one flower a day, at least in the cities. Don’t you think so? Next time when you litter/ break a traffic rule/ give 50 bucks to the cop think of someone giving you a flower and saying get well soon. Violence against corrupt politicians is not an easy option. These days they have Z grade security. Raj’s Z grade security is removed after the bail.
Some thoughts on dealing with current situation
So now you tell me how can we effectively deal with corrupt politicians? The only way is to increase number of good politicians. My second suggestion is to remove current reservation system which is based on cast and bring in system based on economic state. What is the best way to eradicate cast system? Just completely delete it. For the computed geeks do a shift+del. No one should ever be asked about his cast ever again. But let’s say if the government stops asking anyone his cast, why would one need it? Where do you need it today in business? So just delete the cast system from the country. Then the natural vote banks will be gone. Similarly the government can also think of religion. Never ask anyone of his religion. How does it matter in business? It definitely does not matter in arts and sports. I read an article in TOI about a lady who traced a system similar to cast system in France. She had hard time tracing these deprived people because there were simply no records of them anymore. So why is this not possible in India? Let’s remove this hippocracy from our society. I believe this will to a great extent remove cast based politics from our country. So when the vote banks are gone, the chances of having better politicians are more.
Today’s state of political worker
We also need to change our concept of social/ political work. Unfortunately there has been an big overlap and people think that a person without political views can be a good political leader. Politics is not just about representation. Politicians have a higher responsibility of taking the society forward. They are leaders but unfortunately today all these leaders are just managers. They somehow manage everything. They manage press/ media, they manage police, they manage taking bribes and what not. The very basic reason is that in their political career they have been managing individual’s problems from the beginning. As long as few individuals or a small group of people is managed, they can become politician. Consider the overall voter base of
any politician today. No one has more than 50% votes.
Today in my city when I see what the general public calls social work or political work is about following items: 1. Organizing Ganesh Festival/ Navratri festival/ Dandiya 2. Organizing blood donation camps 3. Organizing competitions of record dance, singing, rangoli etc. 4. Helping people to organize death rituals 5. Sitting at the paan tapri and socializing and so on. Now consider this. Today organizing a festival is far more simpler. You just need to collect money. Rest almost everything is done by vendors including decoration. You don’t have to sing prayers. CD players to that. You don’t have to do much in organizing the blood donation camp. The blood bank and pendal contractor do most of the work. You need few posters. The competitions don’t need participation of the workers. Mandap, guest (this is mostly local leader to get publicity) and prizes. So in short it has become very easy to do this type of social work. The politician of today is coming from such background. The choice of party is hardly based on the ideology but just a matter of convenience, contacts or rivalry. Where is the character building required to be in politics? That is the reason today’s politicians change parties like shirts. So when character/ principles are not required to succeed in political work, people who can manage everything become leader. Their followers believe that the leader can do anything to give them what they want.
Need for principle centered leadership
The role of media is very critical in changing this outlook. But they do not want to focus on this. They want to focus on “NEWS BITE”. In such scenario if one wants to get good things done what is the most effective option? MNS supporters have chose the easiest one. Pick up a stone and throw at anything. This is the only way they know to vent anger. So are the party workers of any party. It is not really character of only MNS.
The need for principle based politics is far higher today than in any other time. Rethink about what Narasinha Rao & Manmohan Singh did to this country.