I just got back from a brilliant talk by Sudhir Kakar, Zareer Masani and Fatima Bhutto. What really got my attention was Fatima Bhutto’s candid confession “Politics didn’t tear my family. Power did. Power is more destructive than politics.”
In recent times, with the ongoing circus Indian politics have become…politics is referred to as a cesspool. Fatima’s words led me to rethink this belief. Is it POLITICS which is the cesspool, or the POWER which people in politics crave which is the cause of our downfall. Most youngsters most likely enter politics with the idealistic view of “changing the world”, “making the world a better place” or “doing something for my country”. This ideology gets distorted as one starts experiencing success, and start realizing that the by-product of this success is probably POWER. Awareness hits, that they have the ability and power to do anything they want, and thereby get away with anything they want.
But WHO gives them this power. It is not just the simple act of being in politics which is responsible for it. It is WE THE PEOPLE who are responsible for giving it to them. We appoint them to an office, and then give them duties, responsibilities and tools which enable them to perform their duties. Slowly our so called leaders use these tools to give them power, and the people who gave them the tools, forget about making them accountable for their duties…which was the primary objective.
Power and politics is not a phenomenon reserved for politics or government alone. It is there in every sphere of our lives. In our homes people who have the most responsibility, probably wield the most power. For business men or industrialist, making money beyond a point ceases to be the driving force. It is the POWER associated with an office, which becomes the intoxicant.
As humans is it truly possible for a person to detach the power from the office? Would love to hear what you think.