Pages

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Politicians, are, Like, You Know, so Uncool!


You know what’s wrong with that placard? It’s in English.

How many people in India can talk in English let alone read it. Yet, the hoity-toity South Mumbai crowd had its banners in English to insult politicians—politicians who are elected by a set very different from the demographics of this crowd.

Symbolism of the language apart, it’s mildly amusing to see someone like Shobha De (if you’ve read her articles in the ToI or seen her blowing air kisses on TV) work herself into an apoplectic rage over these attacks. In fact, the whole of middle class India has worked itself into a rage and it has only one target in its crosshairs—the Indian politician. I get E-mails every day comparing Abhinav Bindra with NSG commandos, SMSes telling me about arcane provisions in the Indian constitution which allow me to register my vote for “nobody” and such.

But tell me, dear E-mail sender, what use is it to castigate all politicians? What does it even mean? What use will it be if we go to the polling booths and don’t return a legislator? Will a Parliament with 200 members instead of 545 be a huge improvement? If we get rid of all politicians, who will rule? The Army? Ah! Yes, now there’s a good choice. The Pakistani Army destroyed Pakistan. Why stop the Indian Army from doing the same to India?

I, personally, don’t see any changes in our system coming out of this attack. Yes, E-mails will be sent and apocryphal constitutional provisions discussed, but when the dust settles, the System will remain the same as before. To change the System we need to change the people who make up the System.

However, with the level of poverty and illiteracy present in India, people identify more with ancient codes of caste and religion rather than what’s going on in the Wasabi in South Mumbai.

Maybe the day there is a power station supplying power to Balia, Uttar Pradesh so that an E-mail about overpaid Olympic shooters can reach a reader there, we will see some progress. Till then, I doubt it.

P.S: I wonder if Bindra has got one of those E-mails.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brilliantly written.

Couldn't agree more. Changing the system is a long drawn out process. Fashionable protests by the "it" crows will achieve nothing.

Ritu said...

I think Bindra must have also got one of the emails, too

Ritu said...

Have linked you without your permission

ankitagrawal said...

Hey.. theres an article today in toi by swaminathan iyer stressing on just that.. Change doesnt come so easily and quickly.. It has to be brought about by sowing seeds of education.. Coz the alternative today to the corrupt and lazy politician is another one..

Hades said...

@Ritu: No problemo.

@Ankit: As I type this, a crack team of lawyers is preparing to sue the Times of India and Mr. Iyer for plagiarism.

Sankar said...

Good one.

Amit said...

You are absolutely right, Hades. Just castigating the entire political class is a folly most younger citizens make. The trick is not to junk the whole system, but to be a part of it and change it from the inside. As much as we hate them, we cannot function without polititians.

Fully grown fuzzy Hipposaur said...

You my friend are a brilliant writer. The pictures are also quite 'potent'.As always, engrossing read. Write on.

Anonymous said...

Its easy to critsize other.
But Hades are u ready to step up and take the pain to change the system yourself?
Have you changed anything in you before asking for change from others?
That i think is the question we have to ask.
If everyone of us changes in the smallest way possible.. we might go a long way.

And to people blamming the politicians, i ask to them.. did they vote the last elections? If they dint, they hold no right to question them either!!

Trailblazer said...

Well said Hades. But what else did you expect from our Page 3 people. This is what they can do. In fact, this is ALL they can do.

Red Soul said...

exactly! language is becoming a barrier. and instead of fighting hindi or english right now, we must focus on any language that gets our point across. I love this post here about being proud of hindi: http://www.munnaontherun.com/2008/10/hindi-belt.html

Ajit said...

Superbly done boss.

Agree with you...its a long drawn process...there are no shortcuts

Sachin said...

Hadesji, fantastic post. Potent, incisive, true with just the right amount of sarcasm.

Great work, sir!

Hades said...

@Anonymous: Yes, to some extent it is easier to criticise than to actually physically do something. However, without criticism will anyone ever actually do anything? Both have their own place and through this post I’ve done the former.

“Have you changed anything in you before asking for change from others?”

Yes, I have, is the simple answer to that.

Thanatos said...

Great blog., love your posts.

I think it's a (misguided) romantic notion that military rule in India will do us any good. The army still reeks of leftover-British red tapism and politics. There's no way they have the will or the capacity to do any better.

As long as the likes of De, Das, Roy take up media friendly causes to protest and stay on Page 3 we'll never see any real change in our dhoti wearing leadership.

s()ms!e said...

Awesome post..!
I second that statement about changing the system only by changing the people. . .
Ever since I was a kid till date(say for a span of 12 years)I've known the same political parties scattered all over the country... The same political parties, detested by people but faithfully voted for, by the same... baffles me! People Do Not Want to Experience a Change..And..We, the Indians...Get used to things easily - as always...no use..blaming the govt...

Proserpina said...

--->it’s mildly amusing to see someone like Shobha De (if you’ve read her articles in the ToI or seen her blowing air kisses on TV) work herself into an apoplectic rage over these attacks.

Indeed. :P Especially if her memoirs ( God help me,I read one) mainly concerns itself with what Sushmita Sen's mother was wearing, and how loud SRK and kajol were during Filmfare Awards.

-->However, with the level of poverty and illiteracy present in India, people identify more with ancient codes of caste and religion rather than what’s going on in the Wasabi in South Mumbai.

Well said.

[ PS- I know am late in reading all of this, but am jobless,so am scouring through old posts]