08 January, 2015

#SpecialFeature :: #Excerpt from Wings of Courage

*** Special Feature - January 2015 ***

The Secret of a Neta

“I somehow could not figure what was wrong with that movement? If people want to work hard to improve things on their own, why not let them do it? Won’t it make our job easier?” Aslam asked his master, Robin Badri, with a curious face.
“Aslam, my friend, politics is a bitch!” Robin replied, in an alcohol-enriched slurring voice. “It is less about grabbing power, and more about staying there.”
Aslam merely gave a blank look.
“You know what is the first thing you need to do if you want to be a good leader?” Robin asked.
Aslam thought hard before giving a tentative answer, “Gain people’s trust?”
“Sort of, but how do you do that?”
“Help them, I guess.” Aslam shrugged.
“Yes, but just enough,” Robin clarified with a smirk, as he shared his secret, “help them just enough to make them dependent on you. Their dependence on you is the key.” He paused to take a sip, while Aslam tried to absorb the idea. “You have to create a star-shaped network where you are at the centre and everyone is connected to you, dependent on you for something or the other. If nodes start connecting to each other directly and begin to solve problems on their own, the centre would become redundant. And, as a leader, you don’t want that, do you?” Robin finished his drink and put the glass on table.
“Of course not.”
“Now, it is easy for corporates to make employees dependent on them, for they offer them monthly salaries. But, it is a tricky thing in politics.”
“But, we do give them stuff, at least once in five years – cash, booze, blankets,” Aslam chuckled.
“Yes, but see… that only makes us win elections. To stay in power, we must maintain that dependency so things stay under control for next five years. Otherwise, they will kick us out.”
“And, how do we maintain that dependency?”
“We sell hopes!” Robin shared another secret, his heavy eyes shining with confidence. “Mind you, hope is a powerful thing; and you need to keep it alive. If they turn hopeless, you are out again. You need to help people just enough so their hopes, and their dependency on you, both stay alive.” Robin looked for a quick example. “You have toured with me to the slums, villages and unorganized colonies. Remember, what people want there?”
“Oh, they want everything – water, electricity, better sewage, and what not.”
“Right, they have one big pile of hope – exactly what we need. While we promise them all that, we don’t need to give them everything right away. Just a little would do. Help them get their pension, BPL or Aadhaar card; give them some cheap ration; once in a while, give them potable water too,” Robin summarised his thought with a soft chuckle. “You see, it is a win-win situation.”
“Right,” Aslam was not fully convinced, “but is that enough to keep them dependent on you for five years?”
“Looks like you want to know all the political mantras tonight itself,” Robin smiled, and answered his confidante, “It is enough to stay in their good books, and maintain the dependency. After that, you need to keep them busy. Bring the number of cylinders down from twelve to nine and it will keep them busy for a while. After six months of commotion, increase it back to twelve, and you have become a hero. You won’t find a simpler way to be in their good books. After that, increase the prices of CNG, or onion, or tomato.” Robin laughed and got up to call it a day. “You see – just like religion, caste and poverty – inflation is an important tool a good leader must learn to use well.”

About the Book

You must act! Your dreams may look unachievable, but giving up without trying is cowardice. It is against evolution, for evolution is not the result of endless worries, thoughts or discussions. Evolution is in action.” 
In those words, Saksham finds courage to step beyond his self-imposed ineptitude and begin a new life. 
This is the story of Saksham, a bright young man, and his quest for a more humane world. On his journey, he meets a wise philosopher who helps him unravel the complexities of today’s civilized human world, and a young beautiful woman who rekindles his passion for life. Their belief in him empowers Saksham to launch an attack against organized evil. 
As Saksham marches forward, he must choose between the comfort of his love and courage to follow his dreams. If he chooses the latter, he will need to adopt brutal ways to counter raw powers of evil. And… there will be no going back. 
‘Wings of Courage’ is a moving tale of passion and courage, for without them, our dreams may never come true.

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