Kul Bhushan examines the political situation in India.
A weak glimmer of hope flickers on the horizon for the New Year in India. This comes after Indians have shown their approval for a new political party for the common man in Delhi. This party promises to put power back into the hands of the common people frustrated by endemic corruption and battered by rocketing inflation. Topping it all, the party plans to interact with the people on most issues that concern them.
The elected candidates include highly educated and qualified professionals as well as simple, literate folk all with a common purpose: to uproot corruption and provide transparency by consulting the voters. In their inter-action with the public and the media, this new breed of political activists turned elected representatives hardly display any ego. They keep repeating that the common man elected them with silent power and they are to serve the common man and live as a common man as they have denied themselves the perks of public office like swanky bungalows, motorcades or even gun-toting security personnel. But their new quality of egoless leadership does not look like a façade but the real thing. Osho’s greatest emphasis is on witnessing and then abandoning the ego. Unlike the hardened politicians claiming to serve the common man, this does not amount to a charade.
Modern technology, like the social media, enables direct input by the people on matters that affect them. From the state level, it can climb to the national level in the coming general elections. Among the elected members is an Osho sannyasin. Can this new wave sweep the national scene as well?
If it happens, democracy will take a big leap. Osho has never been impressed by democracy which he labels as “government by the retarded, for the retarded, of the retarded.” Democracy is certainly better than monarchy or dictatorship but modern man can do better than this type of democracy. Look around the misgoverned countries in the world today and it becomes clear that autocrats and dictators are ruling uncontrolled in the facade of democracy.
If this ray of light heralds a new dawn after the approaching general elections in spring, India will move on at a brisk pace and set a noteworthy example to the world by crowning democracy with meritocracy. Osho has always promoted meritocracy. He asks, “How come that the geniuses of the world are outside governments?” Basically, the people of merit are not the people who rule. Isn’t it high time that the best brains in every walk of life are brought in to run the country? Instead, we have ministers for science and technology or health, finance or planning, education or environment who have no clue about these specialized disciplines. Worse, the mediocre and semi-educated people govern with impunity and arrogance while lining their pockets.
The voters who elect these leaders should also be educated. Those who elect local government leaders should have completed primary education. For electing state leaders, the voters need to complete high school and for national leaders, a university degree is necessary. So educated voters will elect meritorious people. What about the wise old people who are not educated? Well, with the spread of education, this problem will be solved in the near future; but until then, a viable solution can be devised.
Osho says, “Democracy is not succeeding; it has failed. It was better than its predecessors, but now we have to find a new alternative, because democracy has failed. The future belongs to meritocracy.”
Consult the people. Let merit shine. And upgrade our governance.