The Wrong Debate: Why Do We Idolize Rather Than Admire?

The Great Indian Election Circus has ended in Karnataka. While some voted, some vetoed. Facebook is abuzz with pictures of inked fingers (thumbs, this year). People proud of having done their part in choosing a leader who will bring the country out of its misery. The winner has already been decided by popular polls and media hype. I am just glad that this drama will finally come to an end on 16th May 2014. I can finally skim through Facebook without having to look at fanboy posts about their favourites. And what fanboys they are!

India, over the last few years, has been mired in disgrace. Rape, corruption, poor economy, regionalism, communalism, intolerance etc. increased. I say increased because there are new incidents of rape everyday where the victim is blamed and the rapists walk free; incidents where black money is discovered in some part of the world belonging to someone in power; incidents where women are beaten and the attackers are from some right-wing religious cult. The list goes on.

Now these incidents form the crux of every political party’s agenda. Women’s safety, women’s empowerment, bringing back black money (reminded me of Chandler’s blue blazer black joke), and other crap that will be long forgotten are on every candidate’s to-do list. But fanboys swear by these politicos. They overemphasize the weaknesses of the opponent and hail their leader as a martyr. Their leader can do no wrong but the opponent can only be wrong.

Among these debates we have three prominent names.

  • Narendra Modi.
    • Affectionately called: NaMo.
    • Known for: Gujarat and Gujarat riots.

Hailed as the only hope for India, he carries with him a controversial legacy. Despite the allegations and accusations, Modi remains a largely popular figure among the masses due to “development in Gujarat”. Now I have never been to Gujarat so have absolutely no idea what “development” fanboys are harping about. They state various facts and figures pulled from random sources. And that is all there is to the debate.

My problem is not with Modi but with the party itself. The BJP is a very Hindu-loving party (fanboys post statements like “Proud to be born a Hindu”). They believe in the religion of things rather than the humanity of it. The inclusion of people like Pramod Muthalik (though they showed him the door afterwards) only distances me from this party and all those involved. Fans of a party that says it believes in respecting women but have no qualms in calling a woman, Sonia Gandhi (the opposition party president), an Italian bar dancer. Apparently, respect is only meant for Hindu women not anyone else. They seem to still live in the Dark Ages.

Fanboy Moment: A few weeks ago, a picture of Obama watching Modi’s speech began circulating the internet. Fanboys were jubilant. Their NaMo was on the international radar. When it turned out to be a hoax, they retracted stating it was a bid to defame NaMo by the Congress. Some became quiet. No posts for a few days. And some pretended they knew it was fake all along. They can dish it out but can’t take it.

  • Rahul Gandhi. 
    • Affectionately called: RaGa.
    • Known for: Being Sonia Gandhi’s son.

Rahul Gandhi is part of a legacy. His father, mother, grandmother, great-grandfather have all been influential politicians. Rahul Gandhi is young, handsome (yes, I said handsome) and powerful and thus appeals to a lot of youngsters. Still, RaGa comes with his share of controversy. Unlike NaMo who has a bevy of dialog and script writers RaGa cannot boast of such privileges. He fumbles in interviews and comes out confused. No one wants a confused leader to run their country. Of late, he has been in the media’s eye because of his funny statements rather than strengths (of which I am unaware). Plus, dependency on mummy dearest isn’t helping either.

Fanboy moment: Current PM Manmohan Singh said “Rahul Gandhi has outstanding credentials (to be prime minister).” Err…Ok.

  • Arvind Kejriwal.
    • Affectionately called: Arvind Kejriwal.
    • Known for: Forming Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and CM of Delhi for 49 days.

Kejriwal is the new player in the field. He is fresh blood. There is no yardstick to measure him with his predecessors. His party represents the common man. He is the common man. While his entrance has been a breath of fresh air in the current political sewage, he is yet to prove himself. His impulsive resignation after 49 days shows that he needs to think before he acts. I admire his guts though. No political leader will give up power that easily or voluntarily. He has inducted fear into the veteran Congress and BJP. He has become a force to reckon with.

Looks like I am being biased, don’t I? Well, think of this as a mini fangirl moment. But, as much as I admire Kejriwal I believe that there are no positive results to show. His hurried resignation has not given people enough time to analyse his style of working.

Fanboy moment: Countering every (and I mean every) post by NaMo fanboys.

There is a universal fanboy moment that all fanboys agree on which is ‘Media is paid to do what the opposition wants“. Tags like #PaidMedia find their way into every conversation, every debate, and every sentence uttered. If News Channel ‘A’ talks good about Kejriwal it is called #PaidMedia by NaMo fans. If the same News Channel ‘A’ talks good about Modi it is called #PaidMedia by AAP fans. Good news, if reported, is publicity. Good news, if not reported is #PaidMedia.

The political debate is a mere finger-pointing session by these people. They would rather focus on what the opposition did not do than assert what their leadership will do. It has become a popularity contest. And the winner will not be a good administrator or statesman, he’ll be the one with the biggest fan club. While I am no expert on politics, I know one thing. Based on all the sledging in this election I have lost the little (minuscule, absolutely bosonic) respect I had for the people competing to run this country.

P.S: If I go to jail for having offended either NaMo or RaGa (yes, people go to jail for expressing political sentiments) please tell my manager I am on sick (of political clout) leave.


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