Dear Cynic, Why Bet Against Solutions for Petty Politics?

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Indian political atmosphere couldn’t be hotter. Everybody thought that with social media in picture political discussion temporarily had taken a hyper audibility. But even post-elections, Indian voter hasn’t lost interest in politics. India is after all the largest democracy of the world. There has to be a lot of talk around political issues. But it does pleasantly surprise you when unlike west, common people in India are barely interested in glamorous lives of celebrities. I mean Kardashians can beat Obamas anyday in America. Modern India is not like that.

This has changed in the last few years – now every body is hooked on news. People read more news through social media than in newspapers. Youtube keeps all videos alive post they are not in circulation on TV channels. Even those who don’t have access to the fruits of internet are subscribing more and more to news via 24×7 TV channels. In the information age – news is important and Indians have realised that.

Though there’s a slight negative aspect to this positive super-connectivity. We are all turning into cynics. Everything is bad and what looks good is also somehow bad. No, I’m not going to lecture you on positive thinking. India is changing so people normally would focus on what can be changed. But my emphasis is not on that. Today the politically informed citizen almost always bets against good news. Living in India will teach you one thing early in your life – that all things can’t be 100% perfect. Our numbers alone create enough chaos that anything positive is rarely a complete solution. That does not mean as an observer we have to be constantly remain stuck in the complaining loop.

Finger pointing is the biggest time pass – and it’s frankly very soothing for your ego. Because you don’t have any responsibility and all the power to judge. Though finger pointing is rarely ever fruitful – because you’re just recycling your own frustrations to an unending argument – and in the process always making someone else responsible. You’re also projecting that somehow you’re entitled for everything with almost no responsibility.

I have seen that happen several times in the last few years. During Congress’ failed rule, when a few politically awakened decided to challenge the government publicly, there were many who wanted to bet against their success. Their argument were do these Anna and Kejriwal expect us to leave our jobs and face lathis of police on roads? This is not independence struggle, we have to run our families. But later this group achieved a lot of success when their narrative started getting subscribed through social media. Now you don’t have to even visit their Dharnas – you can be a keyboard activist.


What this keyboard activism did was again counter-productive – Indians got a new outlet for complaining and channelling their general negativity. Three years later, the situation has completely reversed for Aam Aadmi Party. It criticises anything and everything – and sadly does nothing. Seemingly, the constantly entitled and complaining supporters have completely hijacked the agenda of AAP. AAP leaders narrative has gone limited to telling each and every “aam aadmi” that what a victim s/he is. Aam aadmi has no responsibility, but sit and complain – and demand things to be done for them. This karma-less activisim can only appeal to directionless youth. You want to live in a bollywood fantasy, go join Kejriwal.

There’s another avenue of hope which has opened via BJP. BJP is a political party which is far from perfect. In fact, many of it’s demons are completely indefensible. BJP does have one thing going for them though — maturity. And this maturity has come through time. To the young and idealist, BJP is far from the shiny and seemingly righteous solution like AAP. But BJP is way more grounded in terms of realism. Real world politics is not a meadow. It’s an ugly place where to survive and deliver one has to know the tricks of the game. Congress over the years only became an expert at surviving but completely forgot about delivering.

BJP right now is like a ripe fruit, with seeds which you need to spit out, once in a while. But overall effect on India’s health will be positive. I cannot assure you that it won’t rot in the future like Congress. May be it will, but that is the cycle of nature. Probably AAP will ripen by then — but I can promise you that it won’t be the image of idealism that it claims to be today.

Anyhow, I’m not going to get into the debate of counting negatives and positives of these two parties right now. There’s enough of that happening practically everywhere on social media. What I wish to communicate is to you, a common individual, is to not become a mere spectator of this political match. Do not take sides, don’t tie your loyalties yet. As a voter, you should think more like an informed investor. An investor is not supposed to fall in love with individual stocks. That is the first lesson for an investor. Sometimes stocks perform, sometimes they don’t. What you should bet for is solutions which can make India succeed. It’ll be stupid of you to bet against solutions for petty politics. Don’t get used like that in the name of far-fetched idealism.

Written by Ishaan Mohan Bagga

Political Analyst. Social Visionary. Editorial Journalist. Founder of open-magazine Indian Exponent.

Follow him on twitter @IshaanMohan

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Indian Exponent: Dear Cynic, Why Bet Against Solutions for Petty Politics?
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