Travellers and Magicians

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Why Lok Paritran Should and Will Fail

Meet the new generation Don Quixotes - a motley handful of IIT alumni and prodigal sons returning from America, who have got ideas into their heads from watching Mani Ratnam's 'Yuva'. Before I launch into a philippic against their subtler shortcomings, a note about their outrageous choice of name is in order.

Their website claims "(Trana) means the act of relieving a conscious entity from the state of distress or pain. However, this relief may not be of permanent nature. (Paritrana) is the complete relief implying the end of the very cause of distress". Their perception of reality is clearly betrayed - India is in tatters; but for these crusaders, the country would go to the dogs any moment. Theirs is no modest mission to work for the country; these self proclaimed messiahs have descended from heaven for nothing less than the salvation of our depraved destitute country. Indeed, their entire website is but cartloads of megalomania unabashedly woven into a rambling jabberwocky.

To be honest, I visited their website with an open mind to see what they had to offer. I happened to choose the 'Policy' page(which is just as much hogwash as other pages are, as I later found out). The page, as most others on the website, is authored by one Chandrashekhar, their PRO. His illustrious namesake, our ex-PM, is a man of great ideas and few words. This PRO stands in direct contrast as he waxes into a sickening soliloquy. He rants and raves for pages and pages in a criminal style reminescent of verbose management bibles. You are left dazed, but only to soon understand that his vociferous lecture conveys zilch..not one original quantifiable point! Their PRO starkly epitomises what he laboriously loathes - 'pseudo-intellectualism and pointless debates'.

In all his expositions, there is not one new spark. Leave alone new perceptions, there is not one concrete well thought out idea. Lok Paritran claims to work only at the 'highest levels of abstraction' and ends up losing itself in a maze of meaningless jargon. The points they put forward are too general to even mean anything. They promise what every political party has claimed to offer- corruption free govt, strong and self-sufficient India, economy which is neither fully open nor fully closed and the like. As anybody can see, these are in no way original or tangible - these are the bare minimum that any political outfit must (at least on paper) provide. Why should we trust these blokes to be different? On what basis do they claim to be the immaculate conception of Indian polity? Atleast other parties subscribe to some concrete principles or priorities. If a party went against its stated goals/promises, you could put them in the dock. But these enlightened Tughlaqs could get away with anything, simply because their 'ideology' and 'policy' are too watered down to make any sense.

Apparently, they don't believe in making short term election promises. Apart from loads of tripe, there is nothing long term on offer either. As for their vague grandiose visions, there is not a word about how they plan to go about achieving them. The whole scheme is more of a jejune fantasy, clothed in bizzare terminology. Someone defined philosophy as 'the misuse of terminology invented specifically for that purpose', a definition that fits Lok Paritran like a glove.

To state it briefly, they lack the sine qua non of a serious political party - an economic/political/social theory on which to base their decisions. A political party without specific objectives and clear notions as to their implementation, is an outright farce.

My other grievance is that these are rank novices when it comes to public life, who have jumped into the election scene out of the blue. We have scores of eminent social activists, political stalwarts, journalists, philanthropists and visionaries who are struggling to make a difference. These chaps have not so much as filed a public interest litigation, and they demand that people trust them. Where is their certificate of credibility or proof of intent, so to speak? Does their merely being IIT graduates put them in a superhuman incorruptible league? Why, we have ministers from more reputed institutions including Harvard and Berkeley in the union cabinet today. And they are doing a much better job than these tyros could even dream of doing. We don't need a bunch of exalted IITians to bear the cross for the rest of us!

The way to revitalizing the country is from below and not from above. Jaiprakash Narayan's 'Sampoorna Kranti Andolan' is a case in point. Any political movement should start at the grassroot level and win the trust of the masses. At the same time, we should keep in mind that JP's noble movement threw up the current crop of politicians in Bihar, who now personify the antithesis of their initial ideals. When such an immense mass movement has metamorphosed thus, how are we to trust that 'Lok Paritran' will not turn into another scheming corrupt coterie? The point is, 'Lok Paritran' has to proactively work to gain the trust of our masses. To even survive in our political climate, Lok Paritran has to learn a basic lesson about democracy-that people choose leaders who they think are responsible and effective. Mountebanks from atop 'heights of abstraction', delivering soporific sermons to drive home their non-existent ideology, will be treated with derision, if noticed at all.

Quite a few of India's educated youth seem to have taken a fancy to this fledgling party. Online fora are abuzz with "the whiff of fresh air", "the IITians who are actually making an attempt" and other such misinformed epithets. I can only humbly request these 'Paritran'ophiles to try to visit, to quickly read a few pages therein and to attempt a mental summary of the contents. It would be beneficial to gently remind oneself that IITians are not inerrant gods before attempting this exercise.


At 8:15 AM , Blogger prasanna venkatesh.b said...

True,they may(will) fail but I think they deserve a chance just for their sheer guts.This I say because their winning or losing will make no diffrenc eto the political setup but it will be interesting to know what they will do when they get elected.Also all parties with well laid out philosophies dont adhere to any when it comes to real life and hence i dont beleive lack of philosophy/clear ideals must invite scathing criticism.Its rather lack of action that Iam bothered about.anyway a nice post :)

At 8:16 AM , Blogger prasanna venkatesh.b said...

sorry about the typos :)

At 1:35 AM , Blogger Kiran said...

I'm sorry but i beg to differ here..

I agree about them being novices and all, but atleast they are doing something for the country. This will pave the way for more of such ideas.

I happen to be a software engineer. My contribution to my country as such is next to zilch. I should bow my head in shame in front of these ppl who have given up lucrative careers for such a cause.

You may be right.. they may fail and they should if they do not stick to the cause. On the other hand, they really may be having a genuine intention here of helping the country.

Only time will tell about the path and fate of Lok Paritran, but u MUST take a leaf out of their book. Till then, people like me and you will just sit around and blame the system and post blogs sitting in our AC offices [atleast thats true in my case]. Till then it'l be only huge blogs and no action on our side.

At 12:07 AM , Blogger ganesh said...

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At 12:11 AM , Blogger ganesh said...

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At 6:41 AM , Blogger chella said...

Lok paritrana is an another hindu fanatic outfit with a hidden agenda and not suitable for TN. Read the second posting in the page Click Here and decide! They are exposed in TN

At 5:58 PM , Blogger Vinod said...

I seriously LOL on your comments :) not on Lok Paritrana - you know what if they resemble Yuva (Hindi) - you are Ompuri(the politician) who suffers. :)

Seriously man - you need to think before you ink Oh god give them some brains.

At 9:13 PM , Blogger Surya said...

Great article.

Vinod is a IITian


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