Thursday, October 20, 2016

Politics and Us?

In the year 2007, I got selected for scholarship, just like hundreds of students from Bhutan. My placement, was in India - the largest democracy in world. 

I was sent into a government college then, and it was a good college. There were various students from various nations and there were Indians from every state of India. The concept for formally known as RECs and currently NITs, was that they wanted to mix Indians from all the states of India. I was told verbally, by my fellow colleagues then, that it was  Nehru's idea to mix Indians from all the states, so that these engineers would serve India better, understanding each other. It was a good concept, but then, humans would be humans, we had people divided, and I would jokingly tell them at times, 'it's a mini India in here'. Despite that segregation, it was interesting to find how they unified during few agendas. 

But that was 2007, and Bhutan was still monarchy, and we barely discussed politics back home. When it came for discussing politics, Nepalese were on top. Yes, my friends from Nepal were, not the Indians. I didn't know who their Prime Minister was then, but I would hear names like Prachanda or Madhav Nepal, I presume. Still, I am ignorant about their politicians, but these were the names, they would repeatedly talk time and again. When I would meet my other friends, we would discuss about music, movies, books, cultural differences, etc., but never did we discuss politics, and there they were, my friends from Nepal, who would discuss politics even on the corridors or while we met for tea. To be honest, it was annoying then, perhaps. I remember telling it to one of my friends then, "you are just a student, why discuss a state matter or who becomes what?" But then, that was 2007. 

The first mock election had taken place back in Bhutan, which I had missed, the actual election had taken place, which too I had missed and I had missed many things. While I came back, I stayed at my aunt's house. I found my aunt, who never went to school, and another aunt, who as well, had never gone to school, discussing politics. I don't know, how much truth lies in their talks, but why would my aunts lie to me? I was told, that in villages, the campaigning started with what animals they represented. It was a horse and a bird, and the way it went, I just found it funny. I was told that one came, asked votes for horse, and the other one asked for the bird. It got so dramatic that in the end, one would say, Vote for the horse, horse will kick the bird. No! Vote for the bird, the bird can fly when the horse tries to kick!

It has been over 8 years, that we have gotten into democracy. Today, I just see people, being bitter to each other about political ideas. People complaining and people basically talking about everything. Talking is good, but without doing anything, what difference would talking make? While repercussions of discussing ideas have its own impact, the ideas that we stir within others and ourselves with our mere talks, I wonder, how progressive we are? Have we even understood democracy fully? The intellectuals of this era, can't even tolerate jokes upon their leaders, in the name of loyalty to their leaders. And in this, I wonder, are they even intellectuals? What if a truthful accusation is made with evidences, how far will the supporters go vouching for their leaders and actually tamper the evidences and the persons who will bring these truths out? 

Perhaps, at times, I don't understand democracy. I wasn't brought up in a democratic environment. If I put democracy in little things, will I ever have output on anything? Just imagine, if at site, I give a work, or if I am given a work, democracy can only be 20%. Remaining 80% would be following the orders. Democracy has its own faults, the ones who can spend more will always go forward. If he isn't corrupt, democracy is a good idea, but humans, humans are weird. There are nations, in the name of freedom of speech and their rights, have been struggling now, it is because governments are owned by conglomerates. That's what happens when democracy goes wrong. 

And then there I was, while Nepalese friends envied our nation, longed to see how we were and how peaceful we were, how we had grown, and how they longed for their kings to be back. And there I was, when Indians didn't want to discuss politics, the people from the largest democratic nation, and they, the Indians shrugged away from any talks on politics, stating that: It's dirty Dawa, politicians always fake their promises. 

Times like this, when I remember watching Bajo from a hill top, I wonder, where are we headed to? Do we really need to be loyal in our political thoughts? Do we really need to switch sides? Do we really need to choose? I just find, common people will only understand logos, the animals, horse and bird. Nothing beyond that. The supporters will be loyal to their parties, the politicians will think about themselves, and in all this, what's there for common man? Can he even embrace any other ideas apart from democracy? Would communism or liberalism or anarchy or socialism haunt the democrats? Disrupt his or her peace of mind? For democracy allows making fun out of leaders, but the supporters won't take it as humour, and would take it personally. I see this trend all over the world, and I just fart while looking at this town, while the sun rays just are ready to evaporate the morning dews, just like agendas the previous government came up with? I miss those days, while we didn't discuss politics.   

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