Conscience and Power

People don’t want a particular alliance but their leaders or representatives want or are compelled to accept some arrangement. Kashmiris feel they will be sold cheap and in their name. There will be tons of justifications for any action taken by those who chose to rule. Let us note how easy it has been to trivialize people’s mandate. How shocking we find yesterday’s arch rivals hugging one another. How shameful to invent ever new excuses for consenting to this or that action that previously few weeks back parties openly opposed. Even God is bound by the principle of non-contradiction as far as He operates in the world governed by reason and logic. But politicians seem to have license for flaunting even the laws of logic including the law of non-contradiction.

BJP-PDP alliance is not acceptable to vast majority of Jammu and Kashmiri’s voters. So isn’t any other alliance to another large section of voters. But do voter’s wishes matter or mandate matters?  Who should decide? Isn’t the best choice to evolve strong institutional mechanisms for bypassing politicians? Many politicians are not qualified for the job profile they hold. Anyone can get elected. Money makes the mare of politics go.

Many people think Governor’s rule is better because you are then governed by a better educated, reasonable, rules respecting bureaucracy. You need not be affiliated with any party. You need not to prove your loyalty or your claim that you have voted for the representative of your area or the ruling party. Governor’s rule appears less costly for people. What for do we need representatives? Sadak, bijli aur makaan aur rozgaar, as they say. But who really knows the business, arranges the funds, oversees the operations and does almost everything that needs to be done? Bureaucracy. So why we pay so much for electing and caring of representatives? Our honourable members have huge fuel, protocol and other expenses. We don’t need political parties. We don’t need the State, argued Marx when good governance is ensured.

I recall Biblical verse saying that scandals must come out but woe to those through whose hands they come. A Prophetic tradition narrates that the worst people are those who help other people to make their lives better at the expense of their hereafter. We do need, in the current scenario, politicians who listen, above all to these cautionary pronouncements. A calculus of interests, careers is okay but if it conflicts with the irrefutable judgment of conscience, one has lost everything. ‘What does a man gain if he gains the whole world and loses the soul’? So asks the Bible. And when the question is of gaining some political advantage for short term, one can see how enormous the bargain one is engaging in.

 Let us fight for strengthening democracy where there would be no threat or chance of betrayal of people’s mandate, of party, of underrepresented people or classes who have no say. Let us fight for laws that allow people to directly participate in determining important decisions. Let us conceive of a mechanism, until a truly Platonic-Farabian state comes, how people can dismiss their elected representatives if they see them betray them. But haven’t politicians succeeded in dividing people so much that they no longer call themselves people but get appropriated in regional vote bank categories. At the end of the day, people chant slogans against their own fellow people.

Tail Piece

Imagine a world without politicians. It will be far less noisy, far more peaceful, far more efficient, far more. Even politicians are reported to admit this and it needs no rocket science to see how. Politicians have created borders, partitions, regional divides, enmity amongst locals who vote for opposite candidates, communalism, sectarianism, fascism, Nazism and what not. They have dropped atom bombs. They have fought wars, conquered neighbouring territories. They think everything is fair for them. What we need is ultimately not a good government, but no government.