Politics ideally is the noble branch of human affairs for solving and resolving the chronic and acute problems of a state and the world. Ideally politics seeks to solve the bigger and the biggest problems first and then moves down to the issues of lesser importance. As for example, if there is an imminent threat of war from an unresolved conflict, or otherwise, the issue takes precedence over everything else and most of the other issues are set aside and all resources and energy are invested in resolving the conflict, avoiding the war or, if the war is unavoidable, in winning the war. The issues of poverty, hunger and homelessness can be taken care of, once the conflict is resolved and the threats to national and international security are eliminated.
At times with the solution of the bigger problems the lesser ones take care of themselves and get resolved by default. In respect of the aforementioned example, once the conflict gets resolved, the state and the states involved in the conflict are able to devote much of their resources and energy towards solving the chronic problems of poverty, hunger, homelessness, environmental degradation and others. With the solution of one problem means and methods for solving many others are acquired.
That is why politics ideally tries to solve the bigger problem first, as was mentioned at the outset. Nevertheless, about politics it can be said that what is ideal is not actual always. Since the very beginning of the human association there have remained big gaps between the ideal and actual. In fact, it is not always possible to realize ideal in the world as has been acknowledged by umpteen politicians and political philosophers beginning perhaps from Plato.
In contemporary history the gap and gulf between the actual and ideal is too wide and is turning wider with the forward movement of time. Unlike the ages gone by the efforts towards narrowing this gap are missing, no sincere efforts are made to plug the gap. Instead the politicians and the policy makers have shifted their preferences. They have shifted their preference and reduced them as only means for gaining and maintaining power. Resolution of issues, problems and conflicts which is the primary job of politics has been thrown to the background and what is at the forefront is the management of these issues to suite the best interests of the power elite and not that of the masses, country and the world.
The approach of the current set of politicians, the world over and especially in South Asia, is diametrically opposite of what it was of their predecessors. They try not to resolve the bigger problems but instead they try to solve the minor issues and the problems of less importance only to give an impression that they are performing their roles, they try to kill the symptoms without curing the diseases.
For this to accomplish they make mountain out of molehill, they present the lesser issues in such a way as if they are of the existential importance to the states and countries. All the administrative machinery and resources are devoted towards these lesser issues and any breakthrough in these issues is presented as a national achievement and a great feat. The real issues are not touched at all.
Poverty is a big issue in India and not enough has been done to deal with this problem even after more than seven decades of the independence. If we enumerate many other issues that the country faces poverty some way or the other could be found at the back of all of them, directly or indirectly. The problems of communalism, regionalism, casteism, sectarianism, naxalism and ultranationalism, to name a few, are all related to poverty to lesser or greater degree. If the issue of poverty is resolved it could help a great way is solving these problems which are eating out the vitals of the country.
Perhaps the politicians of the country have decided to keep poverty alive perpetually. The solution to this problem might rob them from exploiting the poverty and poor in the national and state elections. By keeping alive poverty the politicians can entangle the poor people of the country in anything, in communalism, sectarianism, and other issues for their single objective to gain and remain in power.
The state of affairs can be imagined by the fact that the opposition instead of criticizing the government on the issue of governance does so in respect of the qualifications and antecedents of the Prime Minister. The government functionaries instead of concentrating on governance, and instead of making their work in the area of governance as a weighing measure of their performance, always remain engaged in criticizing Rahul Gandhi’s personal life. And on both the sides there seems no accountability.
If the irresponsible behavior of many people associated with the governance of the country and that of the opposition was not enough damaging the approach of the media has dented the prospects of resolution of chronic and acute ills of the country even further. The corporate media has broken all the records of irresponsible reporting and dispersal of misinformation. This branch of media tries to act the legislator, the executor and the judge all in one without being responsible towards their own profession first.
So much propaganda and lies they spread to gain their Television Rating Points. They even exploit the truth for the same purpose. Here the truth is presented in such a way where same results are gained from the truth which is otherwise achieved by spreading lies. Birthday of a celebrity is made a national issues and the suicide of thousands of farmers is no news for them. And, when media has this sort of behavior the political class and bureaucracy of the country get free from the obligation of being accountable to a greater extent.
It seems all the people in power alongwith the media of the country are hand in glove in resolving the smaller issues but keeping alive the bigger ones. The irresolution of the bigger issues gives power to politicians and maintains power of the power elites. The same irresolution gives material to the opposition upon which to attack the government. And it gives all important news to the newsmen. A profitable business for all!
Indian nation is at a critical juncture of her history. She has not gained her real position on the global scale and not all the people of the country have tasted the benefits of the development trajectory of the country. Both these goals can be accomplished if adequate attention is paid to the main problems that the country is beset with.
For this all the concerned people and agencies need to make a course correction and fine tune their efforts to achieve the real national goals. By going to so much near to the ideal approach of dealing with the bigger problems first and treating the root causes first a lot of progress can be made in respect of the rest. By preventing the maladies, and curing the existent ones real progress, prosperity and sustainability can be ensured and not by mere killing of the symptoms.
Preferences need to be reset and perfected in accordance with the real national, goals and objectives. Else problems are there to stay.