Saturday, January 3, 2009

Right Ideology, wrong place

Right Ideology, wrong place
By U Mahesh Prabhu

‘It’s neither the horse nor the elephant and never – e’er – the tiger. It’s the goat that is offered in sacrifice, even the gods slain the weak.’ said the legendary Indian diplomat and author of Arthashastra – Kautilya.

We often call ours as the ‘land of Mahatma’. ‘We are a peace loving nation’ we proudly declare, furthering ‘and we are proud of it!’ True, absolutely, we love peace.But more than often we forget that there is a price to be paid for peace. Peace is not free.

A weak person, no matter in which part of the world, is bound to be subdued by the strong men. He gets no respect from men with brawns. ‘Strength respects strength’, as said by India’s former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, holds well, always – beyond all incertitude.

Weak has neither the present nor future. Even if he says that ‘I fight none’ and that ‘I am all for peace.’ people are certain to mock at him. Why? Because they know that he can seldom offer a resistance when assailed by a mighty adversary. Nowhere in the world has a weak been able to live with respect. Very similar is the case with a weak nation.

But what makes a human or a nation weak? It’s all about courage. If men lack courage they are sure to be weak and the country is weak when its establishment is spineless. Yes, people too have their share of responsibility, for it is they who vote a government to power.

In India, since the time of independence we have took a great pride in our Gandhian Heritage. Our first prime minister though absolutely failed in carrying forward the ideas of Mahatma in terms of national development; in his diplomatic speeches across the world he seldom pretermitted to cite a line, or two, of Mahatma. His was the concept of economy which was in sharp with Gandhian one. But when it came to diplomacy and international affairs Nehru was a true Gandhian - as honest as a monk!

Gandhi may well have been a great man, but he was seldom a sound politician. His legacy is replete with blunders in politics. His handling of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Muslim league is a testimony in this regard. He was impudent. That he showed favouritism to Nehru over Sardar Vallabhai Patel over the President-ship of Indian National Congress (INC) is a verity and that it cost the nation dearly, too, is a reality. We have an undisclosed belief in India; we all believe that when a man is declared ‘Great’ he can do no wrong! We personate such men with perfection. This is certainly a matter of lugubriousness as it stands against the fundamentals of sapience.

It should certainly baffle anyone as to why it be that these very Indian politicians, who retort to so many brutal modes to triumph in elections, to traduce their antagonists and suppress their critics go ‘Gandhian’ versus a grievous neighbouring country. Why this ‘non-violence’ attitude? Why don’t they inverse their approach and show their ‘Gandhigiri’ to their political opponents and depict their vandalism with their nation’s adversary? At least, can’t they do anything more than offering lip service of ‘criticism’, ‘condemnation’ and ‘warnings’ against an ever shrewd neighbour?

Recently, after the Mumbai blasts when Mumbaikars took to the streets in protest against the blasts, I was feeling a strange emotion. I was unsure as to whether should I cry or laugh. After all what did they achieve by lighting those candles? Yes, we do need to pray for the departed souls but what about the security of the living souls? No one pays any heed. After the blasts a great number of people took to abusing the politicos. The blame was according to me utterly unjust. Strange, but true, not a word was spoken against those terrorists. It was trying to appear as if it were politicians who had planted those bombs! This was all to get publicity. Does anyone in India understand the seriousness of Islamic terrorism? Does anyone knows that those Arabs flush with petro-dollars are investing profusely into those thousands of Madrassas bustling amidst our cities and towns in every major city polluting young minds with ideas of insanity? Do they understand how important it is take a strong action against them? And even if they come to know, I am convinced, they would prefer to keep mum, sit in the comforts of their home and if another blasts happen they come in open in ‘strong criticism’ against the government (not terrorists, or Pakistan – mind you) and go back until the next blasts take place.

The legacy of Mahatma Gandhi is for us not a source of inspiration. From it we find rationales to support our awry ideology.

If we are weak we are sure to be invaded, assaulted and persecuted. History of our land starting from the invasion of Mohammad Ghazni in 1000 AD to onslaught of China in 60’s is supportive of this fact. We are always betrayed by these nincompoops because we haven’t dealt them with an iron fist. We have well over a billion population but we have not started to think and work as a nation of billion people – which is a deeply saddening part.

We certainly need Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas and ideals, but when it comes to politics let’s follow Kautilya. By shouting against our own people and by completely not understanding our true opponent we are making ourselves a weak and fragile nation. We have every reason to be impregnable, to be challenging and even lead the world. But by applying our right ideology at the wrong place we are sure to weaken our resolve and kill our prospect of becoming a happy, prosperous and formidable nation.

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