OP Bhatnagar – A Poet of Political Awakening

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OP Bhatnagar is one of the most leading voices of Indian English poetry whose collections Thought Poems (1976), Feeling Fossils (1977), Angels of Retreat (undated), The Audible Landscape, Oneric Visions, Shadows in Floodlight (1984) and Cooling Flames of Darkness (2001) bespeak of political consciousness of the poet. As it is clear cut fact that Indian English poetry can never stay away from the socio-political atmosphere of India and poets who do not write under a single formula but rather start a dialogue between 'man and man' so Bhatnagar too deals with a number of issues of our society and politics. Dr. AN Dwivedi comments:

"Bhatnagar's poetry comprehends a great variety of themes which directly focus on the long ness of his experience and the solemnity of his involvement in the affairs of life." (CIE217)

Bhatnagar's tackling of political theme is more firm and larger than any other Indian English poet for he has touched almost all the aspects of political scenario. Dr.VKSingh observes:
"We find in Bhatnagar a frank analysis of the facts of contemporary life. Bhatnagar descants upon myriad aspects of political life as existing currently. No salient feature escapes his keenly discerning eye. Bhatnagar rips open the bosom of several political riddles. He mirrors before us what is what of all political problems. " (152)

Themes like election, bribery, corruption, criminalization of politics, rampant bribery among the leaders degrading character of national leaders, division of society by communalism, castism, linguism, and regionalism etc and the utter loss of values ​​in politics are touched by the poet in a remarkably sensitive and superbly sarcastic way which is still not being surpassed by any poet of Indian English Poetry. His assertion that 'Indian Poetry in English has to be Indian' can not be overlooked if we aspire to promote Indian Literature. Merely copying and coping with the English and English Literature is insufficient because Indian sensibility is not suffering with the penury of thoughts, emotions and sensibility and because it has its foundation vitality and voice of potentiality. Dr. RC Sharma is right when he says:

"The reason why Bhatnagar advocates making Indian Poetry in English is beset with conflicts and concerns; and these conflicts and concerns are basically Indian. Bhatnagar is conscious of the milieu in which the Indian poet in English lives as well as of the duty which the Indian poet in English has to perform. "(79)

OPBhatnagar has dealt with a number of themes like social consciousness, political awareness, love, nature, philosophy and Indianness. According to Dr. AN Dwivedi:

Bhatnagar's poetry comprehends a great variety of themes, which directly focus on the largeness of his experienceand the solemnityof his involvement in the affairs of his life. (CIE, 217)

In this way Bhatnagar understands the tempo and temperature of his times and accordingly orchestrates his poetry. Bhatnagar's dealing with the theme of politics is myriad and real. The various social problems that agitate the conscience of man are the subjects of his poetry and he tries to throw a good deal of light on all of them. SCBose observes:

"The poetry of OPBhatnagar which has indeed many dimensions is also significant as poetry of political consciousness." (VV, 29)

The frank analysis of the fact of contemporary life, and the picturesque delineation make his poetry vibrant and appealing. According to Bhatnagar:

"Most of the vital areas of the life today are governed by the quality of political life and atmosphere are creating and living. Politics today has replaced our religious mode of life. We are fast becoming concerned with a kind of nationalism that may define our role and responsibilities in the making of the destiny of our Nation in future. " (RC, 'Introduction', 8)

According to Bhatnagar:

Indian poetry in English should primarily concern to social and political life of the people of India and it, 'must democratize its concerns and relations to society and make it a source of shared expectations … it must throw light on the degeneration and corruption corroding identities. It must speak of the total lose of moral values, the gloom and the frustrations pervading the National scene. "(RC, 'Introduction'9)

Poetry for Bhatnagar is a constant search and effort to symbolize for a better socio-political life .to him, it is' a self conscious craft shaped and reshaped by constant practice-refined and retouched by way of the vision. Like life itself, it is the work of a gardener who after removing all weeds cultivates it to final growth and flowering. As such there is no influence of any particular school of thought on his poetry. It is entirely his own- a personal experiment inspired by surroundings, ages, times and above all by human predicament.

The first collection of Bhatnagar Thought Poems (1976) has good deal of poems of political consciousness. The poems rich in thought content lack in emotion like that of romantic poets but the first poem of the collection finds out the process of poetic creation. Bhatnagar writes:

"Poetry's meaning
Like a deity in enshrined
Words upon words, the edifice build. "(TP, 5)

Bhatnagar throws ample light on the question concerning God who can not be resolved out in going round the temple by the worshipper. God is a meaning and deity enshrined in words of poem, the artist alone can expound and seek Him out:

"We may go round and round the temple
Yet never be around God.
We may go round and rand an idea
Yet never be around a thought. "(Ibid. 5)

In one of his poems, he predicts the future as gloomy as the present:

"The future looks faded
Like the blossoms of cacti after dawn
The saints from bars, brothels and night clubs
Tasting of casinos and underworld
Turn morals, values ​​and virtues to ice-cream
Licked by fun loving childness in cones. "(TP, 10)

In the poem 'The new Scale' Bhatnagar tries to strike balance between one man's meat is another man's poison. The poet finds the dictum worn out in the modern context 'a simple and honest man measures life in value spoons as he finds dishonesty to be the meanest way of life'. The stark reality of life can be seen as:

"A simple, honest man
In a worn out mode
May still himself find
Measuring life in value spoons
Bribery, corruption and forgery

For him, a bitter poison be. "(TP, 12)

Bhatnagar wishes to opine that the one's who amass wealth are the little concern with the interest with their fellow beings, nor do they feel any immorality in acting quite contrary to the code of conduct. In another poem 'A Woe of Wonder', Bhatnagar expresses our sentiments and helpless attitude. The poet regrets the diversity, disintegration that our country possesses today. The emphasis of the poet is nothing but Nationality, one sentiment and one attitude. This idea is penned by the poet as:

