Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Changing demographies

A serious post, to show im not always clowning and bufooning around.
Someone asked me the other day, 'Which party do you support?'
On the surface, i might have replied with nonchalance 'i support no political party, they're all just the same - corrupt, selfish and without vision.' Later, on a closer inspection, however, i found that i do have a soft spot for the right wing parties like the BJP. This self realization somewhat disconcerted me for a moment, left me wondering whether there was inadvertently a touch of communalism in me. Almost immediately, i dismiss this notion. The reason why i support the right wing parties is because they are much more likely to follow an agenda of reforms and development than others. It is by this yardstick that governments are supposed to be measured, not according to the degree of appeasement of one community or section of people. Why should such a simple yardstick be colored with the muck of regional and communal politics ? Why do the governments that are supposed to be the torch wielders and initiators of progress need to be bogged down with the completely counterproductive acts of appeasing this section and that group ?
Coming to the recent developments, which started out as local, but unsurprisingly assumed national proportions, the arrest of Mr. Raj Thackeray of the MNS (in)fame.
Early next year, in all probability, i shall be exercising my right to vote. The trouble, however, is choosing whom to vote for. I have never been a supporter of strong-arm tactics of some political parties like the Shiv Sena. However, the current Maharashtra government is just a synonym for corruption and stagnancy. The way i see it, i have to choose the lesser of the two evils. Just about a few days ago, i thought i had almost decided that progress and development take precedence, even if marred by regional tirades. I still feel that the Shiv Sena and its allies in the state would be much better for overall development than the Democratic front govt. (whose dismal performance we have been seeing for the past 10 years).
However, the brazen sedition by Raj Thackeray and the unflinching claim of the Shiv Sena that it is actually responsible for the dastardly acts of urban terrorism, forces me to rethink my stand. Mr Raj Thackeray was born with a silver spoon, in the powerful house of the Thackerays. Not given the prominence that perhaps he desired, he left his uncle's party and formed his own. Hardly having known any privation, he perhaps does not realize the value of things he takes for granted. Sitting in his mansion, he dictates his minions to decimate the poor man's attempt at a decent living. His fanatical followers go on a rampage destroying taxis and busses and shops without realizing that entire lives have been spent in acquiring them. And what about all those who have sustained bodily harm? Will Mr. Raj Thackeray step forward and donate his eyes, arms and legs to those who have suffered at the hands of his minions for a crime that is no more than appearing for an exam ? What will he do if his son is beaten up in the US for snatching jobs of the locals ? Agreed, local youth are unemployed. Agreed, they are going through difficult times. But it is not that there is no level playing field. There is no reservation for north indians. Everyone can write the exam. And they get selected on their own merit. Moreover, this is Mumbai, Mr. Thackeray . Where else would people turn up for jobs, if not the commercial capital of India?
I regard Raj Thackeray as no more than a stray diseased dog whose brain is addled, and which goes about biting every other person it sets its eyes upon. Even now i have no doubt that the Democratic fron govt is still the worst bet for Maharashtra as far as development and progress are concerened. My frustration, however, is not that the 'dog catcher' Government is as indolent and stagnant as ever about this arrogant defiance of civil decorum, but the fact that once again, in the name of divisive politics, progress and development have been forced to take a backseat.
PS: I found there to be glaring similarities between Raj Thackeray and Hitler.
Just as Western powers during the 1930s let Hitler flourish hoping that he would destroy the soviet union and with it, the danger of communism, so too is this government giving MNS a free rein hoping it would divide the Shiv Sena's vote bank. Like Hitler at his time, Raj has a fanatical following in people blinded by mindless aggression . Violence, for both, has been the primary tool of expression. Both are characterized by inflammatory speeches demonizing other cultures. Things look really ominous from this perspective. Going by the current govt. response, however, one's best bet would be to hope the dog succumbs to its disease.


Prachi Bansal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prachi Bansal said...

so true...
whatever is happening in maharashtra these days is totally a mockery of the whole democratic system...and one thing that i just fail to understand is that how can ppl be ardent followers of such a crazy guy..
today, we people want to contribute in the development of our country by casting our "precious" vote and give the power in the hands of deserving people, but it's such a shame that no one is worthy of such a honor..

bOOn said...

voter id card kaise banate hain?

Full Of Life said...

MNS is totally bastardly in their activities. From lynching people on trains to beating up people from North India who are appearing for an exam, they have set standards in regional divide and extreme agitation among people. It is not good for any country to have its people divided on the basis of geographic origins.

Like you, I also support BJP in many of the reforms it has done. But then congress was always a poor man's government. Although eligible to cast my vote, I see no signs of getting my voter id card. :(
N yea...plz reply to bOOn's question and do tell me how to go about it although given the chance to vote, I dont know whose side I'll take.

charlie said...

Nicely put! secularism in India seems to have degraded to the appeasement of the minorities while the right wing has made it their mission to anatagonize them. I can't decide which is worse! Is that what it takes to win an election? We must be a pretty sad people then.

Neeraj said...

Very mature post and points well put forward.

As a Maharashtrian, let me put my 2 pence in all of this. The whole rut-as I see it-stems from not liking biharis at all. Their habits, their strange-hair-oil-in-local-trains..well their shear presence really. If you are going to drive Biharis out, might as well drive Tamilians, Gujaratis and to a lesser extent Punjabis and Mallus because they are the ones who are really occupying the so called jobs that we(marathis) should have. There is absolutely no justification to this.

I guess the post was about Indian politics in general and im still totally clueless as to who to vote for.