Bhaskar Parichha

Adore it or loathe it, politics has its own share of quotable quotes. From funniest quotes to the dumbest one, here is a refreshing list of famous lines said by equally famous people.

Niccolo Machiavelli has a very pertinent line for the present day Indian politics. He said, ‘Politics have no relation to morals.’ Winston Churchill said, ‘Politics is not a game. It is an earnest business.’

Charles de Gaulle’s take on politicians is so sensible: ‘In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.’ Two other famous figures- George Bernard Shaw and George Orwell too were scornful of politicians. Shaw said, ‘He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.’ Orwell remarked, ‘In our age there is no such thing as keeping out of politics. All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.’

There is so much coaxing and wheedling to take part in elections. Plato, the great Greek philosopher, observed, ‘One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.’ Elections in India have become so expensive that ordinary mortals like you and me can’t think of fighting them even in our dreams. Will Rogers said, ‘Politics has become so expensive that it takes a lot of money even to be defeated. ’Gore Vidal has a different take on this issue: ‘Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.’

Finding the right candidate in Indian elections is next to impossible. Kin Hubbard too had the same dilemma when he said, ‘We would all like to vote for the best man but he is never a candidate.’ Edmund Burke’s caution on gentlemen despising politics is worth the while. Burke said, ‘When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.’ NOTA (None of the above) has been added to the preference for voters in the EVMs these elections. WC Fields once said, ‘Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against.’

Why there is widespread abhorrence to politics is not difficult to fathom. According to Cal Thomas, ‘One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician’s objective. Election and power are’. Lord Acton’s tweet hardly needs re-tweeting. He said, ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ What if the air is vitiated with accusations and counter-accusations by Sonia, Rahul, Modi, Mulayam and their ilk?

It was Henry A. Kissinger who rather pithily observed: Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.’ Groucho Marx said, ‘Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.’ And, finally, Doug Larson has this warning against the political class: ‘Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.’

(The author Bhaskar Parichha is a Bhubaneswar based senior journalist and columnist. Views are personal)

Tags: #PolicticalQuotes #Greekphilosopher #politicalcareer #ElectioninIndia #EVM #NOTA