DailyPost 1832

How do mavericks get connected to ignorance and ego? Firstly, ego and ignorance are intricately connected. Ego is inversely proportional to learning, knowledge and wisdom. The second reality is ignorance with super ego can be suicidal for you and if you somehow escape, it would be a nemesis call for the organization, community, state and the nation. Afflicted by ignorance and ego at different levels and combinations, what is the outward manifestation of that man. It is that of a political maverick. If one class cannot be called a class by way of education, training, expertise and professional growth in accordance with those established principles, then that is the political class. It is all what a maverick is all about, individualist, non-conformist and free spirit of a different type.

Raj Narain, defeated Indira Gandhi in 1977, belonged to this genre. Not that he was the first one, but the political history henceforth has produced lots of them. For the last few decades, if we take away mavericks, ignorance and ego out of politics, there would have been no politics in this country. Which of the three leads the show, nobody knows. It is precisely one element which becomes predominant at one point in time or in one person, but over a period of time, we find it all, in the political class being afflicted by the maverick temperament and the ego disease. They  perfect the art of feigning ignorance as well. But most of the time they actually are. Being a maverick is also a brand in politics.

It helps in steering clear of all serious issues and he, the maverick, adds a new angle, his personal one, to whatever he does. That is his unique selling point and everything else is either forgotten or made to be forgotten. It might be the way he talks, he dresses, the type of people he carries along,* might be the communities he represents, the way he deals with people, opposition and even the government officials, provide him with his quintessential maverick personality. Politicians make a huge amount of effort to create that persona and keep working earnestly to maintain it. Maverick persona helps to camouflage both their ignorance and most of the times the ego as well.

The combination of this persona with the totally non-modern traits of ignorance and ego stops them from picking up, even what is easily doable. The most modern and enlightened form of governance is made to function, outside the mode of talent and meritocracy. While we study to clear exams, garner professional knowledge and expertise to make both ends meet, to start with. In the same democracy the political ecosystem is totally different. The only exam is the election and the rest is personal loyalty in all its dimensions. Some faint glimmer of Chanakya is also added once in a while. The transformation of India seems to be totally dependent on this cocktail. Unless we are able to break these shackles, from where do we expect a paradigm shift.


Sanjay Sahay

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