Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The link between our leaders' behavior and voters' preferences

Here's an interesting mail-forward from a friend of mine highlighting the day-to-day behavior of India's politicians, compared to how their counterparts in other countries behave. I then shared some insight about it, scroll to bottom to see it.

Why we are where we are and likely to remain there.... 

And even more interesting, a conversation that followed:

Me: We all know very well that there's only one party in this country that has broken this trend and even today goes around without all this stupidity.. AAP.

My Friend:
NO. Party politics needs to be kept away giving way to education; then only the Country will see the desired thorough change,

Is that really how all the other countries achieved it? Every last one of them? Did the USA and Britain and countries of Europe abandon all politics, elections etc and let a dictatorship handle things while they educated one generation? Would it be really wise to expect an idealistic "should be should be" solution with no real strategy of implementing it, and ignore the path others have followed?

As far as I know, there has been plenty of cronyism elsewhere too. At some point the electorate starting expecting better behavior and decency from their leaders and their authorities, and started voting more for those who lived up to those basic expectations. Like, for example, don't vote for a party that harbors criminals and rapists in its ranks, no matter how promising the main leader at the top looks : a very simple and basic way of drawing the line between acceptable and unacceptable.

They understood that there is a definite link between this day-to-day behavior and the actual character and overall work that the politician in question will end up doing for the country. They got the point that this basic linkage is far more reliable than the overly complicated soap-opera style speculations and calculations and isne-usne-iska-uska that we use with our typical Indian tendency to selectively over-think in political matters. They understood that a good leader is first: a decent person and second: one who keeps decent company, that these criteria aren't supposed to be overridden no matter how great the stated promises coming from the top, no matter how infinitely shrewd and wise you think that top guy is.

Today India has one of the most highly criminalized elected bodies, from Panchayat level all the way to the various State Legislative Assemblies and all the way to Central level, on this planet and in India's own history. It's not an allegation, it's a fact. Here's a tool that can help you look into this: http://www.adrindia.org/ . I see a direct link between all the pictures shared above and this one simple basic fact, and I can also recognize and empathize with the bias which makes people overlook this, coming from a desperate hope against the simple laws of reality.

PS: I'll also point out the propaganda aim I recognized in the selection of images in this collection. I've seen such collections in email forwards in past years, and this one has a slight difference: all BJP leaders have been sanitized out of it. We're supposed to infer that they don't do the exact same thing and are much better.

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