From railway platforms to restaurants and in almost all social spaces where common man is found engaged in discussions, the first thing one gets to hear is the mocking of political class. It has become everyone’s habit to unnecessarily criticize the political class.
The school and college going generations of Indians are already apolitical largely due to this phantom dilemma of larger twist. The iron laws of politics do prevail in most places, most of time. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is true that a new political tribe surfaces in Indian democracy. The specter of ‘political class’ is haunting our everyday politics.
For about more than six decades, the political class has repeated the same promises. Poverty, unemployment and progress constituted treasured goals of Indian State and that of working direction of political class. What have we learnt with these experiments? How can we communicate with our leadership? Are we pretty satisfied with what they have done to us, to our parents and grandparents?
The class politicians of India replicate the same things without any dithering and repugnance. The vocabulary and guarantee are same and they have no mercy for what they are doing. Ultimately, it is the public that are divided and scattered across the length and breadth of political uncertainty on issues, which have made the accord possible between various political parties.
The trust space is shrinking. Trust is a vital product for all politicians. Once departed, it is hard to regain. In The Rise of Political Lying, author Peter Oborne observes that the political class seems practiced liars, persuaded in their own morality and keen adherent of a post-modern view that there is no such thing as verifiable reality, only rival narratives that hand out a higher function. With bigger stress on market fundamentalism, from soaps to cars the political class tells the people that the market should be opened.
It is this class, which is making ‘political lies’ to millions of Indians. They lie that women need reservation, corruption needs to be wiped out, poverty should be alleviated, employment should be ensured, and human rights need to be protected and so on. But on the floor of the Houses of Parliament, this rising political class seems unanimous in their opposition to all issues and prevents Parliament from enacting any legislation that is in the interests of common man.
This political clan has metamorphosed into a political tribe with their own value system, morality, prejudices, judgments, cultural symbols, civil ethos and educative values.
The triumph of this political class is not a diligence of the old ideals we had. It can be claimed that the normative pillars of society such as the Judiciary, Parliament, Civil Service, Political Party, Media and Ideology are being damaged by this mounting new political class who are more interested in staying in power by conspiring and manipulating with the media than the stiff reality of governance, bumpy streets and town squares.
Gone are the days when we marched to streets for mobilizing voters in the electoral arena. The idea of engaging government through protests at town square has become a primeval idea. Politicians knocking at every door step for votes looks as if precisely unfeasible in a world of wild schedules. The representatives gathering their constituency face to face is almost hard to achieve in a wired world. Our political class has found a safe refuge in the walled garden of social networking websites for all their ‘pitfalls’ and ‘ills’.
In the 21st century, the politics in India may not be televised and conducted at the town square or street but it is likely be tweeted, blogged, texted, posted, commented, shared, checked, scrapped, uploaded and organized on Facebook. Thanks to social media!
A number of vital problems bedevil contemporary Indian democracy. It is useful to pinpoint the term “Political Class” to make a useful analysis of the prevailing dynamics of Indian politics. To understand and configure the trajectories of the Political Class, attempts are made to give a direction to explore the paraphernalia of politicians as a “class”.
At the outset it is argued that there are some perspective criteria by which the political class can be identified. The ‘Class’ factor and the ‘Fake’ promises of Indian politicians are the fulcrum of their identity. They are a class and trained liars. The class has a track record of corrupt political life either in allegation or in public scrutiny by some agencies.
There is also a free flow of private money to public offices in the form of rising income and asset disclosure. The perceived decline of ideology in public life and between political parties from Left to right across political specter has also contributed to the ascribed status of class.
The index of mad craze for power, money and the fight for offices shows the decline in civility and decency in public life and this is most visible in TV debates and public speeches.
The dynasty or clan of the political recruits shows the rising tide of class in Indian politics and de-stabilising tendency in Indian democracy. Feudalism is a designation of medieval European world. Yet the word feudal is limply deployed to abhor today's dynastic democracy in India. They are modern political crossbreed.
The mediated nature of political debates across television and other public platform shows the unholy nexus media and political recruits cherished recently. The media have decided that politics is a dirty game, played by devious people who tell an essentially false narrative about the world and deceive the people. As a result, the media have become ravenous, hungry for conflict, scandal, splits, rows and failure.
The ascribed culture of incompetence is visible in the frequent abuses and defaming of cherished ideals of society such as the Judiciary, Parliament, Civil Service and the Ideology by the political recruits mostly at TV debates, public meetings and rallies.
The class attribute of politicians is also traced and marked with an ‘anonymous empire’; party funding. The political parties in India are funded and financed by undisclosed contributors who influence the party and their programmes.
The nexus between politicians and business tycoons has become a visible reality of Indian democracy and power seeks wealth and wealth seeks power.
The rise political class has definitely derailed the democracy and has done away with our old ideals which we cherished from the past, freedom struggle and national movement.
The benefits of political democracy are yet to reach the masses, political institutions are dominated by the elite, civil society has been politicized and the interventionist state has become an arm of the elite. The solution to these problems lies in further democratization of democracy and the political process.
Last, but not least is a credibility check of our politicians. Is our political class really eligible to talk at least few words about rape victims and gender justice since the last two decades show that none of them except few has a proven record to speak on such issues?
Class is a hefty tool of analysis in Social Science and a functional European category for social understanding. For Marx, it is the pivot of social transformation. However, a class is surfacing in Indian democracy which in some degree lacks a link with the old ideals of democracy and politics and has nothing to do with the conventional notions of class.
The class comprised of a new political tribe in India has been attributed with characteristics which the old generation can never think of. With an army of false promises to the people for almost more than six decades, the Political Class fortified a copied political kingdom.
Contributed by Biju P. R. and Gayathri O.