Shankkar Aiyar, Visiting Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute, writes in the New Indian Express on institutional decay and political rhetoric. Excerpts:
"Rhetoric, Plato said, is the art of ruling the minds of men. In modern democracies, political rhetoric is the instrument of weaponising allusions into accusations to capture eyeballs. The presentation of perception as proof precludes any analysis or review of history. Worse, it would seem electoral relevance does not demand answers to questions or solutions to problems but a narrative of victim and villains.
The copyright for the script and slogans is portable and available for lease—and could well be a unicorn if modelled as a start-up. The parties and leaders in Opposition frequently find occasion to accuse the ruling party of not doing what they did not do while in power. Essentially it all boils down to a simple political construct: the stand of political parties permanently depends on where they sit.
The issue of institutional autonomy globally is contingent on context, pitched for political purpose. In India, autonomy for institutions is frequently wrested by individuals—and the most eloquent display of this truism was by T N Seshan as Chief Election Commissioner."
Read the full article here.