"Our is a multiheaded country
Looking in no particular direction
Trimurti is an all inclusive vision
From here to eternity risen
Telling the tale of our frivolity. "(TP, 14)

Similarly in the poem 'The Bonds of Country Care' the poet comments on the loyalty and patriotism of those Indians who have been amassing vanity, wealth and arrogance by their services to the countries to which they have immigrated. These so called loyal citizens and tireless patriots visit India for their own cause:

"Loyal citizens proud of patriots
Never forget the care of their country
And fly back home from time to time
Either to choose a bride like a prince
Or buy of ones country a jewel of a land
Placing their kingdom in a safety of bands
Sealed with the loyal assurance with a wink
That although they do not belong to this country
It sure belongs to their empire. "(TP, 15)

The second collection Feeling Fossils has also some poems of political interest. Bhatnagar despite treating the politics in an indirect manner hardly fails to pin point very uncommon phenomena that somehow remain hidden from the eye of even those who have specialized in the game of politics. 'Crossing The Bar' is realistic poem that lashes on the modern politicians. His comment on the modern politicians is worth quoting:

"Morals as dense
As thick forests
Let no light in;
The game is weird
Hunting loyalties
For romance. "(FF, 16)

Another notable poem 'The No Man's Land' expresses the idea that freedom has brought no racial change in the life of the people who are still living the dark dungeon of poverty, illiteracy and justice. The movement of liberation was raised by the masses but only few privileged men came forward to control. And when the efforts and sacrifices of the masses resulted success those privileged few captured thrown of the country and continued ruling over the nation under the garb of democracy. So the poet feels right:

"Before the British came
The land was not ours:
After they left,
It was not ours too
The land belongs
To those who rule;
The others merely inherit
The no man's land. "(FF, 19)

The third collection Angles of Retreat has several thought provoking poems in which the poet explores the meaning of time as is evaluated from the events emerging from the cave of materialism wedded to hypocrisy. The tone of the poet in this collection is satiric and ironical. In the poem 'History is A Sorry go round' the poet wishes to propound that the historians often ignore the importance of the people at large and they tend to magnify the deeds of a few privileged men. The political sycophants have no other way of reaching the pages of History. The historians think that their labor in recording titles and tortures serve the cause of National unity and security and they are helped by political sycophants:

"Political sycophants are their aides
On whose beguiling predictions
They fire eat and perform
The Japanese fire-walk shows
To dazzle the already dazed. "(AR, 40)

However political leaders and sycophants forget that the tyrants and blood suckers have to face a fall:

"Too much suppression and much politicking
It ferments its own defeat
Forcing the masses to forge
In the smithy of their conscience
The invisible weapons of their conscience
The invisible weapons of their fall
Crowning shame on the foreheads of tyrants
And nailing bitter truths
On the crossroads times. "(AR41)

'Beggars can Be Choosers' is a remarkable poem in which the poet extends his sympathy for the poor, homeless deceased and propounds that begging is not an evil as those that are harbored by shallow careerists, dare devil smugglers and cheating blackmarketeers. The beggars are away from the ailment of tension, alienation and loss of identity and the poet concludes:

"All my humanitarian approach
Seemed a snarl to me
And my reformist fervor a celluloid zeal
Little realizing that beggars also can be choosers
And little less apprehending
The way we can misread one another
To keep our irrational forms going
That in endless deceit
End the shapes of our destiny. "(AR, 43)

Similarly, in another poem 'Thoughts on A Election Day' is another poem of political consciousness in which the poet ridicules and paints a very vivid and realistic picture of ignorant voters and literate officials as follows:

"The ignorant voters in their routine
Queue up day-dreaming
And in a passion of a second
Get rid of their oscitant indecision
Stamping symbols for men.
With a handful of literates
Sealing illiterate favours in steel boxes
And recording the proud percentage of poll
A quite reigns over the polling booths
Like mourners retired from their obsequies. "(AR, 46)

The hope for new political miracles after such democratic phenomena in every five year is finely portrayed by the poet who wishes to say that Democracy is nothing but the ugly face oppression and injustice.

The fourth collection of verse Oneric Visions indirectly muses over the themes of politics wherein several fragments related to political consciousness are scattered in the volume. For example in the poem 'If One Starts Asking Questions like Hamlet' the poet gives a reference to politics:

"The fanatic erect marbles statues
Of their transient heroes
On the evanescent route of times-
Some whispering revolution
Others proclaiming peace-
Leaving the common man
To elbow sun with sun-shades. "(OV 25)

In 'Who is Afraid of Fear' the poet's idea about the magnitude of evils that tell about the nature of politics is expressed by the poet:

"Up rise the ghost of smugglers
Hoarders, hooligans and holy-idlers
In a saucy denial of their treason
And evoke the deformed apparitions
Of the men who wished to rule
Or the man who just could not be men
And like a Shikhandi shielded
The shadow of sin

Branding sun complain of gout
Bent with an aging dream
Wiping morals like beauty
Scrapped by actors with cold cream. "(OV, 35)

The Gandhian concept of non-violence is very well expressed in the poem 'Non-Niolence and Violence'. Like Gandhi, Bhatnagar feels that even non-violence has its limits:

"If one strikes you once
I invite him to do it again:
If one takes off your shirt
Offer him to remove whatever remains. "(OV, 35)

But it is not practically non-violence but a dearth of wisdom rather the poet suggests:

