April 6, 2016

Can Politics be Marketed like Coke or Condom?

Consumers of political marketing in democracies run on vote-counts face torrents of counterfeit to completely fake assurances of services to garner their votes.  Going by the prevalent level of disgust for politicians in most democracies anyone can safely conclude that the majority consumers feel cheated and exploited by the politicians who enjoy comforts of a President, Prime Minister and other exalted offices way higher up the ladder than those which achiever citizens obtain through hard work and diligent education.

In the era of Societal Marketing orientation when consumers are motivated to experience only those pleasures which would not harm their present society but also ensure a safe future for the coming generations how could hazardous political products be allowed to be marketed in the name of so called adult franchise? If a seller can’t escape the consequences of dangerous products why not penalize politicians and political parties for non-delivery of adequate services? If telcos can be penalized for call dropping & lack of 
connectivity why not hold the Modi government, all governments, to similar test?

When a customer is free to change the service provider in case Airtel , Vodaphone etc fail to ensure call dropping then why demand compensation for lack of services?  Will the Indian politicians demand similar punishment for a political party & politicians for cheating them with fake promises during election campaign? Why have two standards for same crime. It’s wrong to assume that its moral to market everything from religion to insurance. Marketers the world over have accepted the principle of not extending marketing concepts, principles and tool to various category of goods and services to ensure safety of consumers. For example categories like insurance, healthcare are not allowed to be marketed like Condoms and Coke. Political advertising and marketing is too serious a tool to be left at the disposal of unscrupulous politicians who have no regard for ensuring the adequate delivery.

Isn’t it more difficult to get a driver’s job in India than acquire a gift of high political office?  Will it be fair for Rahul Gandhi to become next PM of India without working as a minister till now? What did Modi do before he was made the CM of Gujarat? How could Narendra Modi be expected to lead India to better future if he failed to find a job during his youth? Political offices need people with high degree of expertise and skills besides missionary zeal to do something for a country. Yes there are minimum standards for someone becoming a PM in India but are they enough? Any Donald Trump can charm the voters with a political marketing campaign designed and run by professionals like me but is it good for the health and future of any democracy? Its time India wakes up and lays down clear qualifications-skills and work experience, for the high political offices or be prepared to remain a poor and inconsequential country.

Political marketing is very effective and pervasive discipline having considerable impact on a society therefore it must be held to highest degree of consumer/citizen accountability in a democracy for sake for evolving it into a republic. Election manifestoes and other promises must be brought under consumer rights and the apex courts must old public trial before each election to help citizens make informed choices. Consumer can avoid Coke & condoms but not politics.

The Doctrine of Sikhism rather than Buddhism can end global terror.

Once again the humanity lost at the Brussels airport. The Innocent people were bombed butchered mercilessly in cold blood without any fault of them. They had no idea why they were drawn into wars that politicians wage to further an agenda. How can we fight terror? How to resolve conflicts & wars be minimized? What is terror and how can all forms of terror be condemned and defeated? Does the prospect of a mutually assured destruction not enough to convince war mongers?

War is often portrayed as an inevitable outcome in an unjust world that fails to ensure justice & equality to all in a fair moral manner. How could we differentiate between genuine freedom fighters & cold blooded terrorists? Can the state take to terrorism to fight with its enemy terrorists? Actually most of these questions have been answered many times by great men. It’s time we listen and bring peace to us.

It would be naïve to explain away that all wars are trade related and hence inevitable. World is engulfed in wars that are product of clash of religious, ethnic or political differences and hence must be defeated with twin force of weapons and thoughts. Terror in all its forms must be defeated and its threat to humanity need be contained. Norway has successfully demonstrated how a civilized country should fight terror when it listened to its most dangerous terrorist Andre Brevik and brought him to justice. World need to debate and defeat the ideologies that convince the Brevik, ISIS etc of the world to perpetrate bloodthirsty acts of terror before they are fought with force. Conflict is natural but terror is a disease.

India can once again be the world Guru of peace and delineate the strategy to fight the scourge of terror and establish peace in a war weary world. In my humble opinion the doctrine of the Sikhism rather than Buddhism can help prevent the next world war and save humanity from another catastrophe. Terrorism can’t be fought without use of the arms and the peace can’t be begged.  Therefore the world must listen to what Sikhism says and also see how the establishment of the Khalsa Sarkar in eighteen century Punjab led to peace in a prenatally strife torn part of India.

Almost a century before the USA bestowed the right to bears arms to its citizens the tenth Sikh Master Guru Gobind Singh ji blessed the Khalsa Panth in 1699 at Anandpur Sahib Punjab to demonstrate how weapons should be used to prepare the nectar for the sustenance of all humanity rather than poison the waters of life on earth. The doctrine of Sikhism led to establishment of the Khalsa Kingdom at Lahore Punjab based on equality & brotherhood. The Khalsa-Sarkar didn’t use terror as a weapon of the state to maintain rule of law. No peace can ever be achieved without justice & equality. The world must embrace all the humanity rather than discriminate against people of one color, race, religion or culture. All humanity is a Brotherhood of the living. The Khalsa-Sarkar of Maharaja Ranjit Singh followed Sikhism to help bring peace to the most troublesome part of the world. 

Each terror strike anywhere in the world reminds us once again of the stupidity of the Bush Administration’s unintelligent response to the 9/11 terror strike. On the hindsight majority of the Americans agree that if USA had gone after terrorists of 9/11 and brought them to justice rather than engage in an all out war perhaps the world would have been better place than its now. The wise doctrine of mutually assured destruction generally works in all cases with statistical accuracy. The state must never be seen to be acting like the terrorists and target innocents In the war against terrorism.

Post the Paris terror attacks the Pope had expressed his opinion about the beginning of the third world war. Well the wise Pope is certainly right. Look around and see how the many parts of world from the Middle East to Ukraine have been suffering from wars. The era of trade disputes resulting into wars seems to be behind us. The ongoing and potential wars are due to clash of ideologies and lack of international dispute resolution action.

It would be wise for the global power to discuss and debate before taking a one sided suo moto action to resolve global conflicts. The superpowers must leverage the platform of the United Nations to arrive at a widely accepted solution to global conflicts and avoid the third world war. Anyone on its own can start a war but one needs cooperation of the other side to end it. Global superpowers must lead the way through consensus for establishment of peace rather than leave it to individual counties to sow seeds of global terror. No country should be free to subjugate its citizens and govern its territory on other than humanitarian principles.  Sikhism teaches us to embrace all humanity and respect diversity for peace.

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