Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | April 17, 2009

Indian Confusion

While general elections in India are underway, I hope the elections are peaceful. By the look of things, it is does not look like that it is largely peaceful. While newspapers did not report much violence in the cities but sporadic violence in rural areas has been reported. I wonder is it natural for a country of India’s magnitude to have violence all or around? Should we consider ourselves privileged that at least we are not in a state of a major war? Don’t our citizens live in perpetual fear at all times?

I was browsing through some of the news reports on candidates in West Bengal. While I know about the grave atrocities committed by the ruling party for thirty long years (I have suffered like all of you from that state because of their policies and actions), somehow none could convince me till now that the alternative would be any better. I don’t know whether the problem lies entirely with me, who fears experimentation. May be that is true, but I get very confused whenever I look at the oppositions agenda and more so their modus operandi. I am in a fix about whose side to take.

At times, I feel a sense of shame that every political party is out to fool us and we are ready to be fooled despite being diligent about our most potent weapon – vote! I dare say, we are diligent and we have been diligent despite our lack of choices. We did not create choices and some people whom we believed may be good opted to be part of already established ‘bad’ alternatives.

Take for example, the Trinamool candidate from Jadavpur constituency of Kolkata. Kabir Suman is known to me through his music. When he started becoming popular in the mid-nineties, I liked some of his song for their uplifting lyrics though I was never a great fan of his music. However, recently when I listened to some of his recent work, I found them terrible. Not only the songs (and videos) were politically motivated (understandably so!) but they sounded (and looked) vulgar. I was surprised that he, who considers (and projects) himself to be a learned man can write such vulgar lyrics and make such weird videos. After watching those videos I started wondering whether he actually has some agenda for change or he is just trying to exploit our frustrations and hoping to gather advantage from it. I don’t even hear him write or say much (beyond those vulgar songs) on the basis of which I could hope to support him.

I am sure he is trying to protest and perhaps rightly so, but I doubt whether the vulgar songs are helping him in anyway.

I ask all such candidates, where is your agenda? What would you do for me? I have read most of the party manifestos on the net and they don’t give me much confidence.

Aren’t all of us facing this dilemma? Or is it just me sitting miles away from the centre of activity and wondering in despair.

Few would agree but this is just a great Indian confusion. Anyone who manages to enlighten me from the ground would be wished well.



  1. From what I have seen and felt, I strongly believe that most of the personalities participating in politics is doing it precisely for their own benefits. I do not need to be convinced otherwise. All of us know this is the truth.

    As far as considering which side to vote for this time, I have a strict opinion: Neither of the two parties are worthy enough to sit on the throne. One of them has been thinking for thirty years that they can go on doing whatever they feel like and no one will stop them. And the other party is a top-to-bottom Fascist and absolutely nothing else. And I hate Fascists. Honestly speaking, I believe that if my vote throws out the ruling party, the one coming in power will make a mess as it will have too many opponents to carry on with Fascism and little will be done for the state. Instead we might have more blood shade. So if my vote goes to the present party, I think things will not be better. But if my vote counts and wins the opposition, I might be igniting a political catastrophe. I am not going to vote this time.

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