It is heartening to see so many young protesters out in the streets of the major cities across India , venting their heart felt anger at the treatment of women in our country and the blatant impunity with which lumpen elements stalk our streets and sit in our parliament.
BUT these protesters do not realize that their is a logical reason why the politicians are not feeling the heat and will use time to their advantage- they will play the waiting game, pay lip service to addressing the grievances of the masses, shed crocodile tears in apparent solidarity with the protesters, and bide their time.
Reasons are the following
- The politicians who sit in our parliament proclaim their legitimacy on the votes of the largely rural population. The rural population, majority of whom live on less than $ 2 per day, poor, destitute, illiterate, poor educated, are easily misled by these politicians , who appeal to caste affiliations, promises (empty) of providing for better infrastructure in their constituencies, or buying their votes outright through cash and kind inducements, with free liquor thrown in for good measure! For poor destitute people, often HOPE is their undoing, and in their simple analysis, some one from their region or caste offers a relatively better chance of perhaps delivering on his promises. The politicians exploit this line of thinking and have been for the past 65 years. With no threat of right to recall, the politicians rest easy, that once the vote is in their favor , they need not really deliver, and in fact they control the sentiments of the voting population, by controlling the rate of development in their constituencies! For a population that has no reference benchmark, even a ramshackle toilet in the community, seems to be a solution straight out of star trek! and these simple folk are glad that they even have that, even if it means that the same toilet disintegrates into a shamble after 4 months of use, only to be rebuilt again with tax payers money (yours and mine) with the politician and contractor ( and perhaps the District magistrate) taking a huge cut! Its all part of the game. SO since those of us in urban centers, who are so vehemently protesting against the abomination that is Indian penal code, need to understand that since we constitute only 30% of the voting population, OUR vote does not really matter to these smug politicians…and hence they will play the waiting game till eternity…till they tire you out. As long as their voting base in the rural heartland of the country is NOT STIRRED into action, they have nothing to fear from your protests and your actions.
- We Indians, from across the country share some common traits. These are, accepting our lot in life ( perhaps because the real burden of earning a daily livelihood is such an endeavor, that it is like a chore and extremely demanding and it derails any traction that we may have generated) and seeking solace in GOD’s will! We succumb very easily to platitudes and offer of solidarity given to us by our politicians, who we know, are not sincere ( we succumb to HOPE! that they will finally deliver). We take any promise of action by our politicians at face value and leave an initiative that we started, mid way, unfinished ( the seedy politician will take this first opportunity to dump his actions mid way and at best set up a commission, using tax payers money, waste time , fattening themselves and judicial experts for years together, ultimately achieving nothing; by that time the issue would have dies of natural causes- death by delay)
- With an estimated 50% of all politicians, in every party, with criminal records, and rape cases, it is NOT in the interest of the political parties and the politicians to actually support stringent laws against offenders- for , it will mean, delisting and jailing their owned elected representatives, which will mean that they will be in the minority. The only solution would be that they implement 33% reservation for women in public office at the very least ( I personally think it should be 50%, since 50% of the population is women). Women, who in all probability will be more sincere, definitely not rapists and criminals, may disturb the chauvinist politicians in our system, who pretend to understand the angst of women in our country, but in reality are scared to give away their turf to women, who will perform better than them. SO the male politicians, ( and their women counterparts) will DO nothing to disturb the apple cart and the movement will eventually fail ( the women politicians will do nothing , because they are not really interested in pushing the envelope for real changes, and are here as mere rubber stamps, earning their share of the “spoils” and planning for their retirement and nurturing their children to take their mantle , when and if they finally retire!!)
This may sound cynical to a whole lot of optimistic folks out there, but personally this comes straight after travelling the world and living in various geographies and getting a sense of what democracy is really all about.
These are not the words of a cynic, but of a realist who sees the way democratic principles have been twisted by a corrupt, elitist, pseudo democratic class that in effect has “ruled” our country and NOT “led” them as model citizens.