Monday, March 9, 2009

On the political platform

It was certainly first of its kind experience for me. Sharing the dais with the BJP stalwart like Dr. Najma Heptulla happens only once in a life time. Well… at least I hope it is not very frequent. The meeting was a pleasure and indeed a privilege. Dr. Heptulla stands tall with her excellent educational background and strong political career. She has even authored books on AIDS and women’s issues. At 69 she has an impressive personality and yet non- threatening.
However what intimidated me was the overtly superficial and obviously sycophantic display of political ambitions at the perceived apolitical programme. The occasion was International Women’s day and the intention was to felicitate women who are contributing to the society in some way. It got off to a good start but soon was replaced by the platform to promote the party and its candidates for the forthcoming elections. What amused me was the creation of issues from a non- issues. None seemed to be talking about the real problems. Here are a few samples:
“The govt. always talks about Gandhiji in high esteem. Gandhiji was a staunch advocator of non-alcoholism, and here is the Liquor Barron Vijay Mallya bringing in his belongings back to India. What a shame! How could the govt. permit such a thing? Do we want such a government???” this is followed by a prompted response from the ‘loyal’ audience “Noooooo”!!!???!!!
“Let us show the female power. So in the forthcoming elections, vote you city candidate in full strength and during the counting let the women voters outnumber the men voters…This is real women power….will you do that?”…again the loyalty takes a kick… “Yesssss” !!!???!!!
Frankly, all my way back I was at a loss as to what to make out of the experience.
But the bigger shock came when the next morning when a leading English daily introduced me as “Sr. BJP leader”. Another series of questions was triggered, “A reporter is supposed to report that is his primary duty, then how do they manage to goof up this way every time?”
I wanted to report this some where but the media was not interested. I and many others like me have wanted to report many real issues but no one is ready to take them up, not even the media. Probably they are burdened with many self created issues and non-issues.
Yes…all systems are bogged down by the “Non Issues- Issues”. Where do we take up the real issues?

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