Daily Post 1372


From a small project to a policy to procurement to flexing the country’s muscle on the border, one trait, behavioural pattern, mindset or culture which is blamed over and over again is termed as political will. There is no definition, though it is being used on a regular basis, nor is there any effort to create it. It can afflict one party or any combination of them or it can be the whole political class. It remains unknown till the time actions are viewed as non-achievement, non-decision making or non implementation through this lens. Whether something of this nature exists in the minds of the rank and file of a political party or gaining power is the final thought?

If political will is such a killer ingredient of a political party and the country’s success, why is it left unattended? It is more conspicuous by its absence. But even a more difficult proposition is where do we locate it? Is poll manifesto the true reflection of the political will of a party? How much of the political manifestos have been delivered on the ground since the onset of political democracy in India. The Poll Manifesto is made after lots of deliberations and efforts and is like projecting the best foot forward. If this document is taken as the final embodiment of political will, then at least most of it could have even delivered by now.

That does seem to be the case. The political will changes with phases of political parties. If you get into some detail of the growth, ascendency and sustenance of political parties, this would become very very clear. The persistence of a thought, held by any political party, ready to make humungous effort and sacrifice, to transform it into action is political will. Political will can be concretised, if all political parties agree to make it the first enactment after electoral victory, to transform the Poll Manifesto into a legal statute, mandated to deliver. Political will till such time would remain as nebulous as ever.

Political Will has been a topic of national debates for ages and will continue to remain so, for times to come. In common parlance it means the incapability by the ruling party to do some something which takes efforts, guts and objective decision making and might be, it does not entail any political gain either. The south Asian countries are conspicuous by its absence, so vividly captured in the book Asian Drama by Gunnar Myrdal. No political party even opens the nitty gritty of the political will in its possession or the lack of it. It is a guessing game for the masses. More often than not it fails. As the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie said democracy is a choice between hope and despair. Citizens never win.


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