Give what they deserve

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Sigmund Freud has long back talked about people’s urge and need for looking for familiarity, and how easy it is for them to expect only the familiar outcomes even in case of entirely different situations and circumstance. Human cognitive behavior is such that it is, as if, resistant to looking beyond the relational schemas for processing of social (political) information. It has long been one of the grand ideas in psychology that people internalize their relationships with significant others, which influences their experience of subsequent relationships and their sense of self.

Unfortunately much of our politics, particularly in Kashmir, completely neglects the impact of internally represented information — the way people here process it and attach meanings to it. An assessment of people’s relational schemas, their cognitive structures representing regularities in patterns of how they have seen and understood New Delhi’s and successive State governments’ behaviour over a period of time and what they expect of them now, could be of great help to understand why there is a terrible disconnect between Delhi and Srinagar even when the former feels complacent about it; or why ordinary people (those who are not politically connected with any camps or individuals) are finding it difficult to relate with the local government and its institutions.

Both New Delhi and the local government here must understand that they have to do something to bridge this disconnect. And for this they will have to move beyond traditional speeches and stances, and instead embark on something that is in sync with the people’s needs and urges, their hopes and expectations. They have to understand that they cannot operate in isolation of the people’s life situations.

A successful political organizer will always try and fracture his or her politics with minute details of people’s life, something people can relate to and identify with. Any politician talking just rhetoric, devoid of real and identifiable vocabulary, does so at his/her peril, for he/she is then overlooking the basic nuance of politics – communication. It is said that a politician could lack anything, and yet be successful, but if communication is not there, then she/he too is just not there!

With this common sense wisdom laid down, it should not be difficult to understand why our current breed of politicians is so out of sync with the realities on the ground. Their main undoing is their inability to maintain rapport with the common people, their needs and requirements, urges and aspirations. Instead of breaking down their rhetoric in terms of something ‘their people’ understand and relate with, they tend to remain so etched up in fake and false emotionalism, that most of what they speak and do makes no, or very little sense for the common people.

When people here are, day-in and day-out, treated to same redundant political speeches that brag much and mean very little, it simply turns them off. People, it needs to be understood, are not interested in the verbal jugglery of National Conference or Congress as they picks holes in everything current dispensation does, for they know how pathetically bad these parties have been on governance front when they were in the driving seat. They are not even interested in the locus classicus of the separatist politics because they have seen it to be a saga of missed opportunities and absolute opportunism. They similarly not interested in how PDP and BJP are able to reconcile their differences so as not to rock their coalition boat beyond the degree of safety, and still less about their dramas to pander to their respective constituencies on the basis of rhetorical jingoism. What they are interested in is how the government is able to mitigate their problems and end their sufferings. They are interested in and they certainly deserve good, transparent and sensitive governance.

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