"With ideals folded like umbrella
One may keep them for a rainy day
And indulge in violence for fun
But the wrinkled dialectic of violence
Is a bit too monotonous
Putting the ikebana of horror
Unrelieved and unpossessed
Of any sense of humour
Worth the while. "(OV, 43)

The collection Shadows in Floodlight has several poems of depth and observation in which the poet becomes philosophical as well as analytical. In the poem 'Of Poverty, Revolutions and Dreams' the poet upholds rightly:

We can not value poetry than its contents
Like vice more than its purity
And frustrations behave a wfore:
For poetry in itself is a revolution
Undreamt of in dreamt undreams. "(SF, 17)

But in another poem 'The Living Scene' the poet presents the picture of modern India saying:

"The living scene in my country
Is worth only for the granite eyes
Insensitive and resilient
For our visions to unfold. "(SF, 20)

And he adds:

"It's a scene where utopia and epic
Are merging into a palpable chaos
Adventure overrunning freedom
Gangsterism whipping justice,
Politics keeping dignity captive
Inaction to avoid thought. "(Ibid)

The sixth collection The Audible Landscape has ample poems related to political consciousness in which the poet vocalizes and reflects the present scenario of the Nation and its people. For example, the first poem reflects the slavish mentality of the people who are ready to suffer without making a sigh. The Nation has become coward and the malady is beyond all treatment. The poet says:

"The self enslaving slaves are ruled
By glad ghosts. "(AL, 9)

And he adds:

"When slavery is loved as a rhetoric to survive
Rendering both Cervants and Dostoyevsky futile
Conceits of cowards need no therapist
Nor freedom a Marx or a Gandhi to revive. "(P.9)
He mirrors our predicament saying:
"A prisoner is more free than those
Who have no freedom even to dream. "(Ibid)

Almost the identical tone is continued in the next poem 'The Walls of Prison house Remain'. Bhatnagar writes:

"We've broken the chains of slavery
The walls of prisonhouse remain. "(AL, 10)

The following extract from the poem mirrors the plight of the Indians:

"Our despair is not because
There is less revolution
But little change. "(Ibid)
Or:
"Even now we look for leaders to follow
God to send us his grace:
We're afraid of speaking the truth
And resisting whatever is unjust
Foul and corrupt in our bones. "(Ibid)
What a fun it has that we have taken phrases for reality forgetting all resistance and protest. Bhatnagar says:
"Long caged in slavery
We've become like circus lions
Incapable of freedom in emotions
Became our own prisonwalls. "(.AL P.11)

The third poem in the volume 'Can Facts Be Destroyed By Ideas, highlights the reality which can not be destroyed by ideas the so called cat politics can not play the game of hide and seek for a long time. The poet writes:

"Yesterday they were the dreams of tomorrow
Today they are the memories of past-
Villages to replace heaven:

The unsheltered resting in villas:
Morals to be as firm as mountains:
With he hungry feeding at the Taj-
All this is history now of politics
That enrich country with poverty such long. "(AL, 12)

The poet concludes saying:

"Even poets are now weary of dreams
Readt like Caligula to depart
Let struggle revive to make up for the loss
In art turn material hostile to art. "(Ibid)

In this collection there are number of poems like 'Still Questions', 'The New Morality', 'The Second Coming', 'On Seeing Rashtrapati Bhavan', 'Displacement More Spacious', 'That Space' and 'The Second Conversion' in which the poet points out the foils and foibles of our character and presents the snapshot of the suffering humanity and reveling a naked of modern life Bhatnagar tries to reform the present scenario and motivates us to fight against injustice and humiliation.
The last collection Cooling Flames of Darkness (2001) has also a number of poems of political interest in which the poem 'The Janus Faced Politician' is remarkable. The poet starts saying:

"Who says it takes yellow sweat and suffering
To become a leader these fruitful days!
It's now faience with all imperfections
To charm the innocent unequals
With more charming handicaps
Way laying day-dreams by faldage
With deceptive drawings of fain hopes. (CFD, 17)

The farcical face of Indian politics and the imposters called politicians are sketched by the poet so well. Bhatnagar urges us:

"So, watch a hardcore bandit
A seasoned-green kidnapper
A smart murderer: a high-fi smuggler
A high moving scamster
Talk glib on television
Or dictate his undercover turns
To the twice beleaguered people
Voting him to power with little choice
Democracy forcing its way to a farce. (CFD, 18)

The poem 'Ravaged Children of The Civilized Times' shows almost all the outer conflicts in the world where the people of the modern times are more indulged in cancerous violence, sins and crimes rather being' in the line of the best selling fiction: / media blow-up on sight on internet '. Politicians are like Cassius and Shakuni who are fixing distant designs of personal power-park and are 'perambulating their nebulous dreams.' According to him, politicians will never let the world change in its earlier glory. He says:

"We're ravaged of civilized times-
Our limping spirits have their own vexed truth:

Philosophers, physiologists or politicians aside
All fires end- find their glory in ashes:
And waters emptying themselves out
Through all the mountain gashes. And
Howsoever much innocence may stand the test
By fire and water:
Violence will never lost its radiance
The woes of innocence their cold surrender.
May be the return to the tenderness of heart
Lies through bestiality, faxed all over the world
The text in its authenticity unchanged. "(CFD, 14)

Likewise, in 'The Primitives of The Age', the poet imagines the more ghasty mishappenings and the overgrowth of the ghost of dirty politics:

"Come one, come all
Come hyenas or wolves
The inlaid roots will naturally force
Their trampled power to fresh shoots
And survive the grizzly undergrowth
In a new grace of their old salons
Tesing the civilized in their

Much biting teeth. "(CFD, 16)

In 'Looking At My Solitude' the poet tries to unburden himself from the agonies of time but finds solace nowhere and says:

