Statesman vs politicians

Today’s politicians, like cockroaches, have antennas. They send out feelers to gauge the public opinion and often apologetically take a U-turn to go with the wind and maximize their presence. They are so much worried about getting re-elected that they refuse to take a stance. The question like “What is best for my country?” never crosses their mind as, like rodents, they are busy filling their bellies. What every country needs are leaders who have principals. They need to have a vision, a philosophy and a dream of utopia. They might change the details of their policies over the course of time but have a strong moral compass and sense of direction.

Politics has been reduced from a personal calling to a profession. With the scions being made the head of parties without any formal democratic process, some claim it is more like a dynasty or a family business. Everybody is so much concerned about lining their own pockets and getting re-elected that nothing good gets done. The job of opposition is not to oppose, but to keep those in power in check. Parliament is not a place where the loudest voice gets heard.

In short a politician is a weasel who works for his/her own person gain & glory. They are more governed by the short term popularity ratings & punch lines than the betterment of the people they represent. A statesman is a leader who is so much dedicated to achieve their vision that they don’t mind the long & painful path that is needed to achieve the same. Their popularity & respect cuts across party lines and they are remembered long after they are gone.

The founders of India were not politicians but statesmen. They had a vision and were not scared of a few thorns that came along in the way. No wonder some of the intuitions in the country were founded post-independence are have provided strong bedrock. Our fundamental rights, the notion of India itself, integration/assimilation of different cultures and democracy are few of them. Somewhere along the lines we stopped electing leaders and chose to vote along religion/communal lines. Populist schemes and hand-outs win more votes than development.

Looking at how the Congress government was completely washed away in the last parliamentary elections, I don’t have an iota of doubt that the roots and foundations of democracy are very strong in India. It is impossible to rig the polls. Then why is it that India does not have a leader worth following? Euripides had once said, people get the government they deserve. “Andho meigh kana raja” (one eyed man will lead the army of blind)

Unfortunately I don’t see the political environment improving anytime soon. The opposition has made it impossible to get any legislative work done. BJP was a nuisance when Congress was in power and now Congress is paying back in the same coin. The only loser is India 😦

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