SHARAD JOSHI & POLITICS – Jiske hum mama hai


Sharad Joshi is a well-known name in the Indian television and film industry. A versatile talent that he was, brought him the Padma Shree award in 1990. Not only was Sharad Joshi a Hindi poet, but also a dialogue and scriptwriter for TV serials and Films. It was the satirical writings though, which made him a common name to reckon with. His way of dissidence against anything unethical was quite unique in its own way – a harsh tone with a pinch of humour. “Jiske hum mama hai”, till date stands out as one of his best satirical take on Indian politics and is very relevant in today’s political scenario.
A gentleman once desired to visit the holy city Banaras. He boarded the train and reached there. Just at the moment when he set foot on the platform, a young fellow runs up to him, touches his feet and then embraces him yelling ‘Mamaji Mamaji!’ Amused at the sudden warmth from his new found ‘Bhanja’, he asked, “Who are you?” to which the lad replied that he was ‘Munna’ and that how could his ‘Mamaji’ not recognize him. So convincing was he, that his ‘Mamaji’ not only agreed to it, but also decided upon having a tour of the city with him. From one place to another, they kept roaming enjoying the sights of the city to the fullest. ‘Mamaji’ was also happy that he had his ‘Bhanja’ for company. Finally they reached the Ganga Ghat, when the gentleman asked the lad to wait while he went for a plunge into the holy water. “Har har Gange”, said Mamaji as he took a deep plunge. He came out of the water and lo behold! ‘Bhanja’ was nowhere to be seen. His belongings too were out of sight including the clothes he was wearing. “Munna, munna”, ran Mamaji in search of his nephew hitherto. Alas! Munna was nowhere to be found.
Sharad Joshi makes an interesting observation. It is election – time and political bells will be ringing in every nook and corner of the country. Election candidates will be literally touching our feet, embracing us and envisioning the glory days of future. “Mamaji, you didn’t recognize me? I am Munna, your candidate.” We plunge into the holy water of democracy and then ….. Munna is nowhere to be seen, away with our votes. We keep searching for Munna asking every other person if he has seen Munna somewhere. Somebody asks, “Who is Munna?” to which we reply, “Wahi, Jiske hum voter hai”, “Jiske hum mama hai.”
Let us not be fooled with rosy pictures of future, but should use our judgement while casting our valuable vote. Many such ‘Munnas’ will come and entice us to vote for them, but electing such ‘Munnas’ will only keep us stranded amidst our problems for the next five years while they run away with our votes. Indian politics has come a long way from using muscle power for gaining political dividends to actual scorecard of hard work by dedicated politicians which is there for our voters to be seen. We as voters, should analyze these scorecards and then decide upon the fate of these candidates, instead of going merely by their promises. Gone are the days, when politics was a lifetime guaranteed pension – plan for the elected representatives. ‘Work hard or perish’ is the new mantra of New India, and the infusion of young blood in Indian politics has only reinforced our faith in democracy. The power that we as a common citizen have in our hands is way too big than even the VVIPs, for if used judiciously, can be turned into a lethal weapon against erring politicians. Young India now can expect a career in politics and the likes of the politicians from varied disciplines including Lawyers, Doctors, Engineers and even MBA holders that too all in their 20s and 30s age group have aided in the cause. Today, India requires an influx of more young legs in
the political bastion of old horses in order to carry it forward. The number of youngsters entering mainstream politics is on a rise for the past several years and some of them have already made a mark on the national front.
Sharad Joshi once said that we had elected not a Prime Minister, but a world leader. What he meant was that the role of a Prime Minister is diverse, wherein the issues and challenges both at home and abroad needs to be looked into. Quite satirically, he says that our constitutional limitation allows us to choose only one Prime Minister and had we got the opportunity to choose four or five, we could have at least deputed one to specifically look into the internal issues corroding our nation. Knowing very well that this is not possible, we will be needing able hands which can carry on with the load and responsibilities that come with an elected representative. As has been quite aptly written in one of the blog by Brahma Kumaris that the statecraft and statesmen are the sine qua non of a civilized society. There is, however, need for raising the moral standards. Then only the eventuality of the whole class getting defamed because of the criminal acts of some politicians can be stopped and the slander by the media will cease. There is no other method of cleansing the public life except through the recourse to Values and Meditation. The role of politicians is crucial to the job of conducting the affairs of the State or for running the government and for ministering the polity. There is no alternative to it in a democracy. Democracy in India, as Jawaharlal Nehru said, in 1952, while addressing the college students and the intelligentsia at Gwalior, is not the best form of government but best available form of government. This would show how important is the work of the politicians and how great are the responsibilities of politicians! The Statecraft and Statesmen are, no doubt, the sine qua non of a modern civilised society, particularly one that has a democratic form of government. It is but imperative upon us that we as voters elect the right candidate for the job, and if need be rectify with the strictest of measures possible. A dialogue from the superhit movie URI: The Surgical Strike can be quite congruously quoted, “Yeh naya Hindustan hai, ye Hindustan ghar me ghusega bhi, aur marega bhi.”

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