Apoorva Joshi

PhD student - Information and Media; Environmental Science and Policy @Michigan State University

Independent journalist -

Environment, Science, International

Chasing Power

I am essentially as far from politics as possible to imagine. However, unfortunately for me, my country holds a very deeply respected position in my mind. And because politics is an integral part of the functioning of my country, it becomes necessary to have an opinion. Thankfully, I do have my opinion.

Just last night, while watching the news with my father, I saw Laalu Prasad Yadav say to NDTV's news reader, that this is a permanent alliance, and we are not after power or position. We just want to benefit India. This struck a chord somewhere in my head. Have you ever heard any politician say that he/she is not after power and position?

I have. So many times! How can politicians not be after power and position!? Then what could they possibly want from being in politics?? It's very shocking. And no, I'm not being sarcastic. I mean it. Just that, it's a case of gross misunderstanding.

According to me, every politician should be after power and position. In the reverse order. With position, comes power, and with that, the ability to CHANGE things. What politicians see as "power" is nothing but bullying. All they do is MIS-use their "power". I was just thinking, if I ever had to be a politician, I would have fought like crazy, campaigned like mad, JUST to get that position which would bring the power to me. The power to CHANGE things. To change the way children are made to beg and work at a tender age when they should be studying. The way people take the judicial system for granted, and how they presume that they can get away scott free after breaking the law. The way even Government officials take the law lightly. The way in which honest workers are neglected and pushed to suicidal acts. My idea is, when you have the power, instead of just sitting on a leather sofa that has probably been made from the hide of some poor animal, the person should use the time for which he has the power. This POWER I talk of, is something like a magical gift. It's a gift that's given to a "selected" bunch of people, whom we call, the 'ELECTED' bunch of people.

Those few who use this gift for the betterment of their folks, by which I mean, their fellow humans, they're the ones who are worth the test of time. They are the ones who can be entrusted with the gift of power.
I really would fight. For that power. To take it from those who have only ignored its real capabilities. To snatch it away from those who underestimate the consequences of misusing it. I think I would make an unfit politician. For there is only one cause I would passionately fight for. Wildlife and the Environment. To be a political leader, you must be passionate about all causes that need to be attended to , and fight and struggle endlessly, with dedication, and truthfulness. I would be passionate about just that one cause. Which would be unfair to the position, and that power.

That's probably why I chose a line that keeps me directly involved with JUST Wildlife and Environment. I know I have the brains, I know I have the zeal that if I even enter another field, I will do well. But unfortunately, not the passion. I would love to see my country progress. And frankly, up until its people have not become non-corrupt, self-less, thinkers, progress seems a light year away. I dont know how long a light year is. I just know it's very long! You cannot have progress in a country where the people, and their elected leaders, are all selfish, money hungry morons. If that was what was needed to be a good human being, George Bush would really have been a great person. :)

Unfortunately, for a lot of folks, you need much more to be a responsible progressive Indian. The people make a country. The people ELECT their represntatives. But why do we forget, that they are not God-sent miracles on Earth? They are JUST that. Representatives. They are humans. They need not be treated like VIPs. They are NOT! It's ridiculous when stretches of roads are blocked, all because one kickass politician is passing by. So? A lot of other COMMON people are also passing by. Do you block roads for them? No you dont. And yes, all politicians who think they're big shots because they are so capable, should really look down the ladder, and see the people who got them there. The people who were tricked into putting their faith in him. And were mercilessly let down. Happens every year. Every day. But that doesnt mean it SHOULD!

It's really sad, that the common man has forgotten that without him, these politicians are NOTHING. The COMMON people of India are the people who GIVE the politicians their power and position! If they didnt elect, if they didnt vote, those big shots would become big shots. Vote.. that's one massive issue. Which I will not be addressing right now. It's just that my mind's doing double takes and working over time to understand WHY a politician would even say that its not power he wants!

If I were a politician, I would say, I WANT POWER. and that is what I will fight for. Because, every day we see examples, of how people without power can do nothing, make no difference. Every day I am told, you dont have the authority to do this and for formality sake, "madam" is added in the end, to dismiss me and my issue. So, sorry folks! I want my power. I want the "authority" to change what people before me, did not, could not, and would not do.
Strange really.. how people fall for things that are wrapped in gift wrapping paper, all shiny and glittery. But they dont once think, that what's inside, could poison them. We can't play the blame game anymore. Because like Rahul Gandhi said (something I really liked.. which STILL means Im very far from politics, because I know nothing of it and I dont support the Congress.. Relax), "I want to open the doors of politics to the youth, to the younger people who can make a difference."

Now that's smart! You really think a chap who's 84, or 78, or 69, can make a difference?? Old people, their ideologies, their ways of dealing with issues, are about a CENTURY old! Get real! We need a younger lot of political leaders. Look at Barack Obama! You cant always curse America. Sometimes, you need to give America credit for the good things it does. Their President Obama, is just an example. There are a lot of other young leaders around the world, but because I dont read, or know about world or Indian politics, I wouldnt know them! All I know is, we need change. And fast. Because I really am tired of waking up to read SMSs exclaiming about bomb blasts somewhere. We need change because terrorists have the audacity to barge into our homes and shoot us down. We need change because climate change is a MASSIVE issue and our political leaders far from KNOW of it. We need change because the illegal wildlife trade has India as a major contributor. We need change because our backbone, our farmers, are killing themselves every day due to frustration. Point is? We need? CHANGE!

Powered by Squarespace. Background image by Apoorva Joshi