Saturday, August 15, 2015

The owner effect

Why is it that different people, parties and ideologies in power behave almost the same on many issues? The communists, the right wing BJP, or parties born out of violent struggles. They start with the dream of having a revolution in India, once they gain power. Instead, power changes them.

Some of these behaviors can be attributed to the responsibility that comes with so much power. Today, the BJP and PM Modi, wields the power to influence the destiny of India. India that is complex. India that is diverse. As a ruler you have to embrace it all. You have to make sure it stands together. Else your reign will be vastly diminished. Your name will go down in history as one who wrecked the largest democracy of the planet.

No matter, who is the prime minister, these words spoken by PM Modi, on the 69th independence day of India [1], remain true: "Our unity, simplicity, fraternity, harmony are our biggest strength. This strength should never be blemished, it should never be hit. If the unity of the country gets disturbed, the dreams also get shattered, therefore, whether it is the poison of casteism, communal fanaticism, we don’t have to allow it in any form whatsoever, not allow it to take root, and then we have to cure the poison of casteism, the fanaticism of communalism with the nectar of development, distribute the flow of the nectar of development and through the flow of this nectar attempt bringing about a new awareness."

When not in power, all you care is about your voter base. You need to make sure that they stick with you. There is always a fear that you will loose your connection with the voter. There is always a need to differentiate your self from the rest. Differentiate your self, so your voters can feel that you care about their interests the most. When not in power, you can coast along every debate by shooting down ideas and not caring to come with a credible alternative. In every debate, you strive to represent  the interests of your voter base. Interests that are very likely to be at odds with the interests of someone else's voter base.

When in power, you have to care about the whole populace. All citizens matter. Progress of the nation, that you rule, matters the most. You take an oath to carry your duties without fear or favor. All debates, all actions, must reflect that concern. It is a hard thing to do. Even harder in a country as diverse as India. That is why all PMs take refuge in the Nehruvian rhetoric and philosophy of ''Unity in Diversity" fostered by a shared history & struggles of the people of India. There is no easy alternative to this philosophy, if you want to continue to rule India and see it prosper further.

When not in power, you are like a tenant in a big house. All you care about is the well being of your own room. When in power, you own the house. You need to care about each room in the house and make sure all tenants are working in harmony to keep the roof over the house intact.