(By Maharaj Shah)
We make a big mess of our lives by not actively participating in the political affairs of our country. We often give opportunity to people who hoodwink us betray and befool us by keeping us away from active arena of politics.
LOOKING AT the profile of a politician in general, it seems quite convincing that politics is a dirty game and common people should stay away from it. But to my little personal understanding, politics is the first lesson we should learn and teach our progeny to be politically vigilant and conscious of our political rights. Politicians and politics should not be looked down upon but understood in context to our own existence and accordingly hailed or discarded.
We make a big mess of our lives by not actively participating in the political affairs of our country. We often give opportunity to people who hoodwink us betray and befool us by keeping us away from the active arena of politics and use us to give them power to rule us in their own interest and for the interest of those who cleverly plant them as peoples champions.
Political awakening of the people will be a key to their economic prosperity and general well being.
Political awakening cannot come by Sarvashiksha Abhiyan or through any official education policy alone. Being well educated is no guarantee of one’s being politically aware to the same extent. Because political understanding comes through consistent study of the role played in the development of a particular society, by the historical and materialistic conditions of that given society.
Political understanding enriches the basic understanding of production, distribution and consumption relations in general and determines ones free will to participate in these relations and extent these with other constituents of society in particular.
While as their is no dearth of such so called leaders who make peoples interest as a means to promote their own self interest and behind the projection of any and every public cause is always hidden the agenda of their projecting themselves at the centre stage of events to gain publicity and get noticed for their own selfish gains and in these mendicants, who see their own gain in pleading for the gain of society, is hidden the most dangerous tendency of treating their masses as a herds, keeping them ignorant from the actual reality and silently shake hands with the enemies of that group or society, which they claim they are representing.
These leaders will never want their people to rally around or promote a general peoples cause. Instead they will try to form a pressure group and make people rally behind this group. They will never talk about the sacrifices common people are daily making for carrying forward the interest of general masses but will like to show every gain the society would make to the credit of their own account book.
We are watching a similar situation in our country. Some people forget that they are strictly being watched, observed and understood by the countrymen, not in terms of what they state they have done for them but what actually they have been continuously doing since the last so many years, by leaving no stone unturned to make the best use of the different community forums in extending their self aspirations even at the cost of any sacrifice the members of the society are willing to offer.
The feudal thinking of conceptulising leadership as one inherited trait and looking for them to take a seat in a community assembly is often confused by certain self styled leaders as their qualification for leadership. It is unfortunate to note that the one upmanship is overshadowing the common cause of the community. There may be of course certain individual cases who have made some exemplary contribution towards the general cause of the community, but by and large the activity of the community leaders has remained more restricted to the extent of polemic nature with an eye on playing to and lobbying with government agencies and foreign tours.
No leader has been able to give the community any agenda or a plan, which could be made as a general guideline for the entire community and around which all our political, social and cultural activities, goals, and achievements would revolve. This is rarely going to happen because all our groups are individual centric and not community centric. Perhaps this was the cause of concern for a friend of mine warning me to stay away from politics and concentrate more on literary, cultural and other media related activities, but then these activities also do not exist in a vacuum. It is therefore much better to make community development your leader instead of one individual who identifies himself as community.
(Mr. Maharaj Shah is renowned Actor, Director, Singer, Producer. He makes TV programmes of different genres for multiple clients, including Doordarshan. He Studied Special Interest Drama and Fiction at Kashmir University.)
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