"For the agony of it
Philosophy, music or poetry
May only half-persuade the fine taste
To savour the taste of solitude
In good taste and trust:
For, the bitter at best can turn
Only less bitten not sweeter still. "(CFD, 36)

Thus, from the above narration it is revealed that Bhatnagar's poetry is free from all the movements of Rightist or Leftist nor it has any relation with any particular school of thought or ideology rather to a depiction of reality crystal-clearly and narration of truth in pictorial and vividly. The Religion of Bhatnagar's poetry is love and peace. His poetic creed is essentially human and kind. He seems to be a true advocate of simplicity when he says:

"Poetry at its best is a clear and a simplified version of the complex and the confused for there is nothing more transcidental beyond the creative simplicity of poetry. Poetry wins not by its snobbishness but by its simplicity. Simple poetry is the poetry of togetherness. If more Indian people are to read poetry in English then it must get common and accessible and related to the living human concerns of the times than mere to words, animals, damsels and sex. " (FD, 122)

Therefore, we can say that Bhatnagar has treated the politics as metaphor in his poetry and his poetry has established itself as the clarion call of awakening in the present milieu of political darkness.

References:

oA.N. Dwevedi (ed.), Contemporary Indo English Verse. Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot.1998.
oV. K. Singh. 'Silhouttes from Political & Economic Life' The Poetry of OP Bhatnagar- A critical Evaluation. Under the supervision of Dr. TK Ramchandran, Submitted to Rohilkhand University, Bareilly, 1992
oR.C. Sharma & Dolly Oswal, 'OP Bhatnagar's Treatment of Politics', Agra University Journal of Research. Vol.xxx, pt. 1, Jan.1982
oS. C. Bose, Vision & Voice. Vol.2, Ed. GP Baghmar, Nagpur; Vishwa Bharti Publications. (Abbreviated as VV)
oO. P. Bhatnagar (ed,) Rising Columns-Some Indian Poets in English.Amravati; Kala Prakashan.
o —————————— Thought Poems.Aligarh: Skylark Publications. 1976, (Abbreviated as TP in the text)
o —————————— Feeling Fossils .New Delhi: Samkaleen Prakashan., (Abbreviated as FF in the text)
o ————————— Angles of Retreat .New Delhi: Samkaleen Prakashan., (Abbreviated as AR in the text)
o —————————- Oneric Visions. Jaipur: Rachna Prakashan., (Abbreviated as OV in the text)
o —————————– Shadows in Floodlights. Aligarh: Skylark Publications. (Abbreviated as SF in the text)
o —————————— Audible Landscape. Aligarh: Skylark Publications. (Abbreviated as AL in the text)
o ————————— Cooling Flames of Darkness. New Delhi: Samkaleen Prakashan., 2001 (Abbreviated as CFD in the text)
o ————————— Future Directions- Indian Poetry in English Jaipur: Rachna Prakashan, (Abbreviated as FD in the text)

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Source by Shaleen Singh

Top 3 Ways to Create Political Slogans That Win!

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Political slogans can be an integral part of your campaign's communications effort. Slogans present an easy-to-remember way to present your candidate's name and message to the electorate. Ideal political taglines should be pithy and memorable, utilize the candidate's name, and tie directly to the campaign's message:

1. Make it Memorable

If your political slogans are not memorable, then … well, then no one will remember them. That goes without saying, right? Make your slogans memorable by making them short and pithy. Try using alliteration (starting several words with the same letter) or the "rule of three." This rule says that things are more easily remembered when they are presented in threes. (For example: Arlen Specter for District Attorney: He's Smart, He's Tough, and Nobody Owns Him …) Using three short, punchy phrases is a way to make your slogan very memorable.

2. Utilize the Candidate's Name

Every slogan should use the candidate's name as a central part of the tagline. What good is a political slogan if it does not help the voters remember the candidate's name? For example:

John Smith for Alderman. No One Cares More about Our Schools.

Clean Streets, Safe Neighborhoods. Ralph Major for Mayor.

Too many campaigns have really catchy slogans that do not use the candidate's name. Do not make this mistake. Always put the candidate's name front and center in your political slogan.

3. Tie Your Slogan to the Campaign Message

How should you decide what your campaign slogan should be? The first step is to review your campaign message – what is it that you most want the voters to remember about your campaign? What sets your candidate apart from "the other guy?" Take that issue (the "message" of your campaign) and use it to craft your slogan.

For example, if your message revolves around lower taxes, then so should your tagline. If your message centers on building new schools in your town, then your tagline should focus on education.

When building your political slogans, remember to make them memorable, use the candidate's name, and tie your tagline as closely as possible to your campaign's message. Then, test your slogan by running it by as many voters as possible (both supportive and non-supportive) as possible to see what they think. Make some revisions, and then go with it.

Well crafted, well thought out political slogans can and should form an integral part of your overall campaign communications strategy.

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Source by Joe Garecht

Global Language of English – The Importance of Learning English

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English has become one of the most important languages ​​in the world. It has trickled even into lesser known countries as something that is needed to communicate with others. English is used in politics, business dealings, and everyday life. Many people are finding it hard to get by without knowing English. The global language of English is found in popular music, television programs and even on the internet. As a whole, there are more websites made in English than anywhere else. Realizing the importance of English, many people have taken it on as a second language.

Politics is one arena where English is important. In order for countries to communicate with each other, they must learn the native language. Since English speaking countries are a very important part of the global economy and its advancement, other political and country leaders must either learn English or find someone who knows English to interpret for them. Since it is considered bad manners to have things communicated through others, political leaders opt to learn the global language of English. This makes it easier for them to talk to their peers on matters of serious concern without feeling inadequate.

