I had my first lessons in Politics at some point in the highly-prone-to-learning days of my (probably everyone’s) life. It happened when I was living the life of a primary school kid – a little bigger than a toddler – who used to undertake that universal journey from home to school and back every day, wearing knickers and backpacks, and carrying a water bottle, in search of knowledge and experiences, though unwillingly, but in some days enthusiastically, and in some other days being pushed, pulled, pinched and dragged by his furious, yet responsible elder sister.
This is the story of my third standard. I guess learning was not happening as fast as the same is being happened among the present, highly sophisticated young generation. Politics was never heard of. But we were outgrown enough to learn longer rhymes, bigger stories, more complex alphabets, and more complicated Maths, though were far inferior than today’s kids who learn the language of C and C++ even from the kindergarten level.
The school was going very smooth. Our class was made of both girls and boys, and in the conservative way, both these crucial segments of humanity were made sit in two different seating rows. That gave each one of us greater freedom to mingle within our own respective segment. Boys became more friends. Similarly girls. I invite your attention to the boys section. Probably I can better tell the stories happened among boys, right? I happened to notice schisms in the tight pack of our friendship. Though was not influential to our daily activities in any way, the boys became parts of two different groups headed by two boys, L and S (the names are kept hidden in order to prevent them from gaining free fame).
I still don’t understand the reason for this fragmentation. Perhaps the instinctive behavior, which is more transparent among the kids than the matured ones, might have prompted us to show more affinity to the one who looked friendlier from the individual point of view. I was comparatively inactive, as far as this mock politics was concerned, so I happened to live the life of a NAM country (Non Aligned Movement), like India in the international politics during the WWII. Some other boys also were there who lived a groupless life like mine, but we didn’t have a common policy; there we differed from the international policy of the NAM countries.
When I gradually happened to understand the stronger bonds created between the members of each group, I also realized the importance of becoming a part of a group. I knew that I was missing the adventures that the strong members of each group were passing through. I was also not considered for the special gifts and food items each of the group members used to share within the group. I didn’t need a second thought of joining the class politics. My immediate affinity was towards the group headed by L. L and his friends welcomed me to their group happily.
But after becoming a member of L group also, I was inactive in terms of class politics. I used to keep a healthy relationship with the other group members also. Always L group was stronger in terms of headcount and talent. When my group members noticed my free-mindedness, they decided to keep me as a reserve member. I was not taken seriously in the joint interactions within the group.
Most often the S group remained a one member gang, only sometimes accompanied by one or more accomplices. Quitting a group and joining the other one was very common. I also had a single experience of quitting L group and joining S. It was when L denied a favour to which I asked him, and I immediately joined S group, proving my capability to create changes in politics. Following me, more dissatisfied members from the L group also jumped to the S side, giving hard blows to L group and its leadership. That was the only time, when S group surpassed the L group in terms of headcount. But my alignment with S group remained only for two days, and the third day I rejoined L group. After that L was keen on taking me also seriously, and I also decided to be an active member of L group.
You need to keep in mind that there was not any fight between the groups. No wars, only cold war; that was the situation. By the end of the academic year, S also became a part of L group, and the groups were dismissed afterwards.
The lessons I learned from the class politics:
- Everywhere in humanity, there are groups; two of them are most likely to be prominent.
- Right or Left, you always will have to be part of a group. Having no sides will not take you anywhere.
- Quit a group and join the other, if you feel that you are being sidelined. That will help you to get acceptance in your home group.
I think these rules are applicable everywhere in Politics.