Diminishing art of practicing politics

Politics is too fine an art – a delicate, exquisite, elegant and transcendent one. Often intellectuals and academicians do denounce it declaring it to be prohibitive for good and decent people and a strict no no as a profession. But of late, political scientists have realized that politics is as delicate and dynamic as a science as it is subtle and fragile as an art. It always is, among many other things, a real time drama where the acting would have real impact on the masses granting resultant gain or loss for the artist. Those who are tailored, trained, compatible and conducive to their time and circumstances do miracles otherwise we have had pronounced and recognized scholars, professionals and experts failing miserably in their tasks of real politick.

The art is so unique and canvas so vast that this gives the artist enormous space not only to shape his own destiny but also to determine the values, likes-dislikes, temperaments and even the destinies of people at large of the day and also for times to come. That is why we have entire generation intensely influenced by one or the other political leader of the day. Given a country like ours – the mammoth majority being idol worshipers- the glamour and aura of a leader does enter peoples’ minds so deeply that it goes up to a pedestal of worship, shunning logic and wisdom. 

And the beauty of all this is that this glamour has nothing to do whether one occupies a chair, denounces the positions, becomes a king maker or never has an opportunity to have a position in his lifetime. There would be none taller than the Mahatma in modern India, who could shape the destiny of a nation and its entire generation of the day – the finest of the political artists of his generation in the universe. Many other artists of the period too played their part too well, albeit in different directions paving their own path and also creating, nurturing and influencing their own constituencies. 

We had Nehru crafting himself and the country commanding enormous love of people inculcating his ethos and ideology into their minds which would inspire them for years and would help shape other leaders. We also had leaders falling apart from Nehru but still having their own deep influences. From Subhash Bose to Ambedkar to Vinoba Bhave to Kripalani to Jai Prakash Narayan – all of them devised, shaped and advanced their own art of politics leaving behind their deep imprint and influence on practice of the future politics of the country.

Ambedkar remained a torchlight for all movements of rights for the downtrodden and victims of manuwadi caste arrangements and could continue influencing everyone standing for the deprived. Dr Ram Manohar Lohia could create his own school of thought and his own class of followers remaining a relevant pillar of socialist politics of the country, which gave rise to leaders right from Madhu Limaye to George Fernandes to Mulayam Singh to Lalu Prasad to Nitish Kumar.   

Vajpayee had been an ideal for a major chunk of people – a star in his own rights who would be closely watched, loved and respected. His words and actions would always have enormous weight for all who mattered and who followed. Each word he spoke would be interpreted and explained in various ways at various quarters – many a times his words becoming idioms, phrases and proverbs and would be repeated countlessly.

While leaders like MG Ramchandran followed by Karunanidhi and Jaylalitha created storms of the kind in their territory, YB Chavan, Vasant Dada Patil had their marked influences and helped give rise to gen-next leaders. Hindu Hriday Samrat Bal Thakre had been one of the most unique leaders of our times who was master of his own created super art of practicing politics bringing about great changes in art of doing politics and creating a brand of itself.

These are only some of the examples of the excellent artists of fine art of politics who had been greatly watched for each of their actions and statements. Their actions and comments did matter a lot for people at large. People would look at them every time an issue would arise for their steps and views and would shape their own views and decide their own actions.

It remains so even today when we look up on the leaders of day to ponder over and decide our own opinion on the issues of the day. But are they really practicing the art nicely? Are they able to shape the opinion of their people and are they capable of influencing the generation they belong to? Do their actions and views tend to construct a positive outlook for the future of the people they feel they represent?

The first bench of the political spectrum is vacant today. Once upon a time there would be many in each of the political parties, who would be watched closely and who really would matter. Not now a days but. All the political parties have created a culture where one leader would overshadow all others and not allow any to come up, compete and almost appear alike him. We have come to a time where a politician in power only is watched and have the focus – others have just become irrelevant. Even whosoever are at the helm do often fail people let alone inspiring, influencing and shaping their opinion. This is seriously worrying position where we lack good practioners of art of politics.

There is none other than Narendra Modi who inspires, stimulates and influence the thought process of the country and the country looks up on him with confidence and hope. Despite all the odds in the way he remains the sole leader in the country commanding the love and trust of the people and who is stirring millions of hearts with unchallengeable commitment for the country and its people.  

Rise of regional parties did create a hope for multiple parties and leaders with various ideologies represented the real multi-cultural country that India is. They did too well in their territories too and had enormous effects changing social equations. New set of leaders started emerging in all of these parties. But soon all of these have been converted to dynastic entities and thus killed all the hopes that they generated. 

Leaders like Mamata Di, who crafted her own aggressive ways of practicing the art becoming a non-conformist face of the day lost her real glamour on the way and is largely seen as a hyper practitioner of the art losing the grace and glory of it even though winning her seat of power. Same is the case of Nitish who crafted his way too successfully but failed to create any legacy. Even Naveen Patnaik who has been doing exceedingly well, failed to provoke desire for his replication.  

Arvind Kejriwal, given his background, did miss the bus of revolution which could have taken him too far than he chose to settle for. Now what is left out in him is one of the most hyper politicians. Notwithstanding his nice report-card, he seriously lacks the art of practicing grace and wisdom that could enhance his stature and inspire his people.   

The art of practicing politics has suffered a huge set back. The political parties could not carry forward the value system each of them once stood for – be the national or the regional parties. They just continued harvesting once sown seeds and failed to realize that good harvest is always dependent on continued sowing of not only better seeds but other better inputs too commensurate with the progressing time and developing practices. The political practitioners of the day would do well trying to revive the art they are eventually dependent on.



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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