The great philosopher Aristotle stated the bare truth when he said centuries ago that man is “a political animal”. He and his equally famous disciple Plato strongly denounced politics. Plato went so far as to say: “O, men of Athens, if I was engaged in politics, I would have perished long ago and done no good either to you or to myself. ” Since then, however, politics has pervaded every sphere of life, and the number of politicians has grown beyond measure.
There is politics everywhere, in government generally, in the administration, in schools, colleges, universities, art, literature, and even in sports and games. In fact, there is hardly any sphere of life and activity, male or female, which is free from politics and the insidious influences of the fast-growing tribe of politicians of various hues and types’ sincere ones, insincere ones and downright hypocrites, and others who fall and share the traits of both the good and the bad. Of course, it would be unfair to paint them all with the same brush.
The lament of Aristotle and Plato has become pointless in modern society, despite the advance of civilization and the remarkable progress of education and general enlightenment. Politics and politicians have not only grown amazingly, but have also prospered without let. This may indeed be described as the age of politics and politicians are supreme everywhere. The gates of politics are wide open; anyone can join the vast society of politicians, learn their devious ways, especially their oratory, deceitful tactics and hypocrisy and thus become prosperous.
Politics and hypocrisy have become inalienable from lies, change of color like the chameleon, and shift of loyalties to people who can pay them best. Consequently, politics has also become synonymous with endless graft and deep-rooted corruption. Jawaharlal Nehru wrote in his famous book “Glimpses of World History”: “Politicians usually hide their real reasons and talk pompously of religion and justice and truth and the like. And still the great majority of people are taken in by the soft talk of politicians.
” Again, in a letter to Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru wrote: “Ordinary politicians have no principles to stand by and their work is governed by day-to-day opportunism. ” He also knew that politicians cannot build India and held the view that in perfect society politicians would fade away. A perfect society exists nowhere on earth, and it is no wonder that both politics and politicians continue to flourish, despite all their flaws and foibles.