Posts Tagged ‘POLITICS’

The word “opposition” does not arouse any warm feelings in anyone I know. And yet, it is the one important requirement at every stage of life. Of course, there is great comfort in being liked, being popular and being supported all the way in whatever we do. No one would voluntarily come up and say, “Please oppose me. Please criticize me. It is good for me”. It is hard to look into the mirror held by others and clinically examine what they see in us, especially if it goes against our self image. Worse still, many a time, we ourselves are in complete denial and do not see ourselves that way at all.

In every human being, the feeling of appearing and feeling good and being accepted is very intense. People are often willing to sacrifice their intrinsic personalities to live within this bubble. Many cults are thriving exactly on this attitude of people. There is a huge psychology behind “toeing the line”. The price to pay is through externally imposed regulations which may well limit growth. The psychological benefits in such cases far outnumber the need for growth. There is anonymity in a group. Everyone seems leveled out at a similar benchmark. There is little fear of challenges and hence, failures. Everyone is polite, friendly and accepting of each other, surrendering to the body of dictates and finding comfort, “shelter” and a sense of belonging. Why would anyone want to bear the scorching heat of the sun when they can be in the shade provided by others?

But those who choose to deviate from these patterns will have to be introduced to opposition. The first opposition comes from within as an awakening call at the disturbance of the perpetual “slumber” state, Kabir, the famous Indian poet said, “Nindak Niyare rakhiye, aangan kuti chhavay. Bin sabun pani bina, nirmal karat subhaye”. To translate from Hindi, Kabir suggests that each one of us needs to keep critics around us. This will purify us without cleaning ourselves with either soap or water. How beautiful and how difficult to implement! “Frankness” is a shunned word today as much as detractors are kept away. The “healthiness” of arguments no longer exists. “It is my way or the highway” has become the norm. If we were not so myopic, we would realize that criticism itself, even if malicious, can be a cause for genuine introspection.

A strong and constructive opposition facilitates sustained development if heeded with an open mind. It is very important to take decisions only after examining all the perspectives. Take the example of the parliament. A weak opposition can be detrimental to the growth of a nation, whereas, a strong opposition can elevate a country to unimaginable heights. The pre condition is that the intentions be honorable. Maturity lies in opposing for the right cause and action, not for petty short term gains or impairing the vision and process of a bright future for an individual, family, community or a nation. In a democracy, a strong opposition acts as a system of checks and balances to prevent anarchy or a tendency towards despotism.

If we really think about it, a constructive opposition encourages a system of studying existing situations, shows the other perspectives to enable and ensure the best action under the circumstances. Personalizing criticism demonstrates a lack of maturity. In reality, opposition should trigger a need for soul searching and flexibility to incorporate corrections directed towards growth irrespective of where the suggestions come from.

The problem is that very often, personal criticism or opposition can be perceived as unpalatable because there is already an emotional charge attached to the subject. We don’t want someone else to tell us what we already know about ourselves and are not happy with.

Actually, opposition is a kind of fresh perspective. The positive side is that people actually think you are important enough to oppose. Conversely, they might oppose because they may gain some satisfaction from this. In either case, to keep an open mind helps in analyzing the new perspectives and understanding whether they apply to us, and if so, whether they help or hinder us. Intelligence is all about clear thinking and discernment.

A “no opposition” scenario can lead to inflated egos and may stunt development and growth which needs a sustained environment of challenges. Children who have excelled have done so by showing motivation and determination to stare challenges straight in the face and emerging successful. There are enough success stories of people whose life has been a huge struggle and who have achieved greatness despite severe opposition from people, circumstances and life itself, the latest being our very own Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.

To face opposition requires courage and the ability to move ahead on the strength of the courage of convictions tempered with clarity of thinking and perception of reality , a deep maturity and intentions aimed towards the larger good. I hope we all learn to encourage opposition and change our negative attitude towards it. Let us turn every opposition into a new opportunity.

Surekha Kothari


Blog: surekhakothari.wordpress.com

Speakingtree Blog: http://www.speakingtree.in/public/surekhakothari

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India is suddenly waking up to this word. Accountability in politics has become one of the most burning issues today. But accountability is or shall I say, should be an all pervasive word and in every walk of life. Not only is it at the core of free will, it is also relevant at the macro and micro levels of all existence. It defines freedom as meaningful only in the context of accountability. It is the benchmark of harmony in the hierarchy of relationships. It denotes a system of checks and balances in families and societies, and therefore, logically starting at the micro levels, the individuals. Accountability is a discipline which can sustain peace and prosperity of every unit in a country and ensure a continued and constructive growth of the nation.

