This post from Praveen gladdened me. It gladdened me because it spared me some furious keyboard thumping of my own to let off steam. I badly wanted to write about the incident but I was too worked up to be coherent. So I am plagiarizing Praveen’s angst. That must be some first! :p
Much has been written about this utterly despicable episode. But in a way I am glad it happened. Glad because when politicians speak the truth, however occasionally it gives us a valuable glimpse into their mindset and thinking. And it is chances like this that will help us better understand this species. Yes, they are a species now of different hues and ideologies. Very different from other humans and in order to understand them, one needs ‘impromptu politically incorrect outbursts’ like this from them from time to time. It showed the man for who he is. This episode and another that happened a couple of years ago in college have coalesced to form an understanding of politicians in my mind. Let me share the same with you.
First Year College and we were part of an entourage of students and lecturers that met the Education Minister at the seat of power in Bangalore. The reason we met him is immaterial here. The minister was barely educated himself and when asked probing questions by the assemblage got hot under the collar as he had no clue and started shouting. Our English irked him more. After that the no one dared open their mouth as a minister is naturally feared for his power and the nasty things he can do to you or your family. Note the irony here. The PA signaled us to leave.
As we were leaving a group of villagers came to see the minister. The change in the minister was dramatic. He got up hands folded, a respectful smile on his face. He listened to them with humility and respect and a lot of show of attention and promised them action on some agricultural problem in some halli of Karnataka. They were perfect strangers but he gave them the respect given to a family.
Now if Sandeep Unnikrishnan was from a poor family, Mr. Politician would have been at his side in a trice. In fact most politicians from Gods own Country would have been jostling for space at his funeral. However Sandeep came from an educated middle class family. It is a class that is not happening for the politician. It is a class that is of no use to him as it does not vote and hence is not a threat of dethronement.
The poor on the other hand have nothing but a begging bowl of small grievances that can be patched up with a flourish and much fan fare and speeches to make him happy enough to vote him back to power. A pipeline here and an electricity connection there and viola…poor man is happy. His leader has delivered.
But the educated middle class? They are not happy with cosmetic applications!! They want infrastructure improved. They want accountability for their money besides they know English and the minister or MLA cannot argue with them and hope to win with words or a water tap and a lamp post alone. The temerity of the people who don't matter. Appalling! And why do we not matter, because we don't vote. Simple!
Therefore Mr. Chief Ministers arrival at Sandeep’s house and valuable time wasted to visit that house was just a formality. I am sure he detested the hypocrisy. Poor man! Do you think the public outcry will affect him? It will not and he knows that. He has already granted favors big and small to people who matter. We the unvoting junta can scream from our plush air conditioned cubicles. He cares two hoots. We don’t matter. And that’s the simple truth.
Politicians serve those who serve them. We, with our educated sneer and classy contempt are nothing but a bunch of emasculated populace who make impotent noise in the media and blogs. This is why a post like this will remain what it is at the end of the day…mere text. Because I come from a class that has no power or wont exercise their power.
Mr. Politician will notice us the day we start exercising our franchise. Till then we will remain mere pesky flies in his soup.
( Just heard about his apology under pressure to resign)