I yesterday told you that I have lost two friends in the last year due to politics. It was, at first, unbelievable to me that this could happen – after all, friendship should be more important than political opinion, shouldn’t it? – but then I analyzed the issue deeper and I believe I could find a reason which explains such behavior: India’s long-standing tradition of human worship.
Yes, I know that human worship is in the culture and history of this society and it is very present today as well. Just take a look at all those religious leaders and gurus whom I have written so often about! They are accused of rape and murder but that doesn’t keep their followers to worship them, even from outside the jail they are in! It is not difficult, even for a non-religious person, to apply this concept to others as well, be that your ancestors, ideals such as movie stars or singers or political leaders!
In India, politics is a hot topic at all times. With my German wife, I cannot help but from time to time compare it to what I have seen in Germany: there are less people talking about politics and if they do, it is definitely not as passionate as in India. That may be due to their more sober character and nature – for a proof of that you just have to compare a parliament session in Germany to one in India – but there is also a little bit more to that. In Germany, I haven’t seen people worship their political leaders. They don’t idolize one of them as the best of all, the genius and one-and-only, as many Indians do with their party’s leaders! And they would definitely not break decades-old friendships over one of them!
The joke is however that really only the devotees of these leaders do such a thing – politicians themselves have no such notion! They are more focused on their personal aims and doing what they believe can bring them further, without taking their own words as serious as their followers do. And that’s something I would like to show to all these followers of politicians. I would actually like to ask them to follow the example of their idol even better!
India’s election campaigns are usually very heated and excited. In the past election for the post of Chief Minister in Delhi, the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the candidate of another party, Arvind Kejriwal, a lot of bad names, a terrorist, Pakistani agent, enemy of the country and more – publicly! He won nevertheless – and maybe even because people did not really like such a dirty way of campaigning for his party by the ‘leader of the nation’. Now, after the election, the Prime Minister invited the new Chief Minister of Delhi and tweeted a photo with him drinking chai. Are you surprised that they hugged each other, drank chai together and sat there together in sweet unison?
This man’s followers break relations and friendships of 20 or 30 years for him. What they don’t see is that he is just drama! That behind the curtain, they all are the same, that they don’t care that much about what they say one day or the other!
I want to appeal to each and every follower of any politician out there: please don’t break your personal relations because of them. Not any relation where there is love and no relation that has the possibility to grow with love. Because at some point of life, you need another human being – and Modi or your other politicians won’t be there for you! There are millions like you for them. You will always recognize them but they won’t recall your face or name.
Politicians come and go with every election. Your friends will be there to hold your hand and give you support in real life, when you truly need someone – Modi will not.
So no matter how devoted you are to a leader of any kind, don’t let this devotion destroy your friendships!