“Be A Politician,” Said No Parent Ever

Posted on August 31, 2016 in Politics

By Shahbaz Mallick:

After Irom Sharmila decided to break her 16-year-long fast against AFSPA, there was news of her being denied a place in her colony by her own people, who cited that she cheated them by breaking her fast.

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My question is, how many of us have thought of a change of plan when our efforts towards our desired goal fizzle out? Honestly, we all do and it’s pragmatic to do so. Similarly, her effort, a long, 16-year-effort to repeal AFSPA went in vain, and that made her look for other ways possible. So it’s actually unreasonable for someone to hate Irom for this if the person’s main concern is about repealing AFSPA. So, was it her desire to become the CM of Manipur that made her receive the flak? Well, maybe.

Anyone joining politics is deemed as a mere opportunist because we have a history of being incessantly looted by politicians. And on the contrary, they enjoy a lavish lifestyle filled with much power. From the Fodder Scam to Coalgate, we have seen it all. In a country where it is commonplace for parents to force career choices on their children, probably, no parent ever said, “Be a politician.” Politics in our country has always been deemed as a profession not suitable for “shareef log” (respectable people).

But is there an end to this monotony? Politics, which is actually about coming together to improve the lives of all, seems to have lost its meaning. So, is it possible for the word to come out of the contemporary interpretation and regain its real essence? Yes, but we shamelessly reject all such possibilities by condemning the entry of people like Irom into politics, who have a history of unconditionally struggling for the interest of masses by keeping their own lives at stake. Is it not blatant hypocrisy that some people don’t want her to join politics but are comfortable to see Irom die, begging for her demands from the same politicians who themselves have tarnished the image of politics? Is it logical? If not, all of us who want to have a people-centric and clean governance must at least welcome good people like her into politics, if not participate.

However, it is also a fact that the non-transparency of political funding in our system makes it difficult for common people to contest and win elections, as they are unable to combat with unaccounted money and muscle power of the seasoned politicians. Therefore, we all must demand transparency of funding in our political system so as to provide a level playing ground for everyone.

Somewhere I heard someone said, “Politics bhi ek acha word hoga, jab isme ache log honge.” (Politics will be a good word when it will have good people). Hoping this comes true.

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