The NITK Numbskulls Page

“Politicians suck! Throw rocks at them!”

Posted in analysis, Controversies, politics by wanderlust on December 8, 2008

I won’t be very surprised if I find this on a Tshirt soon.

The attitude of the media and the people they interview these days is, to say the least, despicable. Yeah, fine, a lot of things went wrong due to which the tragedy at Mumbai occurred. But is it right to go for every politician’s jugular now?

For starters, who votes these guys in, or does not vote against these guys? The only solution these upper middle class folks can think of is to not vote. Is it that they don’t realize that it doesn’t make too much of a difference if they don’t vote, or are they just too lazy to vote?

Politicians have realized there’s no point of trying to woo this part of the electorate. No matter what a politician does, he always has a ‘hidden agenda’. A politician can never be right. These are people who don’t even read political news; how are they going to know who to vote for? Oh, and they are the last people who’ll think of attending election rallies. “Because it’s all lies and tripe anyway”.

Snobbery, fine. Everyone shows some – folks who think Bollywood music is infra-dig, or those who don’t watch hockey coz it’s not cool enough. But taking it to such extremes is like refusing to get out of your stilettos even when the arch of your foot is broken.

“Voting is like choosing the lesser of two evils”. Well, yes. But you do need to exercise your choice if you want to make a difference. Yes, some politicians are criminals, but you need to factor that in while making a choice. And no, education, doesn’t do away with corruption, ask anyone who’s worked on Incineer. All education does is help YOU make the better choice – seeing through the lies, the corrupt schemes, and informing you on what to do in case you come across inconsistencies and corruption.

Another thing that constantly comes to mind is that a corrupt official is not necessarily an inefficient official. Honesty and efficiency are two independent variables as far as an individual is concerned. But when you take it over a larger whole, it is better for the officials to be honest, as it enforces predictability and faith in the system.

“Politicians, get out of my city. I don’t need you to make things worse for us here”. Oh, and who is going to manage things for you, lady? Who will you blame the next time things go wrong as they surely will?

Why don’t people understand we need politicians? And frankly, you need to a ruthless, thick-skinned person to be in the profession. You need to play ‘politics’. Sure, it might be unpalatable for some, but it’s inevitable when so many compete for so few.

“Make it a meritocracy”…. well, you can. You are the ones who judge who would do a better job. So choose the right person. Don’t attempt to outsource it to some other agency by asking for restrictions on this and that. It’s hard on you, but that’s the price you pay for being able to choose. An honest matric-pass or a dishonest PhD. An inefficient honest man, or a get-things-done guy who occasionally asks for favours.

People go on the extremes – only old fuddy-duddies who are so out of touch with the pulse of the youth form the government. Can’t help it, can we, if you have to work your way up the ladder? And a young man or woman doesn’t have the requisite experience in public life to know about consequences of actions that impact an entire country. More so if they are urbane elite who haven’t worked at the grassroots level, be it in a rural area or an urban area.

“How come Raj Thackeray didn’t throw the non-Marathi NSG commandos out at the airport itself?”. Now you can say that arbitly, randomly, but on a news channel?! When you are supposed to be a top reporter? He has a weird way of expressing it, but his point is that outsiders do not learn the local language when they make Mumbai their home. Keyword ‘home’. Valid point in itself, though it needn’t have escalated to the heights it has. Why drag him into this? He doesn’t have any power over the security apparatus of Mumbai, does he? And if the commandos decided to live in Mumbai, maybe he’d’ve raised an issue, but they didn’t, so what are you talking about?

Having said that, I’ll add that he could have helped, by atleast providing chai-pani to the crowds outside, or taken care of crowd security…. or found some way to make himself useful. And relevant.

Then there are those who want war with Pakistan. Understandable anger, but we need to take a cold decision on that. Then there are those who don’t. Because they say they don’t want innocent people to suffer due to the war. Er… how about the innocent lives lost in these attacks? And there are some who say “Why can’t the governments of India and Pakistan arrive at a solution together?”.¬† Because one of us is the problem?

Oh, and the “Do not Politicize *”. How can you not politicize a misdeed of the government? That’s just a convenient escapist statement. Here is a list of all the Do Not Politicize statements put forth by the government.

And “Terror has no religion” and “Do not communalize this issue”. If terror really has no religion, why do terrorist emails routinely cite religion as their inspiration? And the media that so easily came up with “Hindu Terror” even though there was no inspiration claimed from the Gita or the Rig Veda or any Upanishad, why can’t it for once say “Islamic Terror”? Isn’t this double standards?

American papers carrying columns by Indians about how dangerous Hindu fascism is to the rest of the world. First it was just a couple, but now it’s a whole torrent. I’m getting sick of even dismissing these as tripe; I’m that irritated.

I’m sick-to-dying of hearing all these cliches every time I tune into any sort of media – be it the feeds I read, or the newspapers or the television. I have¬† moved beyond these hackneyed, ill-informed arguments which are fine, rather cute even, to spout in school-level debates but not elsewhere. I’m sick of having to correct people each time they open their mouths on current affairs. I’m sick of ill-informed people who consider it their prerogative to talk about current affairs without the slightest idea of what is going on.

Rest of the world, kindly give me a break.


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