In a long forgotten movie, Kota Srinivasa Rao mouths an unforgettable dialogue – “Aithe naakenti ?”. Translated into plain English it means – What’s for me, in it? Kota may have repeated this dialogue in that movie as a selfish, ultra self – centered character, but when people of a country start asking the same to the political system, it sends out a clear signal that democracy has just begun to flourish
Citizens of India are very familiar with politicians of all parties whose mind is always occupied with this same self centered question “Aithe naakenti ?. But for the first time, in Delhi polls yesterday, it is the citizens who asked this question back. Modi and his BJP, in the usual style of Indian politics, tried selling them grand visions of the future. Modi talked about his cheddy buddy Barack, his nuclear deal with the US ( it later turned out to be a joke with the cost of the joke being on the Indians) and about China and Japan. The BJP smug in its false appraisal that all will be well when Modi is the head, was happy to play along. But in all this disconnect, the voters were silently asking answers for the “Here and Now” questions of bijli and paani. They hardly cared if Modi was indeed on first name terms with Obama or whether Xi Jinping was indeed impressed with the Sabarmati river front. Even if these fables were true, they were simply obsessed with the question – Aithe naakenti ? For them, Modi and the BJP were resembling that distant cousin who would call only occasionally and even in that rare chat, would only talk about his newly acquired wealth. AAP on the other hand, was their friend with whom they could settle down for a cup of tea at the road side corner tea stall. AAP was seen as having better answers to the Aithe naakenti ? questions and that showed on the counting day.
Now when I juxtapose this perspective onto AP politics, I only see a dismal picture and that is very disheartening. Andhrites are still very obsessed with hero worship and rarely ask this question Aithe naakenti ? One close look at the list of our MPs and MLAs reveals that most of them are multi crorepatis whose only reason to exist in politics must be to multiply their wealth. You hardly find any “aam aadmi” politician in Andhra. Worse still many MPs are elected from constituencies which they have probably visited for the first time only for campaigning. When a Purandhareswari becomes a Vizag MP or a Galla Jayadev becomes a Guntur MP, you know that people have been taken in by their power and stature but did not ask the simple question Aithe naakenti ? Is it not necessary that a people’s representative has a minimum understanding of the constituency and its problems before being elected? The problem here is not that of the elected MPs. It is for people to ask these basic questions and cast their vote accordingly.
AP politics is still being driven by money and muscle power and you can not blame the political parties for it. You can’t leave your main door open at night and not expect your house to be robbed. Like Delhites, Andhrites too should learn to ask Aithe naakenti ? It is only then, that our leaders will be forced to attend to basic problems rather than just make inane statements such as “Barack and I”