The business world has need for the global language of English as well. Many companies are expanding overseas. American companies are setting up shop in other countries, and there are companies that wish to transfer over to America. The language barrier must be broken somehow, so people in the business world are learning English. This makes it easier to broker deals, or tell potential partners what is expected of them. It is also a good way to communicate with potential employees. It is often the tradition of the business world that you need to know your potential partner's native tongue. So if an American wants to initiate a deal with a Japanese business partner, the American needs to know Japanese. It's considered proper business etiquette. With other countries wanting to set up businesses in English speaking countries, or needing to appeal to English speaking customers, they need to learn English.

Tourism is another area where English has been embraced. : Many English speaking people like to visit different Countries on vacation. It's important for businesses in these countries to learn the global language of English since they will, in fact, be benefiting from the presence of tourists. They'll spend their money to buy souvenirs from their businesses, sample and eat the food, and take tours. This benefits their economy as a whole.

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Source by Grace Rimando

The Moderate – Key Political Views

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In the world of politics, people who describe themselves as moderate share in common a handful of fundamental beliefs. These people are united not around a party or organization but around a certain worldview. In this article I am going to tell you the most important things you need to know about what defines a moderate.

Oxford dictionary describes a moderate as an "individual who is not extreme, partisan or radical". People often use centrist as a synonym with the term but it should not be used interchangeably. Moderates can be centrists, but they can also be classified either as center-left or center-right on the classic political spectrum. There is a significant degree of flexibility when it comes to party choice for these individuals as they have very pragmatic tendencies when it comes to voting.

There are, nevertheless, a select few beliefs and characteristics that ties every political moderate together. They are listed as follows:

Common Sense and Reason

A moderate's thinking about political issues is founded on the premise that they think with their heads. Meaning, they try to not let their emotions get in the way of making decisions on often difficult and complex issues. They understand the various implications both positive and negative that could arise from taking one position or another on a given topic. Thus, moderates try to vote as rationally as they can. Moderates weigh the importance of one thing versus the other and decide which one is truly more crucial and will be more beneficial to the society in which they live. They also have a tendency to vote pragmatically or "strategically" when the occasion warrants such behavior. The moderate despises irrationality, which leads me to the next section.

Belief in Science

I strongly and personally believe that a belief in science is absolutely essential to the identity of a moderate. To discredit the basics of science is to exhibit an utter disregard for reason and rationality. In most western countries this is not an issue like it is in the United States of America. Statistics from polls that ask Americans about their beliefs in science and evolution are absolutely disheartening to the average person of sanity. After having a president for the last eight years that disrespected and misunderstood science, the numbers should not come as a shock. Regardless of whether one votes as a moderate conservative or moderate liberal, a belief in science is imperative to being able to justly hold the 'm' word in their title.

Middle-of-the-Road Politics

Moderates often describe themselves as "independents", not affiliating themselves with any specific political party. However, they can favor one party over the other, hence the terms moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans. When moderates' party of choice starts to move too far to the left or the right, they can become uneasy. Candidates who take far left or right ideological positions are not appealing to average moderate voters. When the media reports that independents decide elections in places like the United States and Canada, what they are really saying is that moderates decide those elections. In the US, the last two Democratic Presidents were moderates, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. George W. Bush campaigned as a moderate with the slogan "compassionate conservatism" but governed mostly as an ideologue. In Canada, the Liberal party of Canada defines itself as a centrist / moderate party and dominated Canadian politics for most of the last 100 years. These kinds of parties are most attractive to moderates.

I believe that these three aspects best describe what a moderate is and what he or she believes in. In the world of politics, moderates know how to work together and how to get things done.

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Source by T Nes

Do Mass Media Influence the Political Behavior of Citizens

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Outside of the academic environment, a harsh and seemingly ever-growing debate has appeared, concerning how mass media distorts the political agenda. Few would argue with the notion that the institutions of the mass media are important to contemporary politics. In the transition to liberal democratic politics in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe the media was a key battleground. In the West, elections increasingly focus around television, with the emphasis on spin and marketing. Democratic politics places emphasis on the mass media as a site for democratic demand and the formation of "public opinion". The media are seen to empower citizens, and subject government to restraint and redress. Yet the media are not just neutral observers but are political actors themselves. The interaction of mass communication and political actors – politicians, interest groups, strategists, and others who play important roles – in the political process is apparent. Under this framework, the American political arena can be characterized as a dynamic environment in which communication, particularly journalism in all its forms, substantially influences and is influenced by it.

According to the theory of democracy, people rule. The pluralism of different political parties provides the people with "alternatives," and if and when one party loses their confidence, they can support another. The democratic principle of "government of the people, by the people, and for the people" would be nice if it were all so simple. But in a medium-to-large modern state things are not quite like that. Today, several elements contribute to the shaping of the public's political discourse, including the goals and success of public relations and advertising strategies used by politically engaged individuals and the rising influence of new media technologies such as the Internet.

A naive assumption of liberal democracy is that citizens have adequate knowledge of political events. But how do citizens acquire the information and knowledge necessary for them to use their votes other than by blind guesswork? They can not possibly witness everything that is happening on the national scene, still less at the level of world events. The vast majority are not students of politics. They do not really know what is happening, and even if they did they would need guidance as to how to interpret what they knew. Since the early twentieth century this has been fulfilled through the mass media. Few today in United States can say that they do not have access to at least one form of the mass media, yet political knowledge is remarkably low. Although political information is available through the proliferation of mass media, different critics support that events are shaped and packaged, frames are constructed by politicians and news casters, and ownership influences between political actors and the media provide important short hand cues to how to interpret and understand the news.

