Country needs to rise above communal, caste and muscle power politics to serve needy people

There is an urgent need to take corrective steps to change the deplorable conditions. For that it is essential that principled leaders start working indefatigably in the interests of the country. They have to junk their personal interests, selflessly unite and work determinedly for this transformative change, writes former IAS officer V.S.Pandey


History is  witness to the fact that since time immemorial, selfish  rulers have buttressed their power by following the policy of divide and rule. It reached its  apotheosis during the British rule, when the policy of creating a wedge between Hindus and Muslims and dividing them was followed so successfully that it enabled a handful of foreigners to successfully enslave crores of us  interminably. The tragic result of this divide and rule policy was the partition of our country.  During the horrors of partition, about one million people lost their lives and more than two crore people were rendered homeless. The unbridled ambition and selfish interests of a handful of people was behind this humungous human tragedy , unparalleled in the annals of history. The tragedy that befell crores of people had its genesis in  the rapacious avarice and ruthlessness  of a  few leaders of the newly born nation. A nation which was born in the name of religion, unfortunately  got split into two   within a span of  merely 24 years. When the foundation of a building is not right, then the  collapse  of the superstructure built on that foundation is inevitable. People living in any time or age should realize that  no nation can ever thrive on a polarizing ideology. As soon as  the janta comprehends this, this divisive  agenda  will be  defeated . The  brazen attempt by the political class to grab  power by dividing the people on the basis of caste, religion, community, language and region will in all likelihood prove to  be as catastrophic  as it was during Partition. When will we awaken?

              It is we the people who have to course correct immediately. Today we are a democracy  where we are sovereign ,have equal rights and the rule of  law prevails . Promoting casteism  ,communalism, or maligning the Other so  aggressively is an assault on our civilizational ethos and  its  catastrophic effects are bound to be visible in the near  future. This insidious  politicking to divide the people has to be  ended and has to be executed by  the common people. We are sovereign and have to fearlessly vote for honest leaders.

Today, except for caste, religion, language and regionalism, there is probably no other incentive left in front of the cynical janta to vote for any party . A Turkish tale captures their plight. A  luxuriant forest  was decreasing in size rapidly. This destruction  was wrought by the axe. Still the vulnerable trees ,collectively  kept supporting and voting for that axe. They believed  that  since its handle was made of the wood of the same forest   that axe  was  a part of them .So all the trees  deemed it to be harmless. In the end the whole forest was decimated  by the wily axe. Today, this political axe is busy chopping and ravaging our country . The common people have been blindly supporting those politicians who belong to their own caste, religion or region. Such communal and casteist political leaders  have accumulated immense wealth and heft  by misusing  their power and by looting the J  anata  indiscriminately. Public interest and Development  is the mega casualty. Currently, 80 crore people have to stand in queues for a measly five kg of ration. The education system is in shambles ,the health services  are sick and awaiting  surgical strikes and our frustrated youth have spent decades waiting for employment.

          There is an urgent need  to take corrective steps  to change these deplorable conditions. For that it is essential  that principled leaders start working indefatigably  in the interests of the country . They have to junk  their personal interests, selflessly unite and work determinedly for  this transformative change .

About a hundred years ago, Mahatma Gandhi had not only challenged the might of the British Empire but also defeated them by following the path of truth. Today’s conditions are much easier as the system of peaceful change of power through  potent  franchise exists in our country. We have to work to change this  Machiavellian political system by electing  virtuous leaders. Then only will we  initiate new ethical politics purged of caste, religion black money and muscle power. We  need  politics  which is  based on truth, honesty and tolerance and is guided by  principles not subversive agendas. Gandhi’s  last wish must resonate  and  preponderate  with our politicians ,’’I do not ask you for any kingdom nor heaven or for any liberation. I only ask for one thing-to liberate the agony of the people.’’

(Vijay Shankar Pandey is former Secretary Government of India)

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