Radio 2 Wogan - Pause for Thought
3rd April 1997
It was only last week we were celebrating Holi - the Hindu Festival of Colours. The idea is to shower everyone in glorious technicolour - powders, dyes whatever. Not something to be done in your designer outfits. At our own temple, we try to keep the participants separate from the spectators, but frankly, you’re in more anxiety as an innocent bystander because the likelihood of remaining unscathed is pretty slim. Best to enter into the spirit with full exuberance.
This spirit seems to have been taken up by the political parties this week as they start their electioneering in earnest. They also want to shower us in colours - or at least their own particular hue; whether it be red, blue or orange. Good luck to them all I say, but I do have one big request.
I don’t know if I’m alone on this one, but I really cringe when the various politicians say, “We’re going to win”, or “we won this seat last time”. It seems odd to claim credit for victory when you’re addressing the very people who made winning possible i.e. the electorate.
It’s one thing for the Cambridge boat team to say “We won”. But a politician is totally dependant on the grace of the voters. In Hinduism, we would call this Maya or illusion. I think I am the cause of my own success, but I fail to recognise that behind every result, there is someone pulling the strings. It’s said that not a blade of grass moves without the sanction of the Lord.
Better we consider by who’s power we achieve our aspirations, and since the politicians are meant to lead us, they can start by changing their diction. No more empty bluffing:- “We are going to win”; instead, a thoughtful prayer:- “If you want, you can award us the result”.
© BBC This script was commissioned by the BBC for broadcast as “Pause for Thought” on the Wogan programme Radio 2.