One must not forget another interesting fact about the media. Their political influence extends far beyond newspaper reports and articles of a direct political nature, or television programs connected with current affairs that bear upon politics. In a much more subtle way, they can influence people's thought patterns by other means, like "goodwill" stories, pages dealing with entertainment and popular culture, movies, TV "soaps", "educational" programs. All these types of information form human values, concepts of good and evil, right and wrong, sense and nonsense, what is "fashionable" and "unfashionable," and what is "acceptable" and "unacceptable". These human value systems, in turn, shape people's attitude to political issues, influence how they vote and therefore determine who holds political power.

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Source by Jonathon Hardcastle

Nature of Political Parties in the Philippines

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No one likes to be judged by mere appearances. That said, we may as well say that we should not judge a candidate's worth based on which political party he belongs to. After all, being affiliated to a party has its own curses and blessings.

In the political arena of the Philippines, history tells us that there are more negative aspects than positive ones on being affiliated to a political party.

The issue of party came to my mind following the departure of Chiz Escudero, a presidential aspirant in the 2010 elections, from the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC). Some pundits are quick to conclude that for Escudero leaving NPC he has just committed a "political suicide."

It sounds logical to say that Escudero's surprising decision was a political suicide. That is for people who surmise that winning an election depends on party affiliations. Or that one's strength is defined by a party's backing.

To my mind, political party is nothing but a nonsense group of opportunists. It is composed of fake acquaintances and pretentious friends. People are there because they want to get something out of the party, not because they want to be catalysts of the noble vision of the party.

It is difficult to recall when was the last time the Philippines truly had a genuine political party – I mean a party that really has a specific direction and a set of well-founded principles it adheres to.

Here are some existing political parties in the Philippines with names of corresponding leaders: Lakas-Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino-Christian Muslim Democrats (Gloria Arroyo); Nationalist People's Coalition (Eduardo Cojuangco Jr.); Liberal Party (Manuel Roxas II), Nacionalista Party (Manny Villar), Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Satur Ocampo); Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (Aquilino Pimentel Jr.); Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (Erap Estrada); United Opposition (Jejomar Binay); Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (Edgardo Angara); Liberal Party (breakaway) (Lito Atienza); Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (Norberto Gonzales); Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (Ferdinand Marcos Jr.); Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (breakaway) (Jose de Venecia Jr.); and People's Reform Party (Miriam Defensor-Santiago). And there are nearly a hundred other regional, minor, or party-list groups whose names we only find in election forms.

We have too many parties – and it is not helping us as a nation. Whenever there is a conflict of interest within a party, we can expect that a new party (also called a breakaway party) will be formed. Thus, the number of party groups is on the rise.

More often than not, a new political party is formed by those who were left behind at the choosing of a party's official candidate in an election, not that they wanted to make a difference in our society so they established their own group.

At the national level, the emergence of new political parties is a strong sign of a widespread dissatisfaction among members of the same group. Since there is no law that prohibits the creation of a new party and we are not a two-party system country, politicians are confident that, with their money, they can always form a new party if they do not get what they want.

In the US, we do not hear of a Hilary Clinton forming a new political party because she was not nominated as the presidential standard bearer of the Democrats. It could have been a different story if Mrs. Clinton were a Filipino politician.

At the local level, it is even more difficult to talk about the essence political parties. The sad thing is that it has always been an issue of who the highest bidder is. Without a doubt, the affiliation of a local candidate to a particularly party is solely based on financial attachment. Nothing else, truth to tell.

Those who truly want to serve our people must be sustained by the patriotic principles they adhere to, not by the support of their disappearing party.

Those who are desirous to become public servants can not just be sustained by the indulgence of their political party but by the mandate of the people – for the interest of the common good

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Source by Stan Debohol

The Politics Of Animal Stories – Chinua Achebe

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In the work 'What Has Literature Got To Do With It' Achebe brings up a very pertinent question relating literature to creation. He asks whether 'people create stories' or 'stories create people' or rather 'stories create people create stories'. To the question whether stories would come first or people would come first is connected the myth of the creation, to which is connected the remarkable Fulani's story. ' It is a creation story about whether man came into being first or the story came first. The story goes that in the beginning there was a 'huge drop of milk. Then the milk created stone, the stone created fire; the fire created water; the water created air '. Then man was moulded by Doondari out of five elements. But man had pride. Then Doondari created blindness and blindness defeated man. The story is about creation, defeat of man through hubris and redemption of man. These stories are not just restricted to creation, but have been imbibed in the history of man, social organizations, political systems, moral attitudes, religious beliefs and even prejudices.

The Igbo political system, prevails on the absence of kings. The word 'king' is represented more by different words. In the Igobo town of Ogidi kingship gradually went out of use, because the king had to settle a lot of debts, owned by every man and woman in the kingdom. In fact one who became a king held the people in utter contempt when he organized a ritual called 'Kola-nut' where he cracked the nut between his teeth and made the people eat the cola-nut coated with the king's saliva. He was dethroned and the people became a republican. It was decided the the king should guarantee the solvency of the people. These mythical stories of kingship dwindled with the emergence of the British community when kingship merged with the British political legacy and gained new connotations.

Achebe mentions two animal stories the emergence of the British community when kingship merged with the British political legacy and gained new connotations.

Achebe mentions two animal stories which are short but complex enough to warrant them as literature. Once there was a meeting of animals, at a public square, when a fowl was spotted by his neighbours going in the opposite direction. The fowl explains that he had not gone to the meeting because of some personal matter. The fowl generously said that even though not present in body he would be present in spirit. It was decided at the meeting that a particular animal, namely the fowl would henceforth be regularly sacrificed for the Gods. And so the fowl had given its assent to be a sacrificial victim forever.

