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Political Idealism and Indian democracy

 
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G-BYGB
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:30 pm    Post subject: Political Idealism and Indian democracy Reply with quote

On the historic day of Arvind Kejeriwal being sworn in as Delhi CM, I have come across comments from many people, ranging from scepticism to optimism about change he would bring in Indian politics.

My question to all the members of this forum is can political idealism survive for that long in Indian democracy?

This thought comes on the backdrop of Kejeriwal's promise of bringing halt to corruption in Delhi and in India.
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ssbmat
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its not so much about political idealism. I think the words ideal and political by definition are antonyms.
Even the Mahabharata was a complete political work of art, and in some ways more diabolical than todays times.

What Arvind Kejriwal is doing at the moment is simply riding the ABC wave- (Anything But Congress). I fear he may be getting a bit ahead of himself.

He is trying to establish a model that is flawed at the very outset- in that democratic government is only about aam admi.

Its a very dangerous argument, because society, whether AK likes it or not, cannot by definition be equal. Those with with knowledge, wealth and skills will always have an important say in government relative to the common man on the street (even if we assume they are not corrupt).
Just extending this at a national level- which seems to be the AAP plan- what the hell does aam admi know about External affairs ? Defence ? Finance policy?
This rather naive approach of getting peoples opinion, which I thought was a big farce, is never going to work. And apparently he swore on his children that he would never take support of Congress or BJP. He has already reneged on that . Scratch One.

When and if he gets down to serious work- he will become buried under the problems unless he applies a systematic , pragmatic approach that involves people other than "aam admi" .
I think the Congress and BJP would do well to just lie low for some time..let him get bogged down a bit. Anything that Cong does to subvert AAP (for the moment atleast) will only hurt them more. And of course BJP will gain advantage because that.
Its really interesting- NaMo seems to have peaked a bit early, RaGa seems to be peaking very slowly and the only one who seems to be bang on the spot is AK !
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The_Goat
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It will take more than Kejriwal and his lofty ideals to check corruption in India. It is too well entrenched and benefits too many people for one small party to make a difference.
I was hoping that the AAP would keep out the opportunists from other parties and retain its USP as a party for the first timer with a clean record, hoping to improve affairs. Sadly, that is not going to be the case, with BJP and Congress gold diggers making a beeline for it. These slimy self-seekers will ensure that the AAP will go the way of other parties.


ssbmat wrote:
what the hell does aam admi know about External affairs ? Defence ? Finance policy?


oh please, as if the 'experienced' people at the helm right now have made a big success of our foreign, defence or finance policies.

and the definition of 'aam-admi' also includes qualified and knowledgeable people like us on this forum, for example. I'm sure most of us can come up with better civil aviation policies than the idiots running the show currently. It is the same with finance, foreign affairs, defence and other areas.
Professionals with experience and hopefully, without the intention of lining their pockets can do the job very well. All that is needed is a clean political party which can provide a platform for such people to enter politics. The AAP can serve this purpose, and it will be a big challenge for Kejriwal and co to ensure that it does.
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d3vski
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Democracy is a big fail in India.

with the unbalanced population, one educated persons vote is worth 10 uneducated votes and result is a never ending cycle of vote bank politics.

It is a question of which is the lesser evil: disenfranchising uneducated people or allowing uneducated people to be hoodwinked into voting for crooks.

Two things would improve indian politics and India:

1) franchise should only be extended to persons who are graduates. This would ensure that the persons voting would vote with their brains rather than be bought.

Or

2) military coup.
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G-BYGB
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssbmat wrote:


This rather naive approach of getting peoples opinion, which I thought was a big farce, is never going to work. And apparently he swore on his children that he would never take support of Congress or BJP. He has already reneged on that . Scratch One.


I think it was a good move by AAP to ask for public opinion of whether or not to form a government with the Congress support. We have seen so many major parties siding up with other parties that are so opposed to people's wishes and most corrupt, just so that they can have the numbers to form the government.

Another reason why AAP had to reluctantly form a government with Congress was that you cannot afford another assembly election which will cost huge sum of money. It is also another opportunity for AAP to live up to the expectations of Delhites.

