Updated: May 23, 2019
Investment in our young is the key to our future prosperity and happiness.
At the request of my friend Jaiprakash Singh (JP), who runs the 'Sujata Schools' in Hyderabad and Moinabad, I held a discussion with the students from the 10th class.
JP's idea was for me to inspire the children. Well I don't know about that, but I was certainly stumped by the students.
At the end of our discussion, I posed the question to the girls and boys, 'What kind of career would they like to pursue?'
Surprisingly many boys and girls said their career choice was to become politicians. I later realised that, we often ask 'what', but rarely 'why'.
Since I did not ask 'why'I formed a theory as to possibly why these students wanted to be politicians.
Traditional Indian society has had four classes.
1. The warrior class who held the muscle power and hence ruled physically.
2. The priestly class who were custodians of society's knowledge and wisdom and ruled intellectually and religiously.
3. The traders who had most of the money and controlled commerce. They ruled financially.
4. The working class, who had the skills to provide products and services and also those who tilled the land, the farmers. They were the ruled.
This arrangement ensured that no one group controlled more than one lever of power. This provided balance in society, because each group was interdependent on the others. The is why India was a leading economic power for 1750 years, accounting for 28% of global GDP. India possessed remarkable social stability, and there was no social unrest or revolution for over 5000 years.
Now in independent India there has been a convergence, in the form of the political class.
The politicians use the muscle power of the state such as the police, various enforcement agencies, and numerous regulatory bodies. Many politicians are also often backed up by a number of toughies and thugs.
The Socialist model of government in India has centralised most of the assets and the resources of the country in the hands of the state. The keys to the vault of all these resources and revenues are also controlled by the politicians.
They often work hand in glove with the priestly class and thus channelise most of the religious power to be controlled by the politicians.
The working class have to be kept occupied by trivialising their existence. Like ancient Rome, amuse them with insignificant issues, divide them so they squabble and fight amongst themselves on numerous issues and even more non issues. Keep them stressed, frighten them that their religion, culture and security is in danger. Ensure they in want so they never let go of the politicians hand and also corrupt the masses by throwing them sops and freebies which are misappropriated from the very people they claim to serve.
During their term 'serving' the people, politicians are magically transformed into business and property tycoons. Their wealth grows by leaps and bounds sometimes a thousand fold in 5 to 10 years.
They usually live in palatial homes and estates, and are surrounded by incredible luxury. They inevitably reek of ostentatious wealth, vulgar power and always remain in the limelight.
We may have laws but they are implemented selectively.
Politicians are extraconstitutional authorities. Politicians are supposed to exist under the law, but in reality they are above it. The entire government administrative machinery is at their disposal.
How can we forget the media who work tirelessly to enrich and empower themselves functioning in league with politicians to exacerbate problems of society and people?
The media hang on to every word their preferred politicians utter, presenting it to the world as Gospel and great wisdom. Net result is non stop, toxic verbal diarrhea. The media uses this 'info-tainment' to increase revenues usually in an irresponsible and often unethical manner.
Most people dream of being powerful, rich or famous. In India all these three things are possible in one profession, politics. Politicians are a force that is not dependent on any other group in society.
Other than possessing great cunning, thick skin and ruthlessness, politics is the only profession in which no pre-qualification, formal training, skill acquisition is mandated or required.
Politics is open for admission to all, and it has too many privileges.
Like many Indian traditions, sadly, politics remains a family business, where people inherit entire regions, states and the country as their privilege and right.
Kids are impressionable and they learn quickly, particularly those things that are not good. Is it any any wonder that politics has become the preferred professional career choice for many youngsters?
Hopefully the newly elected Lok Sabha members will demonstrate that Politics is not a profession nor an inheritance but a calling. Thus inspire our children to enter politics for the right reasons. To work towards a more happy and prosperous India, a better world and a nobler humanity.