Marketing ‘change’

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It has always been like this. Each time elections are round the corner, people and politicians review their loyalties and switch-over to groups wherein they see better political fortunes for themselves. There is nothing moral or immoral in it, it is just the politics of convenience. Similarly, for the political parties too, notwithstanding the moral high-grounds they claim, their gates are always open for the people who they see as coming in with some political capital. They do not apply moral yardsticks to gauge the qualifications of any new entrant. All, including even the thugs and thieves, are welcome as long as they promise some political fortune to the party. Morality which is talked about a great deal is often discounted in election-time political calculations.

This is why even those people who have nothing or very little to show in their previous avatars as government employees, or even a lot of baggage of moral and material corruption, are welcomed into different political groups with much fanfare. Though common people have lots of doubts about their efficiency, yet upon joining various political parties, the latter is seen singing praises for them as if they are people from certain other planet who are gifted with the ability to steer this place and its people out of all troubles. Another interesting thing worth noting in this weird party behavior is that as long as someone is affiliated with it, he/she is a great person with tons of morality quotient so much so that the person could easily pass off as a saint. But once he/she chooses to desert one party to join the other, it takes no time for the saint to become a sinner, and choicest invectives follow from the mouth who until recently wouldn’t tire showering praises.

Indeed if popular mood is taken as indicator, people are happy that such a thing is happening. Anybody with even cursory understanding of the politics and political parties here would know that this is how it has always been and will always be with our morality-professing-but-not-practicing politicians and political parties. “Ah, these people are nuts, they think they can fool us like this! Not anymore… !”

A man once converted to Catholicism and decided to emulate as far as possible the life of a saint — St. Francis of Assisi. Filled with the zeal of a convert, he withdrew his life s savings from the bank and took this money out in $5 notes (bills). Armed with his bundle of $5 notes, he went down to the poorest section of New York City, and every time a needy looking man or woman passed by him he would step up and say,  Please take this . According to a New York Times report, this gentleman attempting to live a Christian life and emulate St. Francis Assisi could do so for only 40 minutes before being arrested by a Christian police officer, driven to Christian hospital by a Christian ambulance doctor, and pronounced non compos mentis  by a Christian psychiatrist.

A person who was only trying to be a good and kind human-being, being described as  not of sound mind and thrust inside a psychiatric hospital, serves a very important lesson in politics and communication — that even kindness is beyond the experience of a kindness-professing-but-not-practicing population.

This is something that our politicians and political parties need to understand. They must have no doubts about people’s ability to see through their trickery. So instead of talking about moon and stars, it would really be worthwhile if they compose their political messages into the specifics ordinary people could understand and relate with. So please don’t tell people what you cannot do, or do not want to do when elected to power. Instead tell them what all you are capable of doing for them without disturbing the apple carts elsewhere. Such assertions may not sound cool and sexy, but they are ok as long as they do not intend to cheat on the gullible. Instead of packaging your political messages in attractive moral wrappers, it is better to stick to the political realism, and talk about what is possible. Do not promise ‘change’ when you know you are not going to bring about any!

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