The joy is his only - it's not shared by nation

Phlip Rodrigues

Modified 14 Apr 2009, 8:50 am

Millions are in silent revolt against a political arrangement that ignores the wishes of the people in the choice of a national leader. There is mounting anger and frustration over the manner in which the voice of a minority can decide who will steer the ship of state in these troubled times.

Powerless and helpless, they watched as a man ascended the steps to take the highest office in the land against a regal backdrop. It was a stirring moment but not one that could excite the public mind.

Only he may feel the tide of history coursing through his veins as he took the solemn oath. Only he is under the impression that his time has come to reshape the political landscape. Only he believes that he has rightfully claimed the top spot.

But the joy is his only. It is not shared by the nation. It is impossible for the millions of ordinary men and women to join in a celebration of a change that is meaningless and largely symbolic. They did not anoint him and thus it will be difficult to bring themselves to connect with him and his plan for a bold agenda.

In recent memory, there was a man in a certain country who underwent a gruelling campaign to bring his message of hope and change to a wearied nation. He was completely at the mercy of the people; no history of him could be hidden from the fierce glare of public scrutiny.

In the end, he triumphed and the whole nation spontaneously rejoiced in his political and moral victory.

In the domestic theatre, the main actor could not inspire such outpouring of affection. Instead, there is deep mistrust of the man whose climb to power was morally defective. The stain on his character is too large to be ignored.

But the script has been written by a single party which chose to turn a blind eye to a flawed personage. It is an old party that prides itself on its venerable past. It believes it owns the country and can continue to hold sway over the destiny of the people. Once again it wrote the play and imposed its will on the nation.

Without being subject to any grilling, a cast of supporters also came on stage to do the bidding of the new master. They were presented as agents of change, with some rejects recast as born-again politicians.

But the gloom is deep. The anger is boiling. Will the people fall again for such cheap political ruse? Not too long ago, the forces of real change stormed the seemingly unassailable citadel and nearly captured the seat of power.

The rulers were rudely shaken. For a fleeting moment, there was hope that ‘justice will finally toll in the belfry' of the country. But it was not to be.

Thus the stage is set for another round of backlash. There are unmistakable signs that the groundswell of support for true change is still growing stronger. There's no stopping the next firestorm that will surely ‘burn the old order to cinders'.

And sweep away the ashes into the dustbin of history.

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