POSTED BY Maheshwer Peri ON Apr 07, 2014 AT 22:29 IST ,  Edited At: Apr 07, 2014 22:29 IST  IN 

"And what sort of lives do these people, who pose as being moral, lead themselves? My dear fellow, you forget that we are in the native land of the hypocrite."

—Oscar Wilde

The Economist has taken sides and made a recommendation. It looks as if the world is worried about the choices India is making. I am sure a lot many will question the weekly, criticize it and the die-hard fans will want to hang the people responsible for the latest editorial. It is a different matter that they would have quoted it extensively if the recommendation were to have been the opposite. The Time cover on Dr Manmohan Singh was much used by the same lot that is criticizing the weekly now. But I wouldn't event attempt a debate with the bhakts. My problem with the Economist's assessment comes from its hypothesis.

It has assessed our leaders but ignored us: We, the people.

The Economist may not know, but we are a nation of hypocrites. We are vocal about change, but vote for status quo. We are an entitlement driven country at each level—from an unemployed worker to the owner of a billion dollar company. At each level, we vote to have our entitlements increased, at the cost of others. We may not need them but will still demand for them. None of us gives up any thing, even if it is a waste of resources.

When we vote, we don't necessarily go for the best candidate that would be fair, give us justice, improve our living conditions, provide us security and a transparent administration. In fact, transparency will expose most of us. We vote because we want a person from our caste, our religion. Or a known person directly or indirectly.

We want our influence directly or indirectly, at every place where fairplay would go against us. We want to retain the power to get things done and undone to bully people around us. Fairness and justice are decided based on what we personally gained or lost. We don't mind injustice to others as long as we gain in the bargain. We want every one around us to contribute to our personal well being. We want others to be taxed and our taxes to be reduced; we hate poor getting subsidies even for survival out of our taxes. We hope to become a powerful nation by spending on arms and ammunition, flexing our muscle with weak neighbours. It does not matter that thousands continue to die of starvation and many farmers commit suicide. We are more about chest-beating than about a big heart.

Corruption is not an issue with us. Our leaders are known to have amassed billions and continue to win elections. The more corrupt the leader, the greater the chances of victory. The bigger don wins over the smaller don. The bigger criminal wins against the smaller one. The bigger actor wins against the smaller actor. The big parties also distribute tickets on the basis of these qualifications. We vote on the size of the personality, not his character. We believe more in criminals than in police; in khaps than the judiciary; in Ponzi schemes rather than banks; in confidentiality than transparency; in favours rather than fairness.

We vote on our insecurities. It is Hindus vs. Muslims or Jats vs. Muslims or Forward vs. Backward castes. Like a million gods, we have a million insecurities. Our insecurities have been deeply etched and ingrained in us by our leaders. In fact, our leaders fan our insecurities and we happily latch onto them. We simply cannot go against the decision of our leaders, our clergy, our priests and mullahs.

We vote on an immediate gratification or a promise. We vote for Rs.100, a bottle of Arrack, a tax break, a concession, an assurance, a promise. We know they will never be fulfilled, but live in hope. It doesn't bother us that we suffer through out the five years—in fact,  for life—in the bargain.

In the last 65 years, we never voted with our conscience or our heart. We never voted for our next generation, not even for five years. We never go by our convictions, our beliefs. We are scared of 'wasting' our vote. We pick a winnable candidate and a party likely to come to power. The honest and silent citizen doesn't have a chance in hell to get our vote. The decibel levels in an election decide our vote. And we don't mind trying the same thing for the next 100 years. We are risk averse. Every five years, we prove our potency by changing the government. It is a different matter that our vote makes us impotent for the next five years. We are in a rut, even know how to come out of it, but prefer the stink. We can not live without the rut, the stink, the violence, the violation. We want a government of molesters and we vote them in.

We vote to get these leaders. We have done that repeatedly, in many elections. We like the status quo. We don't like change. We are like this only! We are in a hole by choice. Don't worry about us. We will get a leader we deserve.

POSTED BY Maheshwer Peri ON Apr 07, 2014 AT 22:29 IST ,  Edited At: Apr 07, 2014 22:29 IST  IN 
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Daily Mail
Apr 12, 2014
04:06 AM

 Modi will be the PM by getting the votes of the Indians. I do not see why Anwar has a problem as he is a Pakistani. Indians do not allow their army to rule the country unlike the Pakistanis.

london, United Kingdom
Apr 10, 2014
01:36 PM

"Every five years, we prove our potency by changing the government."

Their POTENCY was what Delhites thought was proved, until AAP showed it was their IDIOCY.

Bangalore, India
Apr 09, 2014
11:08 PM

@ Ram Lala - The Jihadists and the Leftists "have the same goal: overthrowing the current system of goverment and replacing it with their own dystopia."

Brilliantly stated.

Visakhapatnam, India
Apr 09, 2014
11:02 PM

@22: If you want to understand the modus operandi of the left, read the Guardian article that the CAIR pracharak linked to. Here's how the author describes what happened at Godhra:

"On 27 February that year, a train coach carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire in Godhra station in Gujarat. Fifty-eight people died."

The train just "caught fire!"

No mention of the Muslim mob, estimated to be between 700-2000 strong that stopped the train, "threw fireballs into the locked compartment" even according to Bibi Saroja, pelted stones to prevent people from escaping the compartment, beat people who managed to escape (at least one passenger is known to have escaped being beaten to death only because he screamed that he was a jawaan), and finally stopped fire-engines from saving the passengers being roasted alive.

No mention of the fact that every single person burnt alive at Godhra was Hindu and not one Muslim was killed there.

No mention of the fact that 31 people, all Muslims, have been tried, found guilty and sentenced to jail, including Haji Bilal, a Congress operative.

"Within hours and without a shred of evidence, Modi declared that the Pakistani secret services had been to blame; he then had the charred bodies paraded in the main city of Ahmedabad; and let his own party support a state-wide strike for three days."

If Israelis bomb the Gaza strip and some Palestians are killed, it is apparently OK for them to "parade" the bodies of dead Palestinians - these same Guardianists will cover the event lovingly and report on how tragic these deaths are and how this exposes Israeli racism etc.

But when non-Muslims are murdered in broad daylight by a Muslim lynchmob, all of us apparently have an obligation to quickly cover up the incident!

The leftwing and the jihadists are bedfellows - they use each other because they have the same goal: overthrowing the current system of goverment and replacing it with their own dystopia.

Ram Lala
Kavutaram, India
Apr 09, 2014
03:40 PM

Don't be taken in by punditry on Indian elections. Pundits are nearly always wrong in their predictions. They predicted the BJP would win the last two elections and it proved not so. Beware especially of opinion polls in India. The pollsters are lazy people who - one can't blame them - sit in a few big cities and are reluctant to tramp about in the countryside and the festering slums in the blazing sun to find out what the lower class Indian really thinks. Finding that out is very hard work and it is much easier to do a quick phone poll.

I repeat to all those running over with expectation that Modi will sweep the polls: DO NOT COUNT ON IT. The middle class which is most in favour of him as a rule do not even vote as they do not want to stand in line in the hot blazing sun. It is the slum dweller and the peasant who votes in India.

So I will hazard a prediction myself. Modi will do much worse than is expected by the pundits. The Congress will do considerably better though they will lose some seats. The AAP will do much better than people expect. Result: and AAP -Congress led coalition government.

Keep the champagne cold, Modi wallahs. You are in for another big disappointment. Prepare for Kejriwal as PM with Rahul as deputy.

Kishore Kant
Delhi, India
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