“What do you want to become in your life?” Every Indian kid has answered this question several times while growing up. The answers could have been truly diverse; doctor, engineer, lawyer, cook, actor, musician, pilot, police, sportsperson etc and even politicians. But have you ever met a kid who would say he/she wants to be a murderer, or a rapist, or a serial killer, or a corrupt politician/officer-person, or a terrorist or a Jihadi? Okay, we will leave the last one out, when instead of teaching young kids in school, you teach them in religious schools teaching them how others are infidels and what should be done with them, it is hardly a kid’s mistake when he says he wants to be a Jihadi and does thing on those lines when he grows up.
But in all other cases, I am pretty sure that you would not have heard a kid wanting to be an evil person, I mentioned above. Have you? Especially corrupt politicians. What changed in the ambitious child while traversing from “want to become” to “have become”?
“System” is held accountable for this change. Whatever bad happens, a dysfunctional system is held responsible for that. “The system is like this“
Since very young age I have been hearing about how bad our system is. Whichever age group I was in, whichever place I was in, I would always find someone unhappy with the system and complaining about it. I hardly remember anybody using positivity or goodness and system in the same sentence. System reeked of all the negativity that could be imagined. Not only did I see it on television (in the form of daily news / in movies) or read it in newspapers but I also witnessed the maleficence of this system in reality. You yourself would have witnessed it at some point in your life; it could be watching a traffic cop escorting a bike rider to the corner or students getting admission by donation or people coming up with different kinds of fake certificates etc. etc. The evil practices that affect the society as a whole have also been a part of this carnal system. For instance- everyone knows discharging factory waste without processing will cause air/water pollution, but it still happens, why?
How did the system become like this? Was the system always like this?
A system by definition is “a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network; a complex whole” or “a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method.” It might look complicate but it does not look ugly by definition. Yes, the system is not broken. My point being, if anything was broken in the system it would not work at all, it would come to a complete halt, a stand still. Ours is a functional system, it is working; although not as desired. How? How did we reach here? Can it ever be fixed?
In other words, we could ask if it were the people who framed this system in the first place, left loopholes to be exploited intentionally or it were the people who exploited or turned a blind eye towards the loopholes that had evolved after the system or say constitution was framed?
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This presents a problem similar to the chicken and the egg. What comes first, the chicken or the egg; a dysfunctional system or corrupt politicians?
Although, human beings are called social animals but they are quite different from animals. Have you seen an ambitious animal? For an animal which ever it is he/she/it needs to eat, sleep and procreate and that to only to survive and not for fun; that’s pretty much it, nothing more and nothing less. But for humans they are the starting points. Once a person achieves these, he looks for more; a better house, a promotion, more wealth, name, fame, spirituality, intellectualism, art, ego and what not. An Identity! Isn’t true?
When in the 21st century India, everyone irrespective of caste, creed, gender, religion, age is filled with aspirations; aspirations to become something, achieve more, rise higher; What happens when their ambitions are crushed?
They react, they rebel, and they do it in different ways.
It does not matter if Mrs. Priyanka Gandhi is excellent or even the very best at whatever Congress “thinks” she is, or is exactly like her brother or worse than that if there exists any worse than that. What matters is that she got the position as a gift. Some body who had been burning midnight oil for years would have been disappointed. His/her ambitions were quashed in a single moment. His/her hard work was traded upon with no compunction what so ever. What does he do now?
And that’s not all. The thing is she is a mother, a mother like Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, a mother of Congress’ future general secretary and president.
Politicians are not any different from common people like us. They have the same needs like we have. Political ambition is not a myth. The most established thread in the political ambition literature concerns the concept of progressive ambition. Progressive political ambition focuses on current officeholders and assumes that once an individual has achieved an elected position, he or she will aspire to a higher office. There are papers talking about politicians responsiveness to the wishes of the party elite in developing strategies.
What do politicians in Congress aim for? They know they are never going to become the Prime Minister of the country or the President of the party. How are they satiating the very need to do/achieve more? They know they have to always be “Yes ma’am” and “yes sir”. What is their motivations to work? Work for whom and to what end?
“Intelligence without ambitions is like a bird without wings”
They are intelligent and ambitious, but unfortunately their ambitions are crushed. They are forced to behave like a lump of stale meat. They reek of filth. How do you think they would satiate their hunger to achieve more? How do they build their identity? They found out innovative ways to exploit the system to benefit their kith and kins. They felt liberated and satisfied, at least they could do something. They were able to assert their importance in this way. They try to look different by building heaps of wealth. They are not allowed to work in a constructive way. This did the best they could do.
What would you do if you are told that you would never get promoted? You will do the same work what you are doing today till you die?
This exactly is the reason why the political culture in India deteriorated greatly with Indira Gandhi coming into politics, followed by Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
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Congress’ senior leaders thought that Rahul Gandhi would be the last dynast and after him the top positions would be open for all after him. The political culture would improve. But now with Priyanka Gandhi they don’t see this happening, which is why they have started jumping the ship. There is no hope left.
If Congress on May 23, 2019 manages even one seat more than their last tally of 45, it would be deemed as Priyanka Gandhi’s victory; they would say “may be if she would have come earlier the results would have been different and announce that next general election would be fought under her leadership”.
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And the vicious circle would roll all over again, only her face won’t look like her “dadi’s” grandmother’s, India’s politics would also look like the one in the ’70s. We would go back by several decades and not to include the distance we would have covered if she had not come again. Then would come her son and so on and so on and so on, it would never end.
Can there be an Indian National Congress without a Gandhi? Is it too much to ask?
When it comes to Indian Politics, the answer to the chicken and egg question is very simple and easy. It is a Gandhi, who comes first; always, by default, without a question!
Thanks for reading!