I feel the stage has come where people from all walks of life should vote for a party like this that has members who are not from a political clan. How so ever we are a diverse society with different criteria for electing representatives, AAP has given a opening for people from various communities to self-represent and be the change.

Historically, all the political parties have represented various communities only for vote banks and not really bring true change in their lives. I hope this party will strengthen our Democracy further, with this new type of idealism.
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ssbmat
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ever so slowly, the aam aadmi is getting "khaas" accoutrements.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Two-adjacent-5-bedroom-duplex-for-Aam-Aadmi-CM/articleshow/28300607.cms

This from a man who claimed to fight the elections basis his resolute stance of staying in his flat, not wanting power etc etc. Now what happened? Suddenly he realized the importance of maintaining a large residence with security ? So what was wrong with erstwhile CMs doing the same ?

My point is, why all this dramabaazi of appealing to voters based on aam aadmi ? My doubts were immediately aroused when he, like all charlatan politicians (BJP and Cong alike) before him, made a show of visiting Rajghat and praying before His Holiness on the day he decided to take up CM's oath . That , to me is a symbol of a clever politician masked by the aam admi veneer- the very basis of corruption in the mind, before the material part takes over. He looked just like any other politician that day, and this was only burnished by his trust vote speech, full of rhetoric (and very filmy at that) and no concrete plans.


Lets see how many more khaas trappings he acquires in the next few days.
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flightgearpilot
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

d3vski wrote:
Democracy is a big fail in India.


To be able to say this publicly without fear of retribution, shows that democracy is a big success in India.
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ssbmat
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel its more the case that we Indians are used to worship false heroes and not care for people who genuinely make a difference to the society. Hence almost all politicians of various hues , most un deservedly are able to. retain power .
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The_Goat
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssbmat wrote:
Ever so slowly, the aam aadmi is getting "khaas" accoutrements.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Two-adjacent-5-bedroom-duplex-for-Aam-Aadmi-CM/articleshow/28300607.cms

This from a man who claimed to fight the elections basis his resolute stance of staying in his flat, not wanting power etc etc. Now what happened? .


It is better for the CM and everyone else if he is given special accomodation. He has to meet hundreds of people everyday as a part of his job. It won't be practical to have mobs of people visiting him in his DDA flat, and causing inconvenience to all the neighbours.

And senior officials like the CM have to be given some security. After all, India is a country where two former PMs have been assasinated. We are never going to have a situation like some European countries where the PMs or Presidents go shopping in supermarkets without any security.

and going by the description in the article, Kejriwal's house seems quite spartan compared to those of even some junior cabinet ministers in the central government.
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ssbmat
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This gets even better.
http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/arvind-kejriwal-sets-the-record-straight-after-aap-ministers-use-official-cars-466627?site=classic
Now, what was that charade of traveling by Metro and rickshaws. And why not use existing cars from erstwhile cabinet ministers? Why waste funds on new cars.
When you pose yourself as Adam admi, as a nobody etc by your own admission, you should be indeed prepared to walk the talk. Otherwise STFU about comparing your house with other so called corrupt politicians,you are NO different. Delhi citizens have been fooled by his muffler, Gandhi topi image. A real pity.
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flightgearpilot
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing is, Indian and most of Asian thinking has been anthropomorphic since several millenia. It means that we only think in terms of people and social concepts like intentions, motives, etc. We do not think in terms of people-neutral abstractions like economy, environment, problem-solving, etc.

Which is why, symbolic statements and gestures attract a lot of attention and are often capitalized. The shift from anthropomorphic thinking to objective, dispassionate and critical thinking was responsible for the emergence of the Age of reason in the West and form the foundations of liberal and democratic elements of Western civilization. We've a long way to go before a culture of objective, dispassionate reasoning and problem-solving takes roots in our society.
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ssbmat
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. While there is symbolism in the west too, what is disturbing is the disproportionate importance to symbolism in India, especially since the 20th century Indian freedom struggle. An example-Lokmanya Tilak started the public Ganesh utsav in Maharashtra with a pretext to creating a public forum for propagating values of social importance. That noble cause has been completely converted to vulgar commercial farce and a total public nuisance under the symbol of Lord Ganesh.
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