Politics of Numbers

Politics of Numbers

October 16, 2013

Being a crowd puller is proving to be an essential quality for a political leader, entertainer or even a local Durga Puja. Popularity quotient is now a number game. Be it number of followers on Social Media or the number of likes a page or a post generates, all these tools are used to 'size-up' a person.

A few years back it was the actors of the film industry who indulged in the musical chairs of numbers. A hit or a miss on a Friday could cause the same upheaval the recent quake in Pakistan did. Exactly like a game of snakes and ladders.


Social Media and Number Games

Now the number bug has bitten even the ordinary. Social media is a fertile gratification ground to feel amongst numbers. The virtual intangible world has in fact very successfully created a real aura of being ‘someone’.

Words are crafted masterfully and ideas squeezed as craftily as a lemon squeezer would to create maximum impact and buzz online. Identities have been crafted, jobs have been earned just by the virtue of the virtual world – to be able to connect with the numbers.


Make or Break

Sensex and share market was always about numbers and cheers and yes some tears too. The number run can make, break or tear. Mathematics doesn’t care about those beyond the numbers and so it is better to leave this field to it.

In Parliament it is a number game and it stands testimony to the innovative and blatant ways by which Parties tried to make it to the mark and drum up the required numbers. It is the number that holds the key to the fate of the nation.


Hired Audience

Politicians needed numbers for rallies and at the time of elections. No secret that the crowds are allured in many ways to fill up the venue. Headlines next day scream the estimated bulging figure and seldom the keynote. Somewhere deep got entrenched in our DNA the thought that the numbers speak.

Today even more as 2014 elections reach the final lap, numbers are getting all the attention. Auditoriums, stadiums are getting filled to hear out the leaders. The leaders are on their calculators doing a quick addition and multiplication to throw up the record number turn-out at different venues. A deviating thought – the record crowd must be turning up to hear the leaders fearing what if they do not speak after they are elected going by the recent experience with the head of the country.


Electioneering and Mass Hysteria

One such record gathering of students recently was lured telling them to come in with their innovative ideas and the leaders would hear them out. The idea met with a swell number of turnouts but alas the agenda on the leaders’ list was very different to that of students. The mass disappointment spilled out through a number of posts and comments the next day.

Point is clear. Great to have numbers under ones belt, but one must have the deftness to understand and read the mind behind numbers. Leaders of today would do good to remember this simple maxim - there is no safety in numbers, or in anything else.

Like it is said, a good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers similarly political leaders should not do everything keeping numbers in mind. They say a few honest men are better than numbers similarly “ekla cholo re” is a strong statement if the conviction is equally strong.


Parting Thought

In Bengal we have seen number surges at rallies of both Left and TMC. While the Left is still confused about when the majority left them, TMC consolidated on the numbers and are set for a stable run.

In conclusion to this six hundred and fifty six word article, only one saying comes to mind: 99 percent of all statistics only tell 49 percent of the story.

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Comments (2)
 
Indranil Reply
October 16, 2013
In social media numbers are playing quite an important role. Now-a-days if u have large number of followers in Twitter and huge likes on your Facebook page then you ought to be someone special and it will draw other people like a magnet.
Arindam Reply
October 15, 2013
I never rely on numbers. Many box office hit films are not worth watching and many flops have good stories and superb acting. In politics also i don't think numbers play a major role. If you are good, you will go ahead.
 
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