Off with their heads and other shenanigans


A few months ago, when a new party that promised to clean up our political system arrived upon, it sounded like a breath of fresh air. Sadly the air has become stale faster than one would have thought. It has become difficult if not impossible to defend this new kid on the block who now threatens to send media persons to jail if a probe found them guilty. It almost sounds like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland and her Off with their heads! Somehow this new political kid believes that chopping off heads will solve all India's problems.

I began this blog a while back and then somehow stopped writing as I watched helplessly and with a tinge of sadness the shenanigans we are being treated to in this rather baffling election campaign.

A few months back the emergence of the AAP seemed God sent and we all went out to support them. They seemed like a breath of fresh air, an option we could honestly vote for. And more than that, we all felt, I certainly did, that they would provide a new force that could compel the well greased political parties to relook at themselves and clean their stables. The euphoria died too soon and we watched helplessly as hubris that seems to be in osmosis with power, hijacked the new face of Indian politics.

I wonder what brought this change? Dealing with corruption and ending it is no mean task and cannot be done in a day. It certainly cannot be done by sending every one to jail! Corruption has become second nature and almost a way of life. To root it out would necessitate finding the neck of this hydra headed monster whose numerous heads have to be killed one by one, till one finally gets at its vulnerable neck. Off with their heads is no panacea here.

For David to take on Goliath is a tough task that Goliath can only achieve with wisdom, restraint and above all cunning. as it is a matter of beating them in games they are masters at. In my humble opinion they fell into a well laid trap when they decided to form a Government without having the numbers and with the support of the very people they were seen to despise. In hindsight, they would have been better off not forming any government even if that meant another election. It was still honeymoon period and they would have come back with a bang. For the next 49 days I watched with woe the games the opponents played as they reeled out the rope that would ultimately hang them. They left a city that had entrusted its hopes rudderless. Promises made were forgotten and we will soon be paying the price as from April 1st - and this is no April Fool - our electricity bills will soar. I am now contemplating solar energy panels on my roof.

Has David been seduced by hubris. It looks like it as one watches the AAP story enfold. One cannot begin to imagine what their plan is. The sagacious way would have been to remain a counterpoint to other well entrenched political parties. A kind of pressure group that would have compelled them to mend their ways. A waiting time that would have helped them develop the ruses and stratagems needed to slay all the heads of the corruption and poor governance Hydra. The hurried jump into national politics seems very premature and leaves us voters perplexed to say the least.

So what are we going to do come election day. My heart still tells me to give them a chance as it maybe a long time before an alternative comes our way. True one is a little worried about their programmes and strategies and most of all their ability to run a country as vast and complex as India, but if would be refreshing, again in my humble opinion, to have them form a substantial pressure group within the hallowed halls of Parliament to ensure that Parliament works and bills are passed. One would hope that it would also give them time to learn.

If not they, then who? That is a big question. What we have seen in the last weeks is a real masterpiece of the theatre of of absurd. Can one hold on to ideologies anymore? The answer is no. Every day we see people from one party joining their bitter rivals. It is almost the flavour of election 2014. Winnability is the key word, sleeping with the enemy is kosher and sulking is a new entrant. You do not get a ticket, you sulk and either crossover the other side or stand as an independent. Anything to spoil the game. Over the past weeks one has not heard any politician spell out its vision for India. Will they build new schools, new hospitals. No one knows. At present everyone is busy pulling out the other and the dirty department tricks is in full swing.

Everyone had shouted loud and clear about denying tickets to 'corrupt' candidates. It seems that the word corruption is interpreted in a very different manner by politicians. It is not a matter of perception but a convoluted set of legalese that is nothing short of absurd. Many of the people contesting are corrupt and no jargon can whitewash them. Yet they have found tickets with all political parties. Winnability again! It is also carpe diem for all relatives: son, daughters, brothers and all else. If the father is suspect let the son get a ticket, it is all in the family.

Do political parties think that a few glib slogans, page long advertisements and extended and dramatic commercials on the idiot box suffice to convince voters who are fully aware of the day-to-day live drama behind the scenes? What it all looks like is a bunch of unruly kids fighting for a share of the pie.

The latest act in this absurd and unending play was the induction of the leader of a rabid religious party whose 3 minutes of fame came courtesy a shameful attack on young people in a pub. The man was accepted then refused by one party and if that was not enough, the rival party induced a member of the same gang to boot him out hours later. It almost seemed orchestrated.

I would like to believe that the Indian electorate has come of age. I hope it comes out to vote with sagacity. But the question remains: who do we vote for this time.