The second animal story was about a snake riding a horse. The snake could not ride very skillfully. A toad came by to show the snake horsemanship. The toad rode very skillfully, and came back and returned the horse to the snake. The snake smilingly said that it was better having than not having. He had the horse in possession. So he rode away with the horse in the same way as before.

These two stories have curious implications. The fowl story is a tale of warning to democratic citizens who do not take active participation in the democratic process. The second story has significations of class divisions. The snake is an aristocrat in a class society while a toad is a commoner with expertise whose personal effort does not matter because he does not have the necessary possessions. The snake possesses merit by birth or wealth and hence enjoys privileges whether he possesses skill or not.

The connection of these stories with literature is implicit. Literature offers scope for social transition and change. Literature can cause change in society. The king enforcing his subjects to eat the saliva covered nut is obviously an invitation to rebellion. The snake story is also a story of class division and privilege, but his seeds of revolution in it. The skilled have not may be incited to rise to rebellion by observing the undue privilege of the unskilled rich. The implication is the dissolution of an incompetent oligarchy. In fact the snake figure has been chosen because of its unattractiveness for ultimately it would become the target of revolution.

Literature is connected with social, economic and educational growth. Literature is related with the creation of human societies. Because Nigeria wants to grow as an independent nation, it needs the creative energy of national stories to support and sustain the growth of the nation.

In fact even if we look back to classical literature, it is seen that the portrayal of Achilles or Ulysses is indirectly connected to the growth of Greece as a nation. So also is the portraiture of Beowulf connected to the social, historical and national development of the Anglo Saxon society. There is a relationship between the Anglo Saxons sitting around the fire on the hearth rebelling against the cold and charting their own growth and psychoanalysis storytelling. Both have a psychological implication in them. When one tells a story to the psychoanalyst he actually tells a story. The connection between literature and psychoanalysis as Achebe puts it as 'Literature can have an important and profound positive effect as well, functioning as a kind of bountiful, nourishing matrix for a healthy, developing psyche.' Literature thus helps to counter psyche in real life helping in a discovery of the self that tables to cope with life. Literature through the symbol of the animal story connects itself with political uprisings, sociological and historical growths as well as psychoanalytic analysis of the self which helps in confronting reality and finding one's own self.

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Source by Anuradha Basu

Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Profound Impact on Philosophy and Politics

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The French Revolution was the result of a culmination of ideas. Philosophers introduced new ideas to the literate elite. The elite put those ideas into motion. It resulted in a period of radical social upheaval and genocide that changed the course of civilization.

The mass murders and guillotining of people in the Vendee district of western France were unparalleled at the time and not to be exceeded until the genocides of the 20th century.

The French Revolution was a direct result of the philosophical period called The Enlightenment. Historians date the Enlightenment to roughly the middle decades of the 1700s. The major philosophical shift that occurred in the Enlightenment was a turning away from revelation (the Bible) as the authoritative source of absolute truth and the embrace of human reason as the source of truth. It is often called the age of reason although there was much illogic and anti-reason about it.

The Enlightenment philosophers embraced Natural Law as the principle way of understanding human relations. The philosophers believed in God but by rejecting propositional (Bible) revelation they limited themselves to revelation in nature.

Natural Law is the concept that God's laws are embedded in nature and if we just observe man in the primitive state we will see the behaviors that are universal among all people and we can enact laws based on these principles. That idea sounds practical but the way the Enlightenment philosophers pursued it was flawed from the start.

The fatal flaw of Enlightenment philosophy was that by rejecting the Bible they rejected the concept of original sin and this caused them to conclude that man is "basically good" and the reason for social vice is man's corruption by civilization. This is the myth of "The Noble Savage"

Prominent among the Enlightenment philosophers was Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). Ironically he was born to a Calvinist father. His mother died when he was an infant. Calvinism is very conservative Christian theology. Rousseau apparently rejected Calvinism from an early age.

He gives details on his many extramarital affairs in his autobiography titled, "Confessions." He had five children by one mistress and he abandoned all five into a Paris orphanage. This was at a time when conditions in orphanages were such that eighty percent of the children did not live to adulthood.

Rousseau's major works were numerous and included "Discourse on the Source of Inequality," "The Social Contract" and the novel "Emile" among others.

His novel Emile is his philosophy of education expressed in the fictional story of a boy named Emile. This book got him into serious trouble because one of his characters in the novel is a priest who abandoned Christianity and embraced natural religion. The natural religion was essentially Deism which looks to nature rather than the Bible as the source of moral guidance. Emile was banned by the Parisian authorities and Rousseau was forced to leave France.

Rousseau 'writings were immensely popular and radically influenced a generation of thinkers and political leaders. Rousseau is considered one of the foremost Enlightenment philosophers yet in many ways his writings can be seen as anti-Enlightenment or postenlightenment. The Enlightenment purists confined their thinking about nature to viewing it as governed by laws of mechanics and mathematical principles. Rousseau viewed nature in a bit more of a subjective and fluid way. He did not confine himself to rigid logical reasoning.
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Rousseau in some ways could be seen as a Romantic philosopher. Romanticism came along in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Romanticism rejected reason in favor of emotion. Its return to nature was more subjective, passionate and radical.

Rousseau died eleven years before the revolution but his writings greatly influenced the radicals who brought on the French Revolution and their attempt to remove Christianity from France. The revolutionaries took over Notre Dame Cathedral and displayed a French prostitute there as "the goddess of reason." They also abolished the seven day week and instituted a ten day week with every tenth day as a day off. Their Reign of Terror in the early 1790s was a loathsome picture of human nature that had rejected Christian morals.

