ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Politics of the Disclaimer


The spheres of formal and specifically electoral politics, as participatory activities, have been dominated and sustained by two seemingly opposite positions, which are but essentially the same. The first position involves voters making a “universal” claim that they exercise their votes, for example, in favour of development, good governance, and vibrant nationalism. Thus, voters in this sense, tend to suggest that they have a stake primarily in common interests rather than particular personal interests. The disclaimer in the first instance, thus, is rather indirect. However, the disclaimer in case of those political leaders who are contesting elections at different levels, is normally direct with an added emphasis. Political aspirants often project their public posture with the disclaimer that they are contesting elections not to serve the interests of the self, but to safeguard the common interests of all. During the election season, this disclaimer by the candidates or their supporters is reflected in exorbitant promises that are often made by such political leaders. The question that we need to address is this: What is the exact determining will that motivates particularly political aspirants to contest the elections? What determines their decision to participate in election politics, collective interest or self-interest? The answer to this question is largely not in favour of universal interest but mostly in favour of particular interests.

The realm of electoral politics and the relative hold of formal political as well as institutional power have hugely served and continue to serve many political leaders to protect their self-interests, which are reflected on both the visible as well as the abstract levels. At the most visible level, the accumulation of physical assets of some such leaders tends to go up quite astronomically. It is quite astonishing to notice that the multiplication of assets happens without much investment of moral resources such as merit in the enterprise called electoral politics. The lack of merit thus suggests the following: Fostering personal gain does not come without compromising on the moral good, which is fundamentally associated with personal worth.

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Updated On : 23rd Oct, 2019
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