By Asif Uzzaman:
Distaste for politics builds within us from looking at people debating ridiculously on TV, shouting and going insane over petty topics. And so, our distaste blossoms. And this distaste of ours towards politics manifests itself in many ways, like putting our status of political views on Facebook as ‘Not interested in politics’, or ‘I hate politics’, or even as ‘Don’t know what that rubbish is’.
Now, we should know what we really mean when we say, “I hate politics.”
Actually, when we dig a little deeper into that statement and in what context it is said, then we find that what we really want to say and what we actually mean is that we hate politicians. As for politics, many of us do not know what it is actually.
Politics has got a ton of connotations over the years which are mostly negative. And this is quite understandable, of course, given the level that politics has been made to stoop down to in our country. Politics is often considered as a filthy practice of cunning people. It has almost become synonymous with corruption, polarisation and crookedness, all at the same time. Of course the politicians play all these dirty games to gain power. But are these the only things that politics can yield? Aren’t there any positive sides to politics? The common belief on it is quite dispiriting.
Mahatma Gandhi once observed that politics coils us like a snake and there is no other way out except to wrestle with it. Get the point?
There is no way out from politics when we live in a democracy. Living in a democratic country, we cannot totally keep ourselves aloof from politics. Saying, “I hate politics” is not only absurd, but also hazardous for the fate of the country. The truth is that the political scenario does not allow us to stretch our vistas to see that politics is actually a practice of negotiations and discussions to come to a solution for any given problem. Politics should not be looked at, by common people, only as party politics. It includes much more than a ban on Pakistani artists or how much people gathered in a particular rally of Rahul Gandhi. When we start thinking that politics is just a dirty game, we also, unknowingly, drive us away from the basic ideas of what the country needs from its youngsters.
Generally, it is evident that, one who is born in a liberal family is more likely to become reluctant to engage in and with politics. A common middle class serviceman does not want their children to get involved in what is happening in the name of politics in the country; and so they try their best to keep their child aloof from any talk on politics for as many years as they can.
What many do not understand is that the only way to get the country free from the negative politics – the politics of caste, religion, corruption – is to get involved in it and purify it. I am not saying that we all can, or should, become politicians, but what I mean to say is that we all should understand that the norms and ideas that the Constitution provides us should be known to all. We need not become politicians in order to make our country great, but we definitely need to become concerned about politics. Every youngster should know the importance of basic ideas of democracy and should argue for liberty, justice and equality, instead of saying that we do not want to get involved in political matters, in order to keep our reputation ‘clean’. We need to become more social and the first step would be to stop saying that we hate politics.
We ought to bear in mind that in a democracy all are equal before law. Everyone has got the right to one vote and all the votes carry same value, no matter who it comes from. We must realise that our opinion matters; that we matter. We should not hate politics, rather we should ponder over how to make it clean.
If we continue to ‘hate’ politics, the ill elements of politics will continue to make their stand stronger and will continue to deteriorate the vision of Indian democracy.