KEEPING THE FLOCK TOGETHER!
If politics is taken out of the Indian ecosystem, there would be a sense of loss. It would create a vacuum which we cannot even imagine. We have lived by it, struggled by it, suffered by it and even died by it. Even with a general contempt for politics, it has on a permanent basis, successfully captured the centre stage. Politics is in the blood of journalists, claimed an anchor. It is the easiest thing to learn, actually its all hands on with no theoretical classes and that is the reason they come out so successful. Different scenarios every day, so the quantum of experiential learning is humungous. They don’t forget anything. It is so infectious that professionals who come out of academic rigor and competitive edge, also become an easy prey to them; the bureaucracy. What is not politicized is the question?
If it is not politicized, can it stay? Whatever might be the issue, every politician says that the issue should not be politicized, whether it is the farmers’ agitation or the pandemic. If that is not the case, then what is the politician doing there? *There is no theoretical or practical education imparted in politics but the precision of their learning is commendable across parties and across situations.* You cannot miss a politician; he captures the center stage while in power or outside of it. Two skills finally decide his success. *The first is capability to perform in the ongoing Olympics of politics and democracy; the elections. It is a mission mode project in management parlance, free for all in political lingo with the final dictum being, everything is fair in love, war and politics.
The second and even more fascinating and intriguing skill is that of keeping the flock together. This is a real war of nerves and can exhaust you of even a very well stocked arsenal. The skill you have to neutralize is the time tested and perfected art of dissidence, defection, absence, getting kidnapped etc. Keeping you cool in these nail-biting encounters is the expertise a politician has to learn. Whatever may be your background in politics, if you have to outshine your adversaries, this is the name of the game. Without it, nobody has ever excelled. This has to become every politician’s first love, because without perfecting it, you are not fit for the marriage. The lust for power keeps it simmering on a permanent basis. Even during the pandemic, we saw this drama unfolding in lots of states.
If inept this shepherd would be forced to face music all the time. Remember the coalition governments of the pre 2014 days, when parties had to be flocked together. Calculation is the name of the game. The methodologies have to be worked out fresh, remember the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha story of the 1990s. Recently, we have interesting case studies of very smooth transitioning of coalition partners. The ruler remains the same. Undeniably, some heads of government spend their whole time and energy performing this monkey trick. The flock has the capability to create a man-made political crisis at any point, making it the most important activity, relegating governance and pandemic into the background. At times even the Supreme Court had to burn the midnight oil, for the well orchestrated political disasters.
TILL THE DAY EVERY SINGLE POLITICIAN IS SATISFIED, MANAGING THE FLOCK WILL REMAIN THE BIGGEST POLITICAL ART.