When you find that there’s a disconnect between expectations and reality, it is no use denying the reality. It may be time to question the assumptions that underlie the expectations.
We are all, unfortunately, familiar with criminals contesting elections. That there are criminals in society is not surprising. It isn’t even surprising that they contest elections. But some people find it surprising that criminals win elections. That is where we need to examine our assumptions. We assume that voters care about not electing criminals to political office. That’s the assumption but it is contradicted by the reality, which is that the voters don’t really care about electing criminals.
A friend sent me an email today which listed a few candidates for the Mumbai municipal elections. Here are some details about them.
Mr Harishchandra. 1 charges related to Habitual dealing in slave (IPC Section-371) – standing for election from Deonar – Mankhurd Childrens Home
Mr Darvi – 2 charges related to Buying minor for purposes of prostitution, etc. (IPC Section-373) – standing for election from Topiwala College – Mhada Colony
Mr Shetye – 2 charges related to Buying minor for purposes of prostitution, etc. (IPC Section-373) – constituency – Sarvodaya Nagar – Nahur Village
Mr Sridhar – 3 charges related to Habitual dealing in slave (IPC Section-371) – Constituency – Ravindra Natya Mandir – Shivaji Park
Mr Kadam – 1 charges related to Buying minor for purposes of prostitution, etc. (IPC Section-373) – Constituency Malad Hill Reservoir
Mr Sitaram – 1 charges related to Theft in dwelling house, etc. (IPC Section-380) 1 charges related to Buying minor for purposes of prostitution, etc. (IPC Section-373) – Constituency Bandrekar Wadi – Ismail College – Natwar Nagar
Mr Gaikwad – 1 charges related to Causing miscarriage without woman’s consent (IPC Section-313) – Constituency Makrani Pada
These people may be criminals as charged but they are certainly not insane. They know that there is a good chance that they will win the elections. Otherwise why would they waste time and effort contesting elections that they cannot win?
Because they know that some people will vote for them regardless of whether they are criminals or not. That fact is irrefutable. Many — perhaps a majority — of Indian politicians are criminals and that fact must say something about Indians. I will not abuse your intelligence by spelling that out.
Sanjeev Sabhlok, indefatigable warrior for liberty, has an interesting post on his blog titled, “You have to WREST liberty from the Indian government, not beg for it“.
The task to remove the British from India was HUGE. Yet it was achieved.
. . .
Today India is oppressed by Indians on a scale last seen only during British rule. In many ways worse. More Indians are killed in India by the Indian government EACH YEAR than the British killed perhaps in a decade. Indians are surviving from moment to moment, unsure of what could happen to them next. One of the speakers rightly put it: Nothing is safe any more.
. . .
If we could boot out the British, surely we can boot out Congress and BJP, and wrest the freedom that is our birthright.
Let’s examine that. The British did leave India. I think it is an assumption that they left because the Indians wanted freedom. Hogwash. Indians don’t care about freedom. If they did, they would not tolerate the criminals that rule them.
Yes, there are people who care about liberty in India. But they are few and far between. Sanjeev Sabhlok is a voice in the wilderness. The voting majority could vote for good people but they don’t. If they did, there would be good people contesting elections.
Fact is that people are rational — even if they are myopic. Candidates know whether it makes sense to contest elections. Good candidates rationally stay out knowing that they will lose. The minority of voters who would vote for good candidates rationally don’t bother voting knowing that their preferences will be worthless when weighed against the larger group who would vote for corrupt criminals.
I think Sabhlok is right when he says that “liberty was not given to anyone on a platter.” Liberty was not given to Indians either. There was a transfer of power in 1947 for sure but that is not synonymous with independence. It was just a transfer of power from one bunch of looters to another bunch. Indians transferred their voluntary servitude from one group to another.
I, for one, don’t really care about skin color. It does not really matter to me what the color of the skin of the guy who robs me. Perhaps he is white-skinned or perhaps he is black. But it appears that to too many Indians who celebrate Indian “independence” from the British but are quite content with being ruled by brown sahibs, skin color matters.
Sabhlok writes, “if we could boot out the British, surely we can boot our Congress and BJP . . .” There’s an assumption in there: that Indians booted out the British. I think that is an unwarranted assumption. The British left. Indians as a collective have never really valued freedom. Evidence? See for yourself. The British left because it was not worth raping India any more.
It is time for us to seriously examine our assumptions. I have come to the conclusion that the slave mentality, the mentality that makes voluntary servitude a reality, is the reality. Only a change in the collective consciousness of the people, a change which makes them value freedom, would bring about a change in India’s destiny.
Until then, the minority of people like Sabhlok will have to suffer the fate imposed by the majority. India, don’t you know, is a democracy, and in a democracy the majority decides what the rest have to endure.
Here endth the rant.
PS: Dear Sanjeev, may I suggest that you examine your assumption that India achieved independence. Just because a new flag was hoisted and a new bunch of rulers took over, it does not make a people independent. Thank you.