O : Opinion

Does your childhood shape your voting pattern?

For democracy to not turn into a mobocracy, we each need to take individual responsibility of choosing the right candidate by using our power of discernment properly, says Yog Maya Singh.

How we feel about the government depends a lot on how we feel about our parents. In fact, in Bihar and UP people use the term mai-baap for the authority in place. However, there are layers to this feeling.

While consciously I still haven’t been able to accept the fact that my parents did the best they could in raising me, yet I am ready to give that leeway to the previous government (UPA/Congress in my case) and don’t find it difficult to accept that they did the best they could in running this huge country. Ke itna bada desh chalane me to galtiyan ho jati hain.

I feel parents’ love shouldn’t only ensure that there are no thorns in a child’s path; it should also ensure that some rose petals are strewn too. A parent isn’t meant only to protect the child from the bad, but is also meant to introduce them to the good ,to the good things that can happen to them. I didn’t have a terrible childhood, but I didn’t have a really happy one either. My parents were always in survival mode and her favourite dialogue like many others is ‘zamana kharab hai‘. But when I grew up I realized that the zamana is a mixed bag, wo kabhi accha bhi hai, kabhi kharab bhi hai. But it took me nearly 30 years to figure out ke zamana kitna sundar bhi hai. My mom raised three daughters in a small town called Dhanbad and one of her biggest fears was that men are scary. Since she operated from a place of fear, I, her most sensitive child and the one who looks like an exact copy, got married to a scary man, just the kind of man she wanted to keep us away from.

In short, my mother saw the world from the ‘right wing’ worldview, where the other was out to take away your happiness. You feel a sense of belonging but slowly it starts suffocating you. On the other extreme was my dad with his ‘left wing’ worldview, so liberal that it almost felt like abandonment.

We need guidelines, not rules to have a healthy sense of individuality. Call parenting guidelines the axis on which our personality/individuality rotates. However, dad was a workaholic and whatever little time he spent with us; he was completely liberal. And I swung wildly like a trapeze artist between the two extreme styles of parenting. Since as a child I spent more time with my mother and I found her rules suffocating, my conscious personality was that of a liberal because I wanted to be opposite of who my mom was (I became like my dad so to say). My mom distrusted everyone; I chose to trust everyone, a perfect recipe for disaster. It is only later that I began to use my powers of judgement and became a balanced individual.

Subconsciously though I later figured out I was suffering from a ‘right wing’ worldview and even though my conscious brain trusted people, my subconscious was scared of people, just like my mom and I would self-sabotage any budding romantic relationship, because I was scared of men, just as my mom had taught me. Later I realised during the crisis my dad turned out to be extremely ‘right-leaning’ and was liberal only in his softer moments, just like me. I worked a lot on myself to become a centrist, a person with a balanced worldview; a person who lives from moment to moment and continuously does a Karan Johar on life Kabhi tilting left of centre, Kabhi tilting right of centre. Or to put it more aptly doing a Hrishikesh Mukherjee on life:  Kabhi Naram, Kabhi Garam.

Think of Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi as these two styles of parenting. Figure out for yourself whether your childhood has influenced your political choices.

I feel angry (it is lessening day by day though) at my parents perhaps because parents have a face that I interact with quite a lot, while the government is a collection of often unknown faces and unknown hearts.

On the other hand, I know someone who too has had a not very comfortable transition from childhood to adulthood. He had to take the whole family’s financial responsibility at the tender age of 18. Both his parents are alive, but the responsibility fell on him to provide food on the plate. This person has accepted that his parents did the best they could, but finds it difficult to accept the same about the previous dispensation (Congress/UPA). In crisis moments he is a huge BJP supporter, but in his softer moments, he is a centrist just like me. That because he has the courage to look inwards and work on himself just like me.

I have also noticed that women who crave a softer mother figure often veer towards a softer ruling dispensation. And men who desire stronger father figures often veer towards a more apparently tougher ruling dispensation. Subconsciously such women are tired of being ruled over in every aspect of their lives, while the men feel a lack of what we call margdarshan (guidance) in Hindi. The women thus crave softer leaders who will allow them to contribute equally in any task, while the men crave stronger leaders who can take over or at least share the responsibilities they have been carrying single-handed for long.

In my understanding, there will never be a perfect government until each looks inwards and takes responsibility for their happiness. Collective happiness is perhaps the sum total of individual feelings of happiness.

However, I am just thinking out loud in this post and stand open to being corrected. And I am just stating an understanding (not even an opinion and not a fact). And in this post, I am only talking about people who are very socio-politically aware, have extreme opinions, but are yet somewhere open-minded to new information and evidence.

Additionally interesting reading: Spirituality and politics

Mantra = man (mind)+ tra (comes from tran meaning ‘tran’scendence 🙂 or liberation).

Tantra = Tan (body) + tra ( liberation)

Yantra (machine) = Yam (death or toil)+ tra (liberation).

Mantri = Someone who has transcended the ego-mind, is a master rather than a servant of his mind. He understands the Universal mind.

Pradhan mantri = Someone who has been able to completely overcome the ego and only lives to serve the people.

Gantantra (Republic) = Gan (group/public) +tan (body) + tra. The people of the country come together to help uplift the less fortunate and they choose the leader.

Prajatantra (Democracy) = Where each individual (body) is equally important in order for the country to thrive. Each vote counts.

Matdan (voting) = mati (buddhi/intellect) + dan ( donation). Donating a part of your intellect so that the country is run by efficient leaders.

Minister = Comes from the root word minus. So, a minister is someone who is minus any ego.

Prime Minister = A person who is entirely minus his ego but chooses to serve the godliness in people.

Religion = Re (again) + legion (a large number of people combined/united by a similar idea, as in ‘legion of fans’. So religion is nothing more than the coming together of people united by a similar idea, again and again.


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