Even before the din and dust of Bihar elections had settled, the vaccine which was on the horizon became a reality. It was as good as a back-to-back operation of sorts. There has not been even a murmur regarding the universal mass free vaccination promised in one the manifestoes. Ruling or the opposition, nobody is bothered about these issues. The ones who had made unemployment critical to their agenda, forgot even before the elections were settled. Unemployment rages, making no difference to the powers that be or the powers waiting on the wings.
The method of living of an Indian politician is so different compared to any normal employed person, at whatever level and in whichever area, that it becomes very difficult for him to fathom out, what the vast majority of the electorate are going through. The numbing of the Indian electorate to the harsh realities of life and yet be politically active is the biggest achievement of the Indian democracy and herein lies its success. A success which has meant a super success for the political class and other powers in that Milky Way, that too without any effort. The Human Development Indices and Sustainable Development Goals can keep narrating their data driven stories, what difference does it make?
Taking elections completely away from facts, figures and the naked data of misgovernance, governments after governments, using a toned down expression, have created a mutated variant of democracy, of the one we had set out to achieve. The election campaigning has always been more of festivities mixed with violence, money and liquor interspersed. With all these in the backdrop, the dance of democracy was blessed to practice the art of theatrics, which politicians of all hues and color having a field day. It’s very rare to find a non-theatrical type persona being successful in politics. Sometimes, the theatre (cinema) itself comes to politics and to their credit, the cine stars have had long and very successful stints in politics.
When theatrics rules the roost, the stage and props all have to fall in place. The locations, gesture, symbolism and the connects have to be fine tuned in an extremely mercenary manner, without the electorate even realising of it. After the electronic media, now social media is providing the perfect stage for this melodrama in a multimedia setting. That too right in the hands of every individual. With all this in place, the dialogues are of iconic value. The dialogues are called speeches. The contents, the tone, the gestures, the voice modulation et al are the Handyman’s tool of an Indian politician. Till the time it sells, we can keep enjoying the bonsai version of the Indian democracy.
IN THE THEATRICS OF DEMOCRACY, LIFE CAN ONLY BE SUBHUMAN.