Thus, we have a child accountable to parents, family members accountable to each other, individuals to society, societies to their regions, all the regions to each other, the judiciary to its conscience and the people and the government to its people. This doesn’t mean that the creativity of people will be curbed. This merely means that within the framework of what is good and applicable to all, individual growth can and will be ensured.

What is important to note is that accountability incorporates many attitudes automatically.

The first one is acceptance of all, however different they may appear to be, knowing that the soul within has the same source.

The second one is respect for all, conceding that everything and everyone in Creation has a place and is not superfluous.

The third is the knowledge that everything grows only when given space. We are therefore, accountable for the space we are required to give ourselves and others.

The fourth is the accountability of our thoughts, words and actions. All these three should be tempered with love and acceptance, and with respect.

The fifth and as important is the aspect of responsibility which goes hand in hand with commitment: responsibility towards commitment towards the well being of oneself while ensuring that of others.

Today, India is clamoring for the return of this quality of accountability because this has been previously experienced in this great country more than in any other, despite the constant attempts to bring in a state of anarchy inspired by the greed of self seeking groups who have forgotten the days of nationalistic spirit and sacrifices by proud Indian citizens. Their solidarity against so many odds was actually instrumental in giving “Bharat” its freedom. In accountability and responsibility lies freedom for one and all.


Surekha Kothari


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“Scams” has been the name of the political game in India. “Accountability” and “responsibility” are two words that do not exist in the dictionary of those in power. Promises have been a sham. The personal use of power for personal gains has been revealed again and again in scams. The shame that politicians have brought to this country is complete! The inquiry of the scams is a sham, and after a while, gets buried under the pile of new scams.

Come election and all this garbage surfaces, not with the honest intention of cleaning up the system but to malign the parties to cut them down to size and then riding to success on their bent shoulders. Many will agree that this is a deplorable situation.

Is the method evolved by parties currently indicative of the possibility that Shri Narendra Modi has, with his undeniable stature and the ability to deliver in Gujarat, shaken all those who are in the political game only for personal gain, not the welfare and prosperity of the country? It is amazing that the elections in 2014 have revealed this insecurity within all the non BJP parties in the form of mudslinging and maligning Shri Modi as their one point agenda. Are they threatened by his comparatively “clean” image, apart from Godhara?

There is a huge momentum gathering around the growing awareness that there might be a possibility that both Congress and AAP are in cohorts with each other to break the BJP vote bank to ensure that they are not voted in as a single largest party.

It is so apparent that the Congress party Manifesto is a last minute attempt at trying to reverse the trend of a complete lack of faith in this party. The first question that comes to mind is, what were they doing for ten long years when they could have brought into practice every measure their current Manifesto suddenly declares as essential and one they are committed to? Are they trying to hold on desperately to their throne which they see disappearing right before their eyes? Will people believe them this time as they innocently did, earlier? It remains to be seen.

On the other hand, the AAP, having the same one point agenda of bringing Shri Modi down, have failed to show the maturity and the political acumen it needs to govern a vast and diverse country such as India. Maligning other parties and veterans does not ensure credibility of rank newcomers to take on the complicated task of governance.

Just as surgery is required when parts of the body need to be saved, to change a system plagued by corruption and degeneration needs “surgery” in the form of the removal of the diseased parts. Shri Rajnath Singh very correctly puts things in perspective by stating that the country, the party and the individual can be successful only if placed in this order. Prima facie, this reflects his political maturity and political spirituality. There are still a few individuals who actually think of the country and are trying to fulfill the needs of the citizens of this country, many of who have been left in a state of abject poverty and chaos and without any development after being promised a better future. To do this, they need to fill in positions of authority from where they can bring in the desperately required change.

With the media magnifying the self glorification of parties and white washing some individuals as opposed to the running down of some others, I hope the people of India will not be misled and will give the mandate to those who have demonstrated that they are capable of effective governance in terms of infrastructure development, cleaning up the social fabric, provision of safety and prosperity from the grass roots, in fact, those who are devoted and dedicated to this wonderful country.

Surekha Kothari

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