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The Indian Tamasha pt. 1

A five stage election and it just seems to be getting bigger every time! As India goes to the polls over the next couple of months, a few things strike me, apart form the obvious ones that there is no morality in politics anymore and that politicians are the most fickle bunch of people in the world and their word cannot be trusted.
But what I find most disconcerting about this occasion is that the major national parties are becoming more and more redundant with the passage of time. The media has already highlighted the fact that the vote and seat share of both the Congress and the BJP has declined considerably, while that of regional parties has increased in the same measure. Some people point to the numerous scam taints of the 90s to explain this shift away from the national parties. I feel that may be one of the reasons. A corruption tired public might have started opting for local politicians and parties who they might have felt more answerable. Also, with the death of Rajiv Gandhi, there was a dearth of leaders with a charisma of their own. Then too, many regional politicians who were playing second fiddle to Rajiv stepped out from under the Gandhi shadow and formed their own little outfits (many with only one leader worthy of the name), marking out their own little territories and regions where they held sway while being unknowns elsewhere. There has been such a profusion of such satraps, that the political field has become like one of those Royal Rumbles in WWF!
While some might feel happy at this development, I think there’s some cause for worry. The decline of national parties has also meant a decline in a national outlook. Most of the regional leaders have as circumscribed a view of policy and events as their respective ‘realms’. If you hear them speak, they don’t have any concerns outside of their domains. “mumbai for marathis”, “assam for assamese”, “tamil nation”, these and their more strident variants are the voices you hear everyday. And sometimes, they get beyond mere words, as we saw in Mumbai last year. And these are the people who’re getting an increased share of the votes and seats!
I wonder who in this confused babble of voices in talking about India. Where are the leaders who look at the big picture? Where indeed!


About hbhatnagar

I need to fill this up with much better content than I had populated it with earlier. Why I write a blog maybe? I started blogging in 2009 or thereabouts. I was a newly turned atheist and wanted to converse with others of the same persuasion. We're not exactly a big population group in India! It didn't go very well and I sort of lost interest, posting a few things now and then. I got a lot more regular over the last few months and have been posting almost daily since February '15. There were many reasons why I gradually became more regular in posting, but one way or the other, here I am! So this blog has taken shape, being at different points in time my showcase, my comedy club, my art gallery, my book club, my therapist, my close friend, my innermost self....but always my little corner of the world. You are all welcome to visit and I hope you stay awhile! A few points about me because I don't want to lead anyone on(and trust me this does become an issue more often than I'd care to admit). I'm Indian, the brown-skinned variety; if race, ethnicity or skin colour is an issue, you don't have to get to know me any more than what you see on my blog. I'm 40, so if age is an issue, please be informed accordingly. I was a doctor, an ophthalmic surgeon for 10 years before I quit practice.


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