Political season of love

Political season of love

S Madhusudhana Rao: Political Season of Love. Love is in the air is the blurb of a full-page advertisement in a newspaper on the eve of Valentine’s...

Love is in the air is the blurb of a full-page advertisement in a newspaper on the eve of Valentine’s Day on February 14. It’s the Season of Love, says another in endearing words to charm the young and the old alike into buying the advertised product to warm the hearts of dear ones. Though the Valentine’s Day is Western in word and deed, we have adopted it unabashedly since our spirit of universality transcends geographical boundaries, cultural barriers and, of course, our deep love for anything that is Western.

In a way, it is good since celebration of love is positive and showing affection to each other – even in the context of homogeneous gender preference – by way of exchanging gifts, presenting chocolates and red roses, dining and wining together, etc., are all good vibes which generate bonhomie and strengthen bonds of friendship and relationship.

That is positive side of otherwise an ‘alien’ concept of bonding together once a year in a desi style by holding hands or sitting together closely behind a bush or on a park bench without even caressing each other for the fear of being caught and harassed by cops with roving eyes or self-proclaimed moral brigades. The irony of it all is neither side knows what V Day is and why the two sides are playing cat and mouse game in public!

The only reason being given by unofficial moral police and their counterparts in official uniform is such open display of emotions by opposite sex is injurious to the health of society and since such behavior is not part of Hindu culture, tradition and ethos, it should be curbed, well, at any cost. Whether one buys that argument or not or believes in closeting all those related to heart and mind before leaving the house, the fact remains that the young are denied even simple pleasures in the name of upholding moral values.

Strangely, they are remembered and resurrected only on V Day. If the society is cleansed on that day, suffice it would be for the remaining days in the year. Cupid goes into hiding after spreading the message of love for a day that sends pseudo guardians of moral values into a tizzy. A day later their alacrity vanishes with as much quickness as their hypocrisy returns.

We are in the same season in which a whiff of political love for voters is all pervasive. Half and full page advertisements in print media and carefully selected footages on the TV about the country’s progress and development in all key areas in a decade send soft signals to readers and viewers that the great decade of growth would not have been possible without the central figures featured in the advt. Don’t forget the fact that how much more they could do if they are voted back to power.

It is good to market self, lest the person would be forgotten. But is it not an elected government’s duty to work for the nation and move it forward? Is it doing any favour to the people by projecting itself as the doer? Whatever it does is management of resources, from manpower to minerals, and maintaining harmonious relations with neighbouring countries and the outside world for the nation’s growth and people’s prosperity.

Not an easy task, given the country’s complex problems, diverse views, divisions from birth to death and disparate political parties with different agendas on how to run this country. Since they can’t see eye to eye with each other and agree on goals set for the country’s push forward, they have to fight for space on political terrain with every available means whenever they get an opportunity.

The time has come for everybody to prove his/her mettle before lakhs of nondescript, illiterate, voiceless voters that they can fulfill their wishes and rise up to the expectations of hoi polloi. The occasion comes once in five years for those who pledge to work for the people, fulfill their dreams, share their sorrows, wipe their tears, remove their poverty and make their lives worth living.

Promises would be made for the day that need not be visited for five years. But the day is important since love for the voter flows in copious amounts, notwithstanding the kind of surprise that springs among voters who might be seeing the face for the first time. The affection and the concern, however fleeting they may be, will sound genial that may turn out hollow finally. Like we mark V Day every year despite objections from some quarters, we can celebrate once-in-a-five-year ritual as a triumph of democracy provided the fiendish forces are kept out of our sight.

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