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Re: Hope and Trust




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Hello Arindam,

You raise very interesting points. Before I respond, I would like to
quote a great statesman of this century, President John F. Kenedy of the
United States. He once said, "Ask not what the country can do for you,
but what you can do for the country!"

I have wrestled with these questions like "good people joining
politics...","mindset of the electorate..." etc. for a long time,
because, since childhood I sincerely wanted to be not an engineer or
doctor as traditionally my parents would have me dream about. I just
wanted to grow up to be a good man, and then do public service, perhaps
become a politician. I know how our society doesn't like brilliant kids
to grow up to become politicians unless they are total failures in
everything else and they have connections to be successful in the power
game. Well, my story is not important here, because people like me do
not have the basic fundamental right to participate in the political
process as my home constituency allows only people of specific "castes"
to become politicians. 

Anyway, on the subject of "Good people" and "electorate awareness". I
would like to suggest you something that I have come to conclude. I
consider myself to be one of good people, and I am sure you do too.
However, it is perfectly alright for someone else to question our such
claim and demand to know us more if we claim to become candidates for
public office(s). So should be true for anyone else too. By this
definition, it is possible that there are lot of good people already in
public life who are not appreciated enough for their personal integrity
and dedication for (mostly thankless) public life. 

I do not want to underestimate the gravity of the sheer fact that we all
know Indian political system could use lot of good people it is so
acutely short of. However, the solution has to come from inner call from
within the good people like you and I who should not demand the country
to be prepared for good people like us, or give "good people" some
opportunity. I would rather argue that without asking for some kind of
"job" or "success" guarantees, lot of good people just have to dedicate
themselves. I do not doubt our ability to succeed if we are ready to pay
a little price for the same. Lot of will fail, but that is not too big a
price to pay! 

As for as "electorate awareness" is concerned. One does not have to
worry about electorate awareness in the short term when good people set
out to do their work in their neighborhood, in their villages, cities. I
believe real leaders have the natural ability to leave their mark in
people's hearts, and winning in the first instance should not be the
aim, because it is the process that is going to last after we are all
gone.

One other thing on electoral awareness. I think it needs to start from
our basic education system. At some level, some basic things about life,
liberty,freedom, our fundamental rights and public service needs to be
taught at our schools. Our social leaders, religious leaders need to be
involved in preaching to the faithful public that as citizens of a free
society, they not only have rights, but responsibilities to ensure they
are properly represented in their governments.

More later.

Umesh



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