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Political Leanings

TerritorialMale • • • Sunday, July 16, 2006

Blogging has added yet another dimension to the World Wide Web. Expressing your emotions, views, daily activities, interests and opinions never has been easier. Earlier chatrooms and bulletin boards provided fertile spaces for lexical brouhaha. Sadly chatrooms also became the favourite haunts of sexual maniacs, paedophiles, script kiddies and squeaky teens. So people who were neither had only one thing to do - quit. Blogs brought with it some respite for people who always had something to say. Blogging is spreading like wild fire with many new blogs being created every minute. Numerics are irrelevant here as long as one knows that a lot is being created every minute. Blogging isn't the domain only of the English speaking part of the world. Almost every language has a presence in the blogosphere. Interestingly, there are more Japanese blogs than that of English. Though short of a reference, I am very sure that I got this fact right. Needless to say that bloggers have categorized themselves each according to tastes and interests. The blogosphere is very colourful indeed.

most Indians are blasé too all political shenanigans

Perhaps the most read and most influential are the political blogs - and I would like to reiterate that every statement from now will be referencing the English blogs. American blogs hold the major slice of the pie in this category. Traditionally most American political blogs are liberals and so is the most widely read, Daily Kos. But that doesn't mean that the conservatives are non-existant. Many conservative bloggers are making their presence felt. From an outsider's perspective, we observe here the vibrancy of the American political system or perhaps even it's limitations. It is interesting to note what they have to say for themselves, the government in power, the politicians and oftentimes about their political adversaries. The dissertations from both sides are not always a feast of reason and the flow of the soul. Even then, heated though their dialogues may be, the sheer ability to promulgate one's beliefs with full freedom and without fear of starting riots (the bloody kind) is commendable. Tis not so the case in India though. A democracy we are and constitutionally assured of freedom of speech too, however one has to be extra careful to play the right notes especially in public. The average American however, is not given a choice of a middle path. One is either on this side or the other side. Surely, there are 'moderate conservatives' or perhaps even 'orthodox liberals' but they still are divided by their loyalties. A lack of choice could be one drawback of the American political system in my point of view. It is quite the contrary here in India. There is no dearth of choices for an average Indian. An Indian has the option to switch loyalties every day of a year (or two), literally. The over-abundance of political parties is a stark reality in India. And parties continue to sprout. Most new parties are formed by breakaway groups who somehow have fallen out with the parent body - sometimes on trivial or whimsical issues.


India is no place for a two party political system in my opinion. It could be attributed to the eclectic weave that the Indian diaspora is. Ideally, a democracy should not be divided on social, religious or regional lines. Such an idyllic political setting can at best be described as romantic and could take an awfully long time to emerge, if ever there has to be one. At present though, it is impractical. With every 29 odd or so states and Union Territories having their own major language or dialect and in many instances every district (sub-division of a state) having one too. Solely for pedantic reasons, it should be interesting to note that a few states in NE India can boast of a separate culture in each of their villages. Further, to compound matters, every major religion is represented in some numbers. With such a varied playing field as this, how can a few national parties with all-encompassing agendas ensure not hurting sentiments of any group? I wonder. Thus we have many political groups formed on regional lines. Even the larger parties have regional divisions (which is known to have been unsupportive of their own bosses on occasions merely to safeguard local interests).


Quite unlike our American counterparts, most Indians are blasé too all political shenanigans (and we should be forgiven for that). It should be safe to assume that most Indians vote the candidate and not the party. How can I say such a thing? And I'd say, where else can you find people being paid to attend political rallies? Yet we are bombarded from all quarters with Republican and Democrat philosophies, however irrelevant it may be to us. Finally a passing repartee, I know more about US politics than I do of my own country. Now, is that bad or good? I do not know!

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