Celebrities and Independents
There are several celebrity Independents in the Indian elections 2009. Actually Indian elections have never been without Celebrities throwing in their lot in the ring.
One thing I am unsure is of the motive of these Indian Celebrities. Let’s say in the event, they are voted in, what they plan to do for their country and their constituency is quite unclear. Except vague, empty sloganeering and brand-building done like any other political party, I have never seen a clear people oriented agenda driven Indian Celebrity in elections.
In the internet and blogworlds, it is different. Celebrity Indians are often portrayed as fresh, fragrant, welcome politicians waiting to save the country from abyss and the all rotten political parties.
From SarathBabu the CEO of FoodKing to GR Gopinath, Mallika Sarabhai, Meera Sanyal and so many other known/unknown Independents, the Independents add a lot of color and hope to an otherwise dull and routine election.
Clowns in a Circus..?
But I have always wondered about the long term plan of these Independents. Most of them actually have no principles and no practice. They come by the day and go by the night. They are more an election time phenomena than a people phenomena.
While Independents are a great toast for the media, what are they really to people..? Which Independent has actually worked with people of the country whose votes they are seeking..? Which Independent has been visible to people apart from the election time..? So on what basis they expect people to vote for them..?
If the understanding is that people are going to vote for their artistic or commercial success, then that reflects a poor understanding of democracy. If a person is artistically skilled, people would be ready to watch their performance, if it fits in their budget. That’s how an artist can be honored. If a businessman makes a successful commercial organization, people may be willing to be his customer for the services offered, if it fits within their budget. That’s how they honor his commercial success. But why they should vote for him..?
Most of these celebrity Independents look like jokers or clowns in a circus to me. The clowns make people smile and sometimes think. But then people won’t pay for the performance of these jokers alone. Similarly in an election, celebrity Independents make people think of new choices and new possibilities. But they won’t elect them.
Political Leadership Vs Career Leadership
Democracy is about putting people’s power on the pedestal. People will give power-of-attorney of their power to those who have their faith. Political parties work hard, stand with the people most of the time during their hours of struggle, build their cadres over a period and are capable of representing people. That political parties abuse their power or use illegal methods to reach to power is a different story. But then political parties by their organizational ability are capable of representing people consistently and continuously.
Can it be said of the fly-by-night Independents..? Will they open their office door to common man, the day after the election..? Do they have the wherewithal to support people..? Do they have the intention to support people..?
Most of the celebrity Independents do not understand democracy. They think that people would support them for their career success. If success in profession is the yardstick for people support, every housewife in India, who is toiling hard inside the kitchens to make their families better in every way are the best. Each of us owe our successes to our mothers and sisters who have sacrificed their life for us.
The key for the support of people is not career success. It is the ability to inspire people with a common vision and lead them. Career Leadership is different from Political Leadership.
Political Leadership is the intention to place people above their own self. Or atleast make people think the same.
Till they realize it, the celebrity independents may be toast to media and blogs, but not more than the clowns of a circus!