The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Monday, 13 May 2013


It’s the election time again. Be prepared for the political advertisement blitzkrieg, sucking the money meant for you, wasting the resources that could be put to the effective use of building many more schools and health centres in a country where over 60 per cent of the population is quality-illiterate and survives on less than 2$ a day.

The information and broadcasting ministry works as the publicity front of the different wings of the government. Manish Tewari, the information and broadcasting minister, is in full drive to galvanize the public outreach programme of the United Progressive Alliance government with possibility of early general elections that are, otherwise, slated to be held around April-May 2014.

Every ministry of the government of India has some budgeted expenditure in the name of public outreach programme. Ideally, such funds are to be used in making public aware of the programmes and policies of the government thus empowering the people to claim their rights.

Instead, the funds are misused in the advertisement blitzkrieg to create shadow visibility, where the main aim is to create the perception of the government policies as pro-people irrespective of how many of the intended beneficiaries are seriously availing the benefits.

Any big policy decision like the India-US nuclear deal or the FDI in retail or projects like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act or farm debt waiver scheme require an intensive communication campaign and not just advertising blitzkrieg to create an effective outreach ensuring maximum empowerment through optimum utilization of resources. It needs a comprehensive plan of action with a pre-launch awareness campaign well in advance to make people aware on how to exercise their rights.

But that is the ideal situation. And in an India where there is nothing ‘ideal’ left about its politics, that is a foolhardy proposition.

Indian politicians believe in creating and sustaining flimsy perceptions. Instead of doing, they endeavor to look ‘doing’. They do so because they believe elections in India are fought and win on perceptions. And the electoral history says they have been right most of the time.

Calculations begin in the planning stage of a project to maximize the share of corrupt dealings. From NREGA to farm debt waiver, from the National Rural Health Mission to the mid-deal meal scheme, from different government scholarships to the universal education mission, every project of social concern is a sordid tale of corruption in the world’s largest democracy.

No sincere efforts are made to aware the intended beneficiaries of their rights and on how to claim their rights; beneficiaries, where most of them are quality-illiterate, poorly-fed and survive in and on the brinks of poverty and uncertainty.

Instead, glassy advertising campaigns are lunched to create and strengthen the perception that lives are going to change in one go. The poor fellows are bombarded with heavy dose of advertisements that blocks their already narrowed thinking capacity.

The scheduling is kept tight stuffing maximum messages in the minimum possible time. Its does one thing cunningly. It creates the perception in the mind of the voter that the ‘mirage’ (of something good for him) is now in his reach that he wants to grab anyhow realizing that ‘it’ will become mirage again, once the election is over. But very meticulously, such campaigns fall short in making the voters informed and aware on how to claim their rights ‘once the opportunist political and bureaucratic machinery of the election time is gone’.

Campaigns begin few months before the elections and unleash their tyranny on the mental composition of the poor voter. The timing is decided keeping in mind the goal – to hit the impulse of the ill-informed voter and make him push for an impulsive decision.

Till the time, the vote is in, the perception is lubricated consistently that the politician is the beggar and the voter is the lord. Once the vote is in, the politician becomes the king and the voter is made a poor fellow again.

The campaign stops at that. The blitzkrieg comes to a halt at that.

But, sometimes it fails too, as it happened during the 2004 general elections! 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -