Lords of misrule: We deserve the politics, and the politicians, that we have
He was a young man from what some might describe as being a ‘good family’. He was well-dressed, sported designer sunglasses and was driving an expensive car. He was obviously quite affluent and, presumably, reasonably well-educated. And he was driving on the wrong side of the road, against the flow of traffic. This is such normal practice that no one – often including policemen and traffic wardens – seems to mind or even notice it. Everyone – including myself – takes such things in their stride, as we were doing on this particular occasion. After all, what do you expect? This is not some foreign country, but India where an attitude of ‘sab chalta hai’ has been elevated to the level of a national mantra. And then something struck me. We routinely and on a daily basis bemoan the low standards of our politics and of most, if not all, our politicians, many of whom are what is known as ‘history sheeters’ and have a criminal record. We tell ourselves and each other that if it weren’t for our corrupt, law-breaking lawmakers, India would be a prosperous and progressive country. The fact that it isn’t is all the fault of our political system and those who operate within it. Water finds its own level. And, in a democracy – even a supposed democracy – political morality finds its own prevailing standards. In other words, we get the politics and the politicians that we deserve.