DailyPost 1998

Everything has a life cycle. In today’s world even data has a life cycle. Have you ever heard of the political life cycle or is there something that can be termed as the political life cycle? The electorate has been experiencing this from the onset of elections in this country, though they may not be able to express it. There are very clear-cut touch points in this political life cycle, where the electorate comes into the picture, rest happens independent of them and there are also parts where they come face to face with the paternalistic attitude of the political masters. The political life cycle is nearly a five-year period, when the politicians descend on the electorate for the ensuing elections, till the next time they come for the same purpose.

Being emotional to the brim on their face to being completely unemotional and mercenary in reality is the running thread through the political life cycle. So, it starts with the political leaders and parties paratrooping into their respective constituencies for a long stay, for creating a better five years ahead. The political strategists have become a part of the baggage now, preparing at times for years. They have a back-end team of the smart, bold and audacious, churning our media material, which is one of its kind. Politicians have been made to believe that there is somebody you can guide him better in his own game. Distribution of seats and selection of candidates is the ultimate tool to settle scores and prove influence, even before the campaigning has actually begun. Political meetings, rath yatras, road shows, helicopter hopping and finally door to door campaigning becomes all pervasive.

Manifesto also appears as a blot from the blue. A blueprint for change. While these things are happening, you have to be at your abusive best on the one side and on the other create outlandish hopes and aspirations, which should sound fresh, even if it is put on offer in every election. Once the electioneering ends, you should find ways and means of camagining till the end. The rigmarole of the elections takes place. Claims and counterclaims of victory. Then the exit polls, which have as much of a fixed element as the election itself. Result day and new rajas announced. The victory parades and iconic oath taking ceremonies. It is Alexander coming back home victorious. The cabinet formation and the whole drama behind. Once the government is up for working; new offices, cars and staff all take the center stage. The protocol is important. The government starts functioning.

How to make the best out of what has been garnered is the main research area. Procurements and influences start flying thick and fast. Power is put on blatant display. If influence is not displayed then what is the sense of this power. Then there can be one or two or a streak of decisions, generally landing the government in the frying pan. Fire fighting is the name of the game and most of the time it is both for the government and the party. If success by fluke happens, you are all set to extract the maximum mileage. At the back end the IT Cells and the advertisements industry run in full bloom. The governmental delivery generally does not change. Special political relationships are created which can pull you through a life time. Barely half way through the term, the end seems to be close. But effort making is not his forte. Fun and frolic continues, till it nears a bit to close, six months to go. The bull has now to be caught by its horns and the same cycle is repeated.

Sanjay Sahay

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