Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You get what you deserve

The USA has to be lauded for having a political system which can land a relatively unknown quantity like Obama to the ultimate job. Who had even heard of him a couple of years back? The US electorate got a chance to scrutinize him on the election trail and liked him and brought him to power. While In India, we are stuck with a stupid system where you have to spend decades greasing political palms and earning brownie points with those who matter, before you can even be considered for a minor position.  And if you are not from a political dynasty, you can forget about making a difference. The most you can achieve is land a secondary or tertiary position and enrich your own coterie with favours. Thus perpetuating the system.

The Indian blogosphere is abuzz with quite a few searching for India's Obama. I have a question for them, when was the last time they went out and voted in a general election? Did they ever take part in the political process? Do they feel that there is something wrong with a process which constantly rewards corruption and divisive politics? Do they consider themselves good citizens and fulfill their civic obligations?

It is good to seek change when one is sick and tired of the rot that one sees all around. The answer is not in seeking out a single leader who might or might not fulfill our aspirations, but changing ourselves and the system so that this becomes a constant process which rewards virtue and weeds out undesirable elements. Remember that the cost of maintaining a good political environment is constant vigilance on the part of the electorate. The problem is that most of us have become indifferent and disillusioned with politics as it is practised in India today.

So we want to be spoon-fed Obamas, right? Like chicks in our cosy nests, we look upwards with beaks open, waiting for some imaginary mama-bird to provide us with an Obama. Well, I have news for you. You are not baby-chicks any more. Our democracy is 60 years old. And it is YOU who has to work towards making it better. If you don't do that, you get what you deserve.


Does it matter said...

Absolutely spot on.
Many reasons the US has got a better process - the PRez system rather than the Indian indirect way of electing the PM. Also the longer process. But most importantly, it is issues, and important ones at that, that have determined the electoral process.

You are quite right, its a reflection of the people we are. The US electorate is more mature and civilised (politically incorrect statement I guess), we are not.

And they (and we) get what we deserve. An earlier post:


Vinod_Sharma said...

Very well analysed Sagarone. Our system just cannot throw up an authentic Obama. Even after what the US has done, here people are still trying to convert dynastic descendants into Obamas! With that kind of mindset even outside of the suffocating political system that throws up only those 'born into privilege', an India Obama will remain no more than a mirage.

A year back, even the Prime Minister had said that our model of democracy had failed. I wrote about how and why it had. One can't surrender to that failure and give up.

That is why the hope. But, as you have said it most beautifully, if we just keep our beaks open like chicks, mama bird is not going to come. We have to do something. And we can make a start by casting our votes and educating at least the few that we can. A chain reaction started at the right time can work wonders.

Anrosh said...

i wrote at vinod sharma's post on the 12th.

come up with something that works for india.
stop following the british and the americans and everyone else.

dismantle the civil services - the size of the african nation nation and king of corruption that pollutes the system at every nook and corner.

don't we have enough heads to come up with something that works for us.
bringing awareness of our political process ( negative votes ), changing our education system ( currently it is all memorising )..encouraging questioning as students in school and analyzing...may be if we work now in the next 30 years we can see some change. uproot the rotten stubborn system and rebuild new ones..we will soon see some change. dr. kalam was someone who has set a vision for india 2020.

1conoclast said...


I too replied on Vinod's post, but you know my views only too well. :-)

You may also want to have a look at this.

Pinku said...

agree with every word...

Indian Home Maker said...

Agree... :)

These are such terrible times in India, everybody is bickering, looks like soon there will be no India, election time is not a time of false promises anymore, it has become a time for fresh divisions, bomb blasts and rioting!

This post set me thinking ... maybe it is time to shut our beaks and start scratching the ground ...