Rousseau had very little influence on the American Revolution which was raging at the time of his death. The founding fathers of the United States rejected the Enlightenment notion that man is basically good. The American founders quoted the Bible far more than any other source in their writings.

The American founders believed in original sin and wrote a constitution that separated the powers of government into three branches to prevent too much power being concentrated in one individual. The French Revolution by contrast ultimately gave all power to Napoleon who went on to try to conquer Europe.

Rousseau greatly influenced Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Conservative Christian theologian RC Sproul has called Kant one of the most influential philosophers in all of world history. Kant really bridged the Enlightenment and the Romantics. Karl Marx, a political philosopher of immense and tragic influence, was also heavily influenced by Rousseau.

Rousseau's legacy was a major contribution to the philosophical optimism that asserts that man, through the advance of science and art, can perfect himself and build a perfect society on earth. This optimism continued for more than a century until it crashed on the shoals of the World Wars, Hitler's genocide and the abject failure of communism to succeed as a social experiment.

The Enlightenment rejection of the Bible has had tragic consequences that reverberate down to our own day. The Bible is God's revelation to us. In the Bible God's wisdom and truth is clearly stated. Furthermore the Bible is confirmed by more than 2,000 predictive prophecies that have been fulfilled or are being fulfilled down to our own day.

No other sacred writing of any other faith has anything to compare with the Bible's record of prophecy and fulfillment. The prophecies and their fulfillments give logical proof that the Bible is inspired by God.

The Bible gives clear guidance through commandments that lay the basis for orderly civil society. The Bible's commands regarding family life are particularly wise and essential for protection and care of children. The social chaos of western civilization today is a direct result of abandoning God's wisdom expressed in the Bible. I'm happy to say that many are returning to the Bible and receiving spiritual rebirth through Christ.

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Source by William Nugent

4 Common Causes of Office Politics

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"Office Politics" can be defined as using real OR perceived power and control to get what you want – be it tangible (a raise, corner office, etc.) or intangible (a promotion, visibility, influence over others) sometimes at the expense of others. This definition brings home the fact that office politics is inevitable.

What organization does not have a hierarchy of some type? What company does not have managers, supervisors, presidents, CEOs, etc. that exert some authority? 90 percent of our newsletter recipients and other respondents to a survey about the subject admitted to being aware of office politics in their organization. Many of them also admitted that they knew of conflicts in the organization caused by office politics.

4 Common Causes of Negative Office Politics

1. Scarcity of Resources – Not enough resources to go around and everyone wants to get "their share". This often causes back-stabbing and manipulation at varying degrees.

2. Extremely Competitive Work Environment – Performance not only based on production, skill or ability but mainly on "winning" from an individual perspective not an organizational one. Often work relationships are sabotaged and rampent burnout occurs due to the high level of competition.

3. An inordinate desire to advance in an organization – Wanting to advance not solely on merit but due to a need to have a "title" or certain position.

4. Abuse of power to manipulate others – Using a position of authority to manipulate others by any means.

Navigating the terrain of negative office politics can be daunting, but knowing exactly what they are truly all about at their root can give you some insight on how to respond.

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Source by Neca C. Smith

Students and Politics – The Indian Scenario

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The student community, being young and energetic, are a bundle of inflammable material, which at the touch of a spark ignites into a large uncontrollable fire like forest fire. They, being young have no patience, are lively and malleable.

In India, the trend of students actively participating in politics began in the early 20th century, when India was fighting for its freedom. The elders being busy with their bread earning, they actively encouraged the youngsters to enter the arena of politics. Besides, they were young and would be easily enthused to join the mass movement at the drop of a hat. Political parties at that time started enlisting the support of the young students who organized themselves happily, to help one party or the other. This trend started in the early years of 20th century and continued and even expanded up to date.

However, once independence was won, it was to be reconsidered if students should be allowed or couraged to enter politics. Some sections of society now started believing that students should stay away from politics and keep to their study schedules only. While the society kept debating on this issue, the politician took the younger generation as their work cum energy tanks and this participation of students in politics has come to stay.

The present scenario in India is thus a keen struggle of political parties engaged in enlisting support of students. This obviously results in the students getting sharply divided as if they were of this political party or that so much so, even the campus elections become tainted with a touch of politics.

There is of course nothing without advantages and disadvantages, so does this involvement of students in politics. There are both serious disadvantages and may be few advantages too of students being on the centre stage of politics. Disadvantages outnumber the advantages. Firstly, while the students, have primarily entered college for studies they get distracted from their prime objective and become entangled in the dirty game of politics. The energy and time they use or waster in masterminding political moves, could well be used to study. This entry of politics in the premises of educational institutions has caused many a damage to several students. Students have got rusticated owing to their active participation in politics, thus losing their hold on studies. Politics teaches students to put an end to all rules and regulations and become rowdy and violent.

This leads to closure of institutions which again take a toll of students' study time. The very innocent and loving appearance of children gets lost and they become rude, arrogant and disobedient. When there is too much of hooliganism entering into educational institutions, even police is to be called sometimes and there is utter disorder in the campus and even bullets find their way among the students. The disadvantages of students entering politics are numerous and destructive.

When we study the advantages of this system, they do exist but, are very few and hardly significant. Children entering the arena of politics learn the art of public speaking. They learn to be assertive and impressive. This medium is a good stepping stone to the art of leadership. The important and real advantage is that students in these prime years of life gain a lot of knowledge of politics which gives them training to enter the arena as trained politicians.

After studying the pros and cons of students' participation in politics, the disadvantages are more damaging than the gains acquired in the sequence. For, all the advantages students gain, can as well be achieved so in other ways also and there is no need for their entry into politics.
Students must stay away from politics and retain their interest in studies which alone can help them steer the ships of their lives.

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Source by Arun K