I think I have had a tumultuous journey as far as my political opinions and stances are concerned. During my teens, I think I naively supported the Congress party since it was led by an educated man like Manmohan Singh. I was also a staunch supporter of welfarism and socialist initiatives. Like every well-read teen, I dreamt of an egalitarian and equal world.
Ever since I read ‘The Fountainhead‘ by Ayn Rand, I realise socialism has its own flaws. The political climate of the country was also changing in 2013, and I got swayed by some of the right-leaning ideas. Though free market, low taxes and freedom to do business are flagship concerns of the right wing, I was also introduced to the idea of Hindutva and the political forces that had lead to the formation of an Islamic state in our neighbourhood. At some point I was convinced that a counterforce for Islamic aggression was necessary to keep the balance.
This effectively moulded me into some sort of ‘Sanghi’, if you wanna call it. I also considered being a journalist and thought leader who could flip the ‘liberal’ narrative. It was a very enticing idea before I realised the kind of pathetic life led by ‘journalists’. Thankfully, career issues took front seat, and I didn’t pursue it too far. The whole phase made me realise that economics always trumps ideology.
Then, the pandemic hit, and I was heartbroken when I saw huge swathes of people rendered helpless and mauled by forces that were out of human control. I wondered whether politics makes a difference at all. Or is it just a tool for the elite to divide and control people? Is it an illogical profession that demands loyalty and penalises logic? It seems so. We’re living in times of unprecedented inflation, global uncertainty about economy and simmering social fault-lines. Everything is seen from the political lens.
I am glad that I am privileged enough to be unaffected by politics in any way throughout my life. It makes no sense to invest my time or intellectual bandwidth to support or oppose any party or persona. I think it’s time for me to simply shut myself from any sort of political news and focus on my career alone. I have been doing that for the past year or so. You might call me an irresponsible citizen. But when I see my income tax deductions, I would like to feel that I’ve done my share for the country.
If possible, I would like to eliminate political discussions from my life entirely and be a nice person who treats everyone equally, without prejudice and judgement. I know it’s impossible. But, for the past six months, I have shut myself from the world of politics and controversies entirely. I have chosen not to be part of such discussions at all. And it seems to be fine, though it’s not something that’s ideal.
But, again I am not gonna consider myself apolitical. If someone were to put a gun to my head and force me to make a choice, I would opt for free-market economics, personal freedom, an efficient and targeted welfare system and a state which is truly secular (and not perverted in the way the current Indian state is). No political party of India meets all of these pointers, but I hope someday, people will realise the importance of these things.