A Christian bureaucrat’s take on politics
Isaiah 3:6 says that in the last days a man shall say to his brother, “You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!”
Every now and then civilization makes a complete circle and the present time is a good example of it and we see biblical history repeating itself.
What is Politics?
The term politics brings to our minds a range of Ideas. Cannot help many of them are associated with some diabolic connotations. It mostly conveys a sense of negativity arising from indifference.
Normally, any discussion that involves politics there is a swing between the two extremes of thinking that politics is everything and politics in nothing. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth.
Politics is from the Greek term “Polis” which means affairs of the cities. It can be described as the process of making decisions that apply to members of a group. So social politics is the organized control over a human community, particularly a state. Extending this understanding there is politics in everything that we do and everywhere around us be it the family, religious community, workplace, or society.
The practitioner of politics is called a politician or statesman. The most important role of the politician is to be a lawmaker.
Politics is full of human beings and people facing nightmarish dilemmas day in and day out. The kind of dilemmas they face makes it partly a thriller and partly a moral escapade. Every hour decisions have to be made where there is no easy way. One is critiqued for taking a decision and also for not taking a decision.The rest of us do not see the dilemma. We assume they are mighty and strong. The gap between the two is filled with tragedy and comedy. Politics makes the practitioners inauthentic. They have to pretend to be what they are not. You cannot be what you are not. They are forced to opt for inauthenticity day in and day out because if they are honest they will not be accepted.
I am not a politician and do not belong to any political party, but I have voted in all but one general election that I have been eligible to vote. I have served in the Indian Airforce, taught in a law college, practiced law and am now a civil servant.
I love watching politics and talking politics and it really is a travesty in this country that politics is a taboo topic.
From close quarters I have witnessed how political campaigns are run. Political campaign managers position candidates for victory. Most often there are no rules, ethics, or morals. The political psychology is interesting. The aim is to win. Be the aggressor, go on offence and be on the offence. Because when you are defending – you are losing.
Christian Response to Politics
When choices are based on moral reasoning and sincere attempts to honour the commitment to family, society, and God- politics can take on an entirely different dimension for Christians.
What does the political landscape hold for us? It was not pharaoh that made the difference, it was Joseph in pharaoh’s palace. It was not the Persian monarch who made the difference, it was Daniel who was able to talk to the Persian monarch. We need the Josephs, the Daniels, the Nehemiahs, and Esthers who will emerge and those voices will change history. The voice of a cupbearer will change the heart of a monarch. Without the voice of the righteous one, you will get intoxicated with the understanding of your own knowledge
I shall conclude with a story. There once was a lonely traveller in a desert. Worn down by the scorching sun and almost dying of thirst there was no source of water nearby. Far in the distance, he could see the silhouette of a hand pump. Slowly he drags himself to the pump and gathers all his energy to work the hand pump. Klank – Klank, metal on metal there is only painful sound to the ears- No water. Being completely exhausted he gave up, but a piece of paper sticking out in the pump caught his attention. In it were some clear instructions.
1. Clear the sand 1 foot below the pump. You will find a jar of water
2. Do not. Do not drink the water. Use the water to prime the pump.
3. When there is water in the hand pump, drink to your content and do not forget to fill the jar and bury it where it was and leave the note in the pump.
Choices, choices, Choices….that make the difference.
Politics is a very important fundamental human activity to pursue the common interests of the members of a community.
This my dear friends, is what we are all called to do every day. If we chose to focus on our immediate selfish needs, we are depriving generations of people who will come after us. If we think of their interests, there is enough for us to drink and for them too.
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I would just request each one here today, Just go out and Vote on voting day.
Disclaimer: Note that these are my views as an individual and is not even remotely connected with my official responsibilities as a Civil Servant in the state of Karnataka – K Mathai KAS