With apologies to William Shakespeare [Jaques’ soliloquy from ‘As you like it’] 

There are politicians who are exceptions to what is written below.  Apologies to them too.  But this is the general reality.)

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 All politics is but a stage, and all the men and women merely players.

 They have their entries into political parties, and their exits, when another party makes them an offer they cannot refuse.

 And one man in his time plays many parts.

At first he plays the raw, starry-eyed new entrant to the world of politics. Dreaming of someday getting elected so he will be able to ‘serve the people’.

 And then the errand boy to some ‘leader’, waiting for his chance to step up the ladder to his goal.

 And then, slowly becoming accustomed to the realities of politics, he learns to wheel and deal and cultivate influential people.

Then he gets his chance to stand for election. Issues of principles, economics and development fly out the window and are replaced by those of castes, religions and ethnicities.

If elected, he slides into the next stage, that of amassing as much wealth as he can while he can. He realizes that an elected representative is in a position to dispense ‘favours’, and he does so, extracting  much in return as commission.

His influence begins to decline after some years, and he thinks of ways to retain his position. He may ingratiate himself to his party’s High Command, or maybe dig out some dirt on influential party members and threaten to go public if they do not support him.

The very last scene can be played out in either of two way- either he retires gracefully, or- which is more common- he clings to his chair until pushed out by a younger rival politician, and then disappears into oblivion.