What is politics? Is it five angry men hurling abuses at each other on Television? Is it a hundred men and women walking on the street with banners and shouting slogans? Is it the empty roads on the day of a strike? Is it that guy who keeps saying insensitive things at every chance he gets? Is it the invisible force that holds our city, our villages and our country together? Is it the reason countries go to war or choose to stay away from it?
I am 24 years old, and like Calvin, I never understood politics. I am not dumb though. I know that we as a nation, as a huge group of individuals, as a society, have many problems. I have very strong opinions about many of these problems. If I think hard enough, I think I may even solve a few. If I get help from my friends, we can probably solve a dozen. If they let me that is. Those five angry politicians. They are so old fashioned, those five. So angry! If I get a chance to appear on TV with them, I will probably run away. Half the time, I don’t even understand what they are fighting about!
The other day, I asked my friend why they don’t allow kissing in public in India. We talked for hours at length. We are both for it. We have our reasons. I know there are millions out there in India who think the same way. Similarly, there are million others who think the other way. Maybe if I could visit their homes and talk to them, I would understand their point of view. Maybe not. But I can’t understand why they don’t like it without talking to them, can I?
I would also like to meet those million people who are for it. They are like me. But currently, the only people I have the option of listening to are those five angry men. It sucks. The women who occasionally come to TV are relatively better. At least they shout less. I know shouting makes for a good show, but I somehow hate it.
I would like to clean my neighborhood. I would like to improve the public toilets. I would like to plant some trees. I would like to test the water supply in my apartment complex, I think it’s damaging my hair. I feel so alone. No one else talks about this. I am afraid to show up at everyone’s doorstep asking for help. I wait for that invisible entity called politics to do the work for me. But politics never comes to take my opinions. Me and politics, we both sleep peacefully. None of this ever gets done. It’s too difficult, I tell myself.
Does it have to be this way? Especially when all of us are thinking these thoughts?
The modern world needs a new politics. A politics that is young, cheerful and friendly. A politics that will connect you and me, so that together, we can have fun while we change the world.