Yesterday I was witness to a huge spectacle, a 50-year old man is helped by another 50-year old in climbing an 8 foot wall, sadly, onto the speaker’s seat of the Orissa Assembly. Equally sad is the fact that those two men were MLAs. This gives me an opportunity to shed light on India’s most restricted-entry business, politics. It would be unfair to call it an oligopoly for two reasons, the word oligopoly hides the quality of the people already in the business, and, the magnitude of the market involved is huge. For example, the difference in the money the government could’ve got and did get via the 2g spectrum was 22, 000 Crore Rupees, even if our king of bad times pocketed 10% of this amount, he can get admission for a whole district in Anna University, it apparently costs around 20 lakh per seat as you have to go through governor’s quota.
Another reason I am writing this is because I am fed up of people telling me that I am all talk and will not do anything to improve my nation. I will now prove how our dear nation cannot be improved unless we do something drastic. The simple reason is that entry into any form of public life in India is severely restricted. You only have to look at a set of people called the Lok Paritran to realize that. We are all victims of an extremely self-perpetuating polity. Look at the so-called leaders and their families, other than the obvious example of the Nehru-Gandhi family; we have every politician worth his salt cultivating his son or daughter as an heir-apparent. This is not the only reason for restricted entry; the main reason is that India is a highly polarized society with a huge percentage of illiterate people. And our ‘leaders’ make sure it stays that way. Simply because that is their business model. If India had a 100% literacy rate, half the goons who occupy the seats of power will be looking for a job. Politics has now become the first refuge of the scoundrel. Every party accuses the other of polarizing society while doing it in some other form. It seems amazing to most of us that open thieves like our Raja can win elections. But the reality is different, winning an election in India does not require an agenda, a manifesto, or even an ability to speak or think about national issues. The only ability required is that of keeping yourself in favor with the people in power. Let me tell you how the servant maid in my house uses her right to franchise, she votes for congress because Jayalalitha is a foreigner. I’ll try to explain the unexplainable, she doesn’t believe Sonia Gandhi can be a foreigner because she has the name Gandhi, but Jayalalitha is a foreigner because she owns land in Hyderabad it seems. Confused? So am I.
So, our political parties have a steady vote bank and the rest can easily be convinced through buckets, cycles, and now the star attraction, TVs. Why will anyone invest in TVs, buckets etcetera to win elections, simply because the returns are tenfold. As returns are increasing, in the future we will see free blackberries, laptops, possibly even cars. It’s called profit that’s re-invested. Political parties will criticize each other outwardly, but I’d like to point out that most of this is a stage-managed show. The congress and BJP cooperate on a local level in states like West Bengal where neither party has a huge presence. BJP and the left cooperate in Kerala, and the Congress and the left were coalition partners in the previous government. The point I am trying to make is, the main aim of politicos is not to win elections, but to perpetuate this system of government, and to make sure that ten years down the line, their sons and daughters will occupy their current posts.
To all those who accuse me of all talk and no concrete action, I only have this to say, I talk because I my hands are tied but my mouth is not gagged, yet.