Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Politics should be defamilized !

Yes, I am trying to coin a new term.  Defamilized !

Businesses run for profit.  The motive is known, side-effects understood. You have an entire family of doctors.  Those days, such families used to run good hospitals with the sole objective of learning.  I remember my parents speaking of one such family in Trichy.  The father and sons would sit around a table, treating patients, poor and sick from morning till midnight, with just breaks for breakfast, lunch and tea.  They run it in the same fashion the last time I went there.  Yes, it looked like what you would call a government hospital.  But let me tell you.  Those doctors were what you would call 'close to God' for many, poor and moneyless.

That was an age when doctors, teachers and politicians got into it for the sheer joy of doing something good.  Doctors have changed, so have teachers.  But go to any hospital, and you would still find quite a few who follow those principles, who take time to smile and reassure you (I met one such yesterday - God Bless Him !).  Same with teachers.  But the place where people of this tribe have ceased to exist is politics. 

You find people who live out of a two room house standing for elections - oh ! wait.  Nothing wrong with that.  They have cutouts put up in various parts of the city with each huge cutout costing anywhere between 75K to 1L.  Ask them who gave them money for this and they will tell you well-wishers.  Now tell me, won't these well-wisher knock the door again for a wish when you win elections.  Another two months, and the person moves into a bungalow, and then he starts owning entire buildings and acres of land, moving around in a Mercedes. 

I am not telling that all politicians are like this.  I had a friend of mine whose mom won a local election by talking straight, assuring people of doing good and telling them politely that she did not have money to dole out for free.  And she won !!!!  That is what democracy is all about, isn't it.  Those are the stories that reassure you that yes, humanity and dignity still exist among the political lot.

And then I read in the paper yesterday 'Someone is ready to take the plunge if people want him to'.  People, which people - maybe people means just family.  In India, with political families, the entire family is into politics in some way or other.  When business fails, or becomes not so profitable, maybe politics looks assuring.  Maybe ! [Again, I am not telling all of them are like that].  But then, after looking at father-child-grandchild dynasties across the country and looking at how easily people connected get seats, and those who are new have to climb the steep ladder the hard way, it is time I think politics is 'Defamilized'.  Maybe, skip a generation atleast.  So that it does not become an occupation, for it is not a job, even like that of a doctor or teacher or engineer.  Politicians are those who fix the fate of a nation, who steer a country and given that our country is one billion, maybe a wide enough representation of families will help in diversity of views, of thought and of action.

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