Sunday, July 1, 2007

when good governance leads to ...boredom

For some reason, I find nothing more entertaining than Indian politics. Where else does one get to see such gyrations, dynamics, passion play, money, drama, or whatever emotion or effect one can imagine? If art indeed imitates life, and if Bollywood is seen as being exaggerated or extravagant, our artists (from Bollywood or elsewhere) are but poor imitators. And politicians from the rest of the world, especially, the western world, are not even amateurs, in comparison.

Living abroad for a year now, I miss waking up in India every morning more than anything else. The newspapers here are as boring as text books. They begin with a principle, a rare case when that principle is intentionally violated – followed by a rather diplomatic course correction, then a boring section on a stable economy, predictable reviews of art and books, and job advertisements for secretaries. Yes, there is the daily dose of violence – predominantly in the third world and yes, some genuine local excitement in the form of sports news. Even the advertisements are less interesting than they can be. The only other eye-catchers are the local wierdos – the lady who drew into a metro station thinking it was a basement car park, the guy who took this lamb to the vet complaining that this new Pomeranian doesn’t bark etc.

The western soberness and restraint is what strikes one the most. Hey, why don’t they use life-sized cut-outs for election campaigns? Or have public meetings in stadiums? Is good-governance all – and oratory no more than a mere nice-to-have? If the recently concluded euro-summit is anything to go by, the "monumental" changes such as renaming the constitution to treaty - is no more than a storm in a tea cup. The strict protocol regarding the rather spicy private lives of French politicians is yet another proof of European blandness. With Blair being replaced by Mr Stiff Upper (Brown)Lip, UK is exchanging it's CTM flavour for the staple fish-and-chips routine.

NB : No this wasn't meant to be a post. It's what I could type in 5 mins, so that I can try the options here.