In my last post I wrote about two unusual career-related decisions:
a) Five IITians entering politics
b) A consultant chucking his job to become a full time writer.
While both decisions are guided by an 'inner voice', clearly what the voice is saying are different things.
What the writer hears is: "Take a risk and make a career out of your natural talents." His gamble is purely on himself.
What the budding politicians hear is: "Serve your country. Give back to your countrymen". They have no natural 'aptitude' or talent for this. In that sense their decision is far riskier and idealistic. And open to ridicule as well.
Just being IITians does not automatically ensure these young men will make better or more honest politicians. But it does not mean they need to be condemned or written off before they start (reference: some of the comments to my last post ).
There is a case to be made for youth and idealism. Spending 10 years working in Bell Labs and then entering politics would not make these young men any the wiser or more effective.
We get what we deserve
Indian politics is badly in need of fresh blood. Because the current crop is teeming with rotten apples.
As the Association for Democratic Reform observed during the Bihar elections: Affidavits filed with the Election Commission one in three candidates fielded by major political parties had chargesheets pending against them.
So like I said, the road ahead for Paritrana is very very difficult but let's give them some time and room to make a few mistakes.
Otherwise, we have no business sighing about dynastic rule or criminalisation of politics.
What the party stands for
Jahaan tak rahi ideology ki baat, here's what their website (which appears to have been fixed) has to say:
Sabhi sukhi hon (All should be happy)
Sukh ka mool samriddhi hai (The root of happiness is prosperity)
Samriddhi ka mool rajya hai (The root of prosperity is the governance)
Rajya ka mool dand hai (The root of good governance lies in the system of reward and punishment)
Their website further explains: In less organized society the punishing side of Dand predominates. In more organized society the reward side of Dand predominates. In any case it is Dand that rules. The role of the System, the Government, the State, or that of a King is to "regulate" Dand, not to hold it. And when Dand is not properly regulated it destroys the State and its people. That's what has happened in past and is happening in the present society.
Now an economist may argue this is simplistic but so far I see no trace of rabid Hindu nationalism - the variety that excludes other communities.
Yes, they've used a quote from the Rig Veda on their website. Why should that 'offend' anyone? It is a part of our common heritage - whatever faith we may belong to today.
The tragedy is that unlike the Greek, Roman or Egyptian civilisations ours did not die out... So any reference to collective wisdom of the past becomes 'anti-secular', anti-the-idea-of-a-modern-India.
There, writing that one line I know will invite comments about me being a Hindu fundamentalist. Which is as offensive as people saying that all Muslims who take pride in aspects of their culture or religion are supporters of Taliban or Bin Laden or whatever.
Getting back to the original topic - the IITians joining politics. My lengthy defence of a group of people I do not know personally is based merely on a matter of principle. Everybody deserves a chance.
Of course, politicians must be accountable, whether they are cowherds or IITians. Magar abhi to innings shuru hui hai... what follows may be a series of ducks or some brilliant centuries.
Let's wait and watch.