Hope is here just around the corner to deliver the poor souls from their miseries and uplift the down trodden, Hope is here at last! Before I get into the context, let us take a moment to understand the word hope “aasha”. Hope – defined as the act of looking forward to something with desire and anticipation, it is a feeling that “what is wanted, can be had”. It is one of the most powerful forces driving nations, organizations, revolutions and our own daily lives which connect our bland reality to our imaginary kingdoms.
Hope on Sale
It is the ether that empowers the have-nots to dream. But hope is a double-edged sword which can do as much harm as good it can do. Hope is like “a recreational drug, giving you an artificial high based on a dosage of unrealistic expectations.” It is the precursor or the initiator, a seed of what we know as despair, “niraasha”. It is the act of licking honey from the edge of a razor blade.
The sole purpose of me talking to you on a random virtue/vice is because hope will now go on a full-scale sale. A massive mega-sale! Discounted – free for all – costs no price – wholesale – stocks – buy one get a ton free – hope will be all over the air since we have Elections coming up.
Of all the advertisements selling fairness creams and cosmetics, job guaranteeing courses and fat burning abs machines – it is the politicians who sell the commodity most desired – “HOPE”, the best and of course with the most benefits. From Obama’s “Yes We Can” campaign to GNLF/GJMM’s “Gorkhaland” campaign – all have been worked through this massive practice of selling hope to the masses. The charming US President won Nobel Peace Prize (barely having seated in the White house). Sure we know that the US slogan is now somewhere between “Maybe We Can’t” & “Yes We Tried”. GNLF/GJMM as you all know stood/stand somewhere between “DGHC-fear induced public to GJMM-fear induced public”.
So with the upcoming Elections in Darjeeling we witness for the umpteenth time Hyper-Mega-Bumper-HOPE-on Sale. The reason being there are as many sellers (political parties) selling shiny boxes (famous stars) than there ever was. Thus, throwing the public into frenzy! What do I choose? O Golly, it all looks so pretty! What do I do?!
Wisdom an old friend
Let me introduce you an old ally – Wisdom. Wisdom is the “ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight”. It is the core practice of analyzing and decision making. It is the act of filtering the honey from the wax and bee’s legs and wings. In this context, wisdom befalls under the scope of the buyer (public) & not the seller. So how does a buyer acquire this thing called wisdom? Or more, how does one act upon it? The forefathers encourage us to read more, act more and initiate more. However, I’d like to follow an extremely simple method that goes -“the farther you can look back, the farther forward you are likely to see”.
It is that simple! Looking back on previous lessons, examples and recaps of political parties’ performances, agenda & public serving tenacity – it could range from anything common like misusing public funds (for personal use) – shooting at public (Shibshu)- risking education with forced holidays (Aug 2013) – favoring division (Lepcha Development Board) – unwarranted arrests (Gorkhaland supporters) -forsaking those who were arrested – anything really! Even electricity woes & mental harassment count.
All of these give the buyer the tools/inputs/data for filtering. But it must be aligned with the human tool of civic responsibility – that which defines what is right & wrong for the common good. Once again, wisdom is the act of filtering the honey.
Action the manifestation
Finally, let’s meet with Action. Action is physics, it is an attribute encapsulating the use of force to cause motion or stop that which is motion. A physical development resulting is change. It is you getting up from a chair or me typing these words, or the oxygen being delivered to our brains as we progress.
In our context here, action unlike hope (seller/party initiated) & wisdom (buyer/public initiated) is a joint venture of the seller and the buyer (the party & the public). Where the seller (party) must ensure that the hopes sold are executed to attain the outcomes through active engagement of “Action” and problem solving. And the buyer (public) must ensure that the seller (party) actually has the ability to perform those actions; because, without ability, Action cannot yield results.
How then, must we “ensure” action or gauge ability? A seller (political parties) exists solely to serve the public. Any salesman (politician) who sits higher than the people must be by logic, discarded. The party seeks to govern us in an integrated, efficient & productive way abiding by the laws set in Our Constitution so that the common citizen may have equal opportunities to rise as high as his hard work may take him. And those that hinder such progress must also by logic be, discarded. A standard for good leadership may be understood as one that “requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives who can disagree with you without fear of retaliation”.
Therefore, any seller/salesman that induces fear must well be, discarded. Only those who have the ability as problem-solvers must be chosen to solve problems. Problem identifiers are NOT leaders. Not in a million years, would you allow a skilled carpenter/sculptor to perform a heart surgery on you. Thus, relevant problem solvers must comply. A simple background check action initiated by the public will help reveal the true potential of the one who is chosen to govern him/her.
Thankfully, because of democracy we can exercise this right to choose. With the announcement of election dates peddling of HOPE by the political parties has already started, WISDOM & ACTION are at your discretion. So being mindful of the future, we must ensure that awareness “gyan” is created among all so that hope “aasha” can be preserved, practiced & achieved & despair “niraasha” would not see the light of the day.
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