Three Shades of Grey


Off late, my Facebook feeds have largely seen some or the other article vilifying either Arvind Kejriwal or Narendra Modi. Some of the fierce supporters on either side have been spending a huge part of the day on enlightening the other users on how disastrous it would be to vote for one person and how the other person, he/she supports, is an OBVIOUS choice. Unfortunately, in democracy, be it of any country, there are no OBVIOUS choices. There is a choice of which party is the best to govern the country in the next five years. “Best” need not be pristine or 100% right and it also need not be a unanimous choice. It cannot be – since political parties are made up of human beings and human beings by itself are never 100% right or wrong.  If we look at everyone around us, we will come across some good qualities about them and some not good. Even professionally, we evaluate people with their strength areas and, at the same time, there are areas of improvement. The degrees will vary and but there won’t be anybody with all strengths and no areas of improvement or no strengths and all areas of improvements.

Few weeks back I came across an article “Politics and its many shades of grey” by Chetan Bhagat that spoke about how the selection is always between less right and more right. Sadly, the writer ended up supporting one party after starting off with a balanced view. Sometimes people can’t gauge where to STOP. But taking the initial part of the article, which had been in my mind since long when I stopped wasting my energies on Facebook for political reasons and instead do something productive, it is important to understand how the system works.

The current social media fabric doesn’t allow colors other than black or white. If you say something in favor of somebody, you are automatically assumed to be against everyone else. One group among my friends has been rigorously campaigning against Narendra Modi – BJP’s PM Candidate – on how catastrophic it would be to vote for a mass murderer, liar of highest degree  and brazenly corrupt and communal. There is another group who is leaving no stone unturned in demonstrating on Arvind Kejriwal’s – AAP leader and strongest opposition to Narendra Modi – U-turns, selective targeting, symbolism, self-righteousness and double standards. Since December, Rahul Gandhi is out of fashion.

However, the crux of the matter is, if you want to support someone, you can do that. If you want to bash the same person, you won’t be short of material there as well. It depends on the choice you make, if you have decided to be in a 100% white zone and put everything else as 100% black. But there are a number of people who might not want to join either Allies or Axis. They are detached from “individual” politics. They might not look at things in monochrome. They see what is the most necessary for the country at a given point of time and choose one at that given time and move on for a better option later. The views will differ among individuals and there will always be requirement for acceptance of differences.

To put a bottom line, India’s foundation is not vulnerable that one person or one party can destroy it. This nation has faced thousands of attacks ever since human race came to existence. India has stood the most ferocious test of time and will continue to do so. This nation has also made mistakes and has learnt from it. But more often than not, it has taken the best decisions in the human history.

Few days back, I came across an anecdote that tried to explain the situation in the current Indian polity and the dilemma of our selection.

Let’s say you have a car and you hire a driver.

The driver is new but with decent driving skills. However, when the car is not in use, he used it for his personal purposes and also for carrying passengers to earn some extra bucks. He was also not good in maintaining the car properly. You come to know about this and you fire him.

You hire another driver. This second driver has excellent driving skills with a proven track record. He also maintains the car well. However, like the first driver, he also uses the car for his personal purposes and carrying passengers to earn some extra bucks. You again come to know about this and you fire him as well.

You hire a third driver. This third driver is very honest and hardworking. He never uses the car for any other purpose but for yours. However, he is a novice with poor driving skills and often bangs your car while driving. He also doesn’t know much about car maintenance, so often there are breakdowns because of which the car is not available.

You don’t know how to drive a car and there are only these three drivers available in the market. What will you do?




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