There is ‘feel good’ atmosphere all around. Such ‘seasonal’ niceties, however, are not amusing the common man anymore. A freshly minted journalist, Sudha, approached Mr Gupta, the common man with a direct question - Who would you vote for Mr Gupta? Mr Gupta was excited and at the same time a little surprised. Mr Gupta responds thus.
Sudha, I doubt, if there can be an ‘ideal’ party or an ‘ideal’ candidate. But I hope that the first thing politicians should be doing is to restore faith of the people of this country in the nobility of politics and public service. Am I unreasonable if I expect from our political leaders some amount of sincerity and commitments in their conduct? Am I unreasonable if I expect politicians to be somewhat educated? A better educated politician, perhaps, understands the needs of an open system. Politics lately has become more ‘hate’ than anything else. This must change. One-upmanship, over-optimism need restrain. The political class needs to recognize and address the issue of ‘too much politics’.
Mr Gupta, don’t you think we should have been more vigilant while electing our representatives? Who is responsible if we elect a wrong person? As it is, the best have kept them away from the ‘public’ domain. Don’t you think many more upright individuals should come to the forefront of public affairs? Mr Gupta, what quality you look for in a politician?
Sudha, I think it is his capability to handle social responsibilities. I expect a politicians to be a mass leader; a mass leader can handle the complexities of large groups.
Mr Gupta is there a way to find out if a person has capabilities to manage large groups?
Sudha, Robin Dunbar put forward an interesting observation: larger the neocortex larger the average size of the group they live with. As you know, neocortex is specific part of the brain which deals with complex thoughts and reasoning. Dunbar said that human brain became larger in order to handle the complexities of the social groups. It means that larger the neocortex a person has greater will be her/his capacity to handle large social groups.
Mr Gupta, are we not expecting too much from politicians?
Sudha, persons with large neocortex are available. Only we have to bring them to the fold of public life.
Mr Gupta, how do you view some of the current political parties?
Sudha, as if my opinion matters, still, I think some parties must regain the vibrancy and vitality of the distant past. And at the same time they should know that old is not always gold. I hope that the new generation leadership can rescue the party from the rut it is into.
Fair enough Mr Gupta.
Sudha, focus of some parties is on country’s rich culture and heritage. Its base is strong. But a strong base is relevant only if it can bring social change. The party has to understand that “I am motivated by my faith, but I’ve got to persuade the public on the basis of the common good.” Then there are parties who spend most of their time to make people aware of their rights but conveniently forget when the time comes to understand the responsibilities attached with the rights. These parties have to understand that it is possible to see the wide world even without losing focus on the narrow world.
Sudha, one of my friends gave a nice description of some parties. According to him, some parties are like eggs; egg has a soft core covered by hard but fragile cover. You put the egg in hot water the soft core becomes hard. It doesn’t leave much flavour in the water. Some parties are like carrots. They are hard but as soon as you put them in hot water they become soft quite easily. They have not remained in hot water long enough and so they have some hard core remaining. They also do not lend any flavour to the water. Some parties are like ‘neem’. Neem leaves are known for bitter flavour. These parties overpower others with their bitterness. My friend’s final words were: “I am still waiting for coffee beans to come along, which would enrich our country with their flavour and aroma”.
Thank you Mr Gupta for the nice description and for your time.