The Reality of Appearing Apolitical

I voted yesterday. This probably has to be the first election in my life where I had no idea what was going on in the Kerala political scene at all. I have no clue who most candidates are other then the seasoned ones, about the currents and undercurrents in the state and various regions and constituencies, personalities of the candidates and controversies around them and now those would affect their performance and so on. There was a time when I could pretty confidently predict the outcomes of the various elections in the state to a 80% accuracy. Now I barely know the candidates of my own constituency.

I used to avidly follow Kerala politics ever since I turned politically aware thanks to the highly politically charged atmosphere of the state. I always wondered about apolitical people. Why do people refuse to take active interest in politics especially it directly affects their lives in all manners? Why do they think it is some “dirty” thing that does concern them? And I think I now know why.

When you are regularly working 10 hours a day (12 hours on some) and that too in a high-tension, daily tasks, numbers and target-driven environment at one end and have family (children), parents, and a thousand other things that wrap your life up to worry about at the other, then you really, really do not want to have to bother about anything else. There simply is not enough time or mind space left after all that, you just want to crash somewhere. And it is not just politics that I do not have time for. I cannot even remember the last book I read or when I did.

I have learned that most people who are being accused of being “apolitical” aren’t really that, everyone is political, they just don’t have enough time or the space to be in-depth political analysts. Managing life is a full time job with 100% dedication and overtime every day. The best we can do in the midst of this exhausting rat race is vote, which I do, diligently, even if I have been disillusioned by some of the events in Kerala politics recently, by all parties.

Also, I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of the “privilege debate” because as it is, I barely could scrape enough time together to write this down.

Yeah, I am proud that I at least voted. And then there are the posh “politics be damned” crowd you see in places like Bangalore who are the real apolitical idiots who take election days as an extended holiday and head off to some hill station or resort.

Yeah I do miss those days of long political debates and analyses among other things.

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