By Vrinda Singh
Not too long ago, in what may look like an outrageous statement to the inexperienced of his eloquence, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy asserted that India has democracy only because Hindus are in majority!
He further goes on to say, “As Hindus are in majority, there is democracy in our country. As we see in Islamic countries where Muslims are in majority, there is no democracy. For the sake of democracy, we have to make sure the overwhelming majority of population remains of Hindus and the question is how to do it. If Muslims also took to family planning as Hindus then this problem would not be there.”
Because Elections is the Unanimously Celebrated Festival
Now, refrains of old agendas repeat themselves every now and then, mostly in sync with ELECTIONS.
After all, shouldn’t the greatest festival of democracy witness the greatest proclamations the performers have to make?
Now you might think, why would a person with a PhD in Economics from Harvard University, who has served in the Planning Commission and the Union Cabinet, as well as prepared a report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on Economic Cooperation between Developing Countries, repeatedly make comments which obviously may seem appalling to you and I.
But in honesty, this statement shouldn’t come as a surprise, because the state assembly elections of the most populated state, Uttar Pradesh, have begun. Fair enough, the veteran leader knows his controversies as well as his wisecracks.
The Art of Public Engagement
One of the main reasons why we hate politicians and politics is the drama, blasphemy, lies, and hypocrisy.
Indeed, the rampant and widespread corruption and the stark difference between promises and delivery are potent culprits, too, but they’re not as frequently released in the public domain as the antics.
But the antics serve a purpose, too.
They provide the politicians with their lifeblood– public engagement. Why else would they make statements which even a child knows to be morally and intellectually wrong and unjust?
Staying relevant and in the news is perhaps more important to a politician than any other forms of celebrities.
But why all the nonsense, you ask? Can they not talk of development, the sole purpose for which they are elected?
Herein lies an uncomfortable truth. A democratic government is only the mirror of the society it is chosen for and by. One of the greatest misconceptions that come with education is that the recipient thinks everyone else has it, too!
While talks of ISRO launching 104 satellites, the cash crunch or even discussing Rahul Gandhi speaking in the parliament, may be highly interesting and debatable for the educated elite but many of the stereotypes we think dead are still alive and strong, believe it or not.
The mammoth and the daunting task of keeping as many sections of public engaged as possible falls to the politicians.
We see what we choose!
There is no dearth of creative and informative content, yet we see the same borderline madness everywhere.
Because WE want to see it. We outrage, we condemn, we are offended, we protest, but we’re hooked. We want more of it.
They know how to incite the mob mentality of the uneducated and the integrity of the educated.
It is not JUST about the engagement. Since as long as the current generation can remember, politicians have had what we call vote banks.
They know the general public to be fickle, which can be drawn towards or away from a person or a party by one adequately significant phenomenon.
If we think of it from an extremely selfish perspective(which it totally is), vote bank politics makes sense. It secures a mass of people who will be behind you, no matter what. It alienates others, of course, but is seduction not the best art of the politician?
OH YEAH, and don’t forget to remember, that religion and rural India, is an evergreen Game of Politics since Pluto was not even discovered as a planet! We can replace GOT with GOP, you know?
Image Credits: Google Images