Friday, 26 December 2014

Ethics or Politics: Choosing the Alliance

While I am convinced that current democratic model is corrupt, unworthy of those who want serious change, complicit with money power, impermeable to genuine change from the below or in the favour of the impoverished class and that our choice could only be between two evils, lesser and greater, we are called to question, condemn and hope simultaneously in this knotty scenario that admits of no neat idealistic solutions. While ethics would require shunning the politics altogether and fight using non-political spaces, somehow the question of the political props up. Regardless of the charge of political naivety that raising the question of ethics today may warrant according to many pundits who command the language of power, I think, recalling Faiz, we can’t afford silence,“Ham matayilowh-o-qalm karate rahaegae.”  Let me put, regardless of political correctness, some ethical questions to those who matter politically as today, on this apparently crucial time, Kashmiris are asking a sharp question: Will ethics or politics rule in choosing the alliance? From people’s perspective equations could be fairly simple and there is hardly any need for detailed negotiations.
I ask why is there a need of two regional parties, NC and PDP, playing against each other, sharing almost similar manifesto, making similar promises regarding good governance and safeguarding people’s political and other aspirations? Why not dissolve the two regional parties and agree to form one? The same question could, of course, be asked of Indian national parties, BJP and Congress? Is there any key difference in their manifestoes? Are there fundamentally different commitments to people or promises? The question is we have been taught to accept party politics, absurd games of 44 or winning and losing by a vote and no representation for those who don’t vote or who press NOTA and no representation for vast majority of people who vote for candidates rather than parties or single largest party but not in correct mathematical proportion to add up to magic figure? Are people’s interests kept in consideration or party’s interests? Do people’s interests count or those who fund elections? Do people count in anyway except in playing a game and choosing players that always win their game or seek to win it forgetting people whose destiny is at stake? How come independents matter so much so that they need to be assured good portfolios in coming government? How come we find unconditional support given to some parties even without formally asking for it? Will people’s interests count in taking the decision or shrewd calculus of long-term political gains? Isn’t it very easy to see that party and people’s interest often diverge?

There may be an archaeological question to disallow alliances. It might be asked that one party is a creation of intelligence agencies to dent the regional political space monopolized by the pro-freedom camps. But question could be posed how was the main party born? Isn’t it a subject of heated debate that National Conference was violently wrenched from Muslim Conference and NC has often played a role that is more loyal than the king? How was the current dispute born? Out of democratic process of consultation between “representatives” or out of dictatorial policy of the leader?  Who has the moral superiority to claim?
Now the question that Kashmiris ask to PDP and NC: Will you forget family feud and explain what makes you distinct parties to booty of blood and sweat? Why can’t you, for the sake of people, fight an “intruder”as vast majority of people perceive so? Jammu and Ladakhi people ask a similar question to Congress and BJP.
I think ultimately the question is one of ethics and not politics. And unfortunately, unlike Borges, politicians mostly understand politics better than ethics. Could this time ethics count?

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