Indian Politics and IPL. Unfolding Market-Driven Politics.
Updated: Nov 7
Politics (Greek: politicos) commonly refers to an institution of governance, administration, and law. In most democracies (a system characterized by the participation of the people) only elected representatives to have a chance to perform in an arena called "Parliament", and the public at large assumes a role of a mere audience.
In the Indian Political System, for example, the public at large (of course the eligible ones) elects people to represent them and hopes they will work to further voters' interests. Now let me tell you how it is just similar to IPL where players are available to be bought in a high-profile auction (think about elections here), auction setup allows them to be bought to play for a particular team, just like the Indian public elect people to work for their constituency, the only difference here is politicians are bought by the value of votes. While not every one of us is interested in the game of politics, as a part of the public we have to deal with it since this is the only option left to us. Unless you choose to play or leave the game altogether, you can't ignore it.
Our general perception of politics is negative. But in reality, it is we (the public) as consumers who demand such supplies from politicians, putting our vested interest over the national interest. We often see people criticizing politicians for every crisis in our nation, but somehow they do not acknowledge that these men and women who were elected by voters are merely political players in this game, and the citizen-consumer has a contract with them till the end of the 5 year period unless exceptions arise. This is the reason for the preamble to start with "We the people...".
Similar to IPL, our political system is a demand-driven market system where the public demands and the political system supplies, whether it is policies, development, scams, riots, rhetoric, or all sorts of baseless allegations. Like IPL players who desire to win trophies to remain competitive and secure their future, the entire mechanism exists to hoard power or to remain in power. While all this makes sense, the primary question is, who creates the demand, whose demand is met, and are the public( citizen-consumer) satisfied? To make sense, we are veering away from IPL for a moment and further, we need to understand that not every member of the audience is a fan, just like the proportion of the citizens that voice their demands is just 5-10% of political customers and the rest of us just bear the brunt and waste our time and conscience without having any knowledge and interest in the game.
The Political leaders are attacked and abused when they are found corrupt, doing appeasement politics, fueling religious hatred and ethnic division, but we fail to acknowledge who they are catering to, who the audience/owners are, and who elected them (bought with votes) to play that way. In simple terms, as players play for their respective owners/audiences to be relevant for the next session, politicians perform for their respective vote bank, catering for their demands whether justified or not, legal or illegal, without accounting for any fallout of their action, be it against national interests. They need to be in power at any cost.
Imagine the class of audience that involves betting and gaining out of it, these are the kind of public/audience that drives today's market-driven politics, and left are those uninterested people for whom it doesn't matter who wins or who loses, they just came to watch for the sake of watching a popular game,
To conclude this, it's critical to note that today's market-driven politics (as the Indian Premier League) is for the market audience who seek their interests to be served regardless of the overall good of society.