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  • Writer's picturesrikant-sharma


Blame … Claim … Compare …

So it turns out BCC is not only nifty when it comes to dropping mails with hidden agenda, but also a mystical remedy of survival in Indian politics. Having successfully withstood test of times, BCC is responsible for establishment of various flourishing political enterprises here in India. This is my attempt to showcase usage of this Master Key by Indian politicians to unlock their career and try to provide a wishful alternative to this age old tradition.  

So why is this BCC so important… well …. this tried and tested strategy helps one climb up in political hierarchy and keep oneself at center of media’s attention for longest time possible, thereby garnering all important political mileage. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds, and with close observations we come to know that these distinct actions are required to be conducted at three equally distinct stages of political career…

Blame – Unique to those aspirational politicians, who are not in power and are looking forward to be on the driving seat in near future. All they do is to blame those in power for each and every crisis situation existing on the planet Earth (in case they can’t find plenty within respective society itself). Every single one, whom I can think of, have followed this approach with differing intensity. From our existing Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi to de facto leader of largest opposition party, Mr. Rahul Gandhi… and from recently established politicians like Chief Minister of New Delhi to all those new aspirants who are fighting it out to get their foothold in this political arena… what differentiates them is that while few only keep blaming without any alternate solutions at hand, others put forward feasible solutions from their perspective along with their attempt to blame existing power centers.

Claim – “all that happens… happens for Good” is an old saying which most of us would resonate to, as part of intellectual heritage passed on to us through generations. However few politicians take it a notch further by adding “And all good that happened … happened because of ME”. Yes that’s exactly what they mean and what they say. This is the only step which politicians follow irrespective of the fact whether they are in power or in opposition. Such politicians goes beyond well acclaimed theory of 6 degrees of separation (which states that two human being can be connected to one another by maximum of 6 connections) and will always come up with claims to be directly related to subject, responsible for good to the society. When in power, it is their willingness to better the society which gets highlighted as prime reason and when in opposition, it is fear of their popularity among masses which gets highlighted as prime reason. Either way, responsibility of good to society gets mapped directly to them and their efforts (which at times are so massive that one needs to look under lens of microscope to find one)

Compare – this comes with survival…. that’s what one needs to do when at the helm of politics and in power. Yes… all one need to do is compare one’s own tenure in power with the tenure of those who have been in power earlier and miniaturize own misdeeds in comparison to those of his predecessors. Given most of the politicians follow same trend and end up doing that same things exactly the same way, hence the only mode of so called survival is to compare ones misdeed with those of others with statements starting… “they had 48 criminals in their party… we only have 28” “When they did no one argued… so now why??” or “You did the same thing … why questioning now??” and the list of defense goes on and on and on….

Sounds doable… isn’t it…??? Well sorry to disappoint you, however simple it may sound, practicing it requires lot of talent and a little of common sense in terms of setting up chronology of events (even after discounting oratory skills and blessings of goddess Laxmi and Lord Shiva). Well… finding instances of politicians (budding or experienced) following BCC principles to hold on and grow in politics are in abundance hence I’ll look for those instances where one couldn’t even follow these basic principles. For example, it would be unfair to say that existing chief minister of Delhi (National Capital and One of the eight Union Territory of Republic of India), is still an unknown face to Indian politics. Be it for his participation in crusade “India against corruption” or for his initial (hilarious) stint as Chief Minister of Delhi. This gentleman is a great example of how things can go wrong and what happens when you ignore this simple rule of BCC.

If we go back few years in time, when as a part “India Against Corruption”, he started his political ambition by blaming both the ruling party (Indian National Congress) and the principal opposition party (Bharatiya Janata Party) for all the mess prevailing in the country and national capital (which to a large extent was already known to each and every Indian citizen).

Very soon he was rewarded for following the first step quite effectively and he was voted to power. Which means it was perfect time to shift gears and move on to next two steps (Claim and Compare). And as any ardent politician he too started claiming for all the good, which were happening not only in territory which was under his control, but also for instances happening anywhere across the country (stating ruling party is scared of us and hence took such steps in states not under his governance). Given the success which he received in such a short span of time, he starting shifting gears too soon and within a year of being voted to power he was quite often seen comparing misdeeds of his party to those of earlier governments.

So what went wrong..?? For first few years it felt as if he has been following all the rules required to establish political enterprise… albeit in hurry, still following the rules. Three problems marred his picture perfect story.

  1. Goods news became long lost relative. You can claim only when any good is happening and hence all of a sudden, claim aspect of his political tirade vanished just like camphor cube being exposed to extreme heat

  2. He misread the rules and thought each of the three steps need to be done all at the same time. So despite being in power he continued to blame other parties “Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to be in specific” for all the bad which was happening not only across the length and breadth of the country but also for what wrong doings were happening within his party (from charges of bribe and extortion by his party members to inefficiency and abuse of power, as were being highlighted by various news agencies)

  3. Time required to follow each step. Its intriguing to think what would have happened had the Delhi CM not waited for over a year after being associated with “India Against Corruption” before launching this new political front. Am sure he wouldn’t have met such astronomical success, which he witnessed in present scenario. Similarly after coming into power it was important for him to work a bit longer in Claim mode and should have done reasonable improvements over last government

Result …!!! except himself and few other (mostly members) of his own political party, vast majority of the citizens considered his acts and words no more than a political gimmick. This said, no one can deny that under him, new government has not done anything good or mentionable, there are various instances which highlights his resolve and achievements. However, impression which he has made during his first few years of governance would be extremely difficult to washout. Given this, we all need to remember that timing and switching of strategies is as important as following them. Blame only works when you are not in power, as a common citizen we don’t want someone in power who can do nothing but blame others. Imagine any king (Alexander or Ashoka) or any respectable world leader of our time (Valdimir Putin or Barack Hussein Obama), would they be called this great had they did nothing and just stuck to blaming opposition parties (which is often called Pre-election mode).

Intent of this article is not to put BCC approach in bad light, rather to highlight that BCC in politics, like any other approach, doesn’t work SUOMOTO and individuals are required to put in efforts to make inherent limitations and assumptions of this approach to work together in cohesion. Basic assumption being that after blaming others… one will start working toward good of the society, by removing the gaps highlighted earlier when not in power. It is impermeable fact that with success political party grows and rogue elements will sneak in and only option left is to compare yourselves with others, who have been in same place earlier. However that doesn’t gives leader of the party, an excuse, to follow the rogue element or even worst become one. We, as citizens, understand that a political party cannot be compared to an individual and cases of misdeed will come up sooner or later. What matters is weather the misdeed are being done by the leader of the group or by someone with no substance or importance.

Success in politics is not easy as it not only requires understanding of society but also skills to convey your good intentions (true or otherwise). It is an examination where you don’t have fixed passing marks and are judged basis performance of others and this subjectivity makes BCC an even stronger force to reckon with. Easier said than done holds true in today’s world too… and I trust that’s why today we have so few recognized leaders and such large masses with a hope that for once those few leaders will once come in disguise of a politician…

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