By S Paul
We belong to this land but failed to be a nation. I feel that we in Bharat in our social practice and not cultural have developed a mindset that is selfish and full of ego. Eons ago it was taboo for the people of this race and part of the world to travel across the seas. All that changed because we let ourselves be enslaved by alien cultures. That, in its positive aspect, has exposed us to overcome the ‘taboo’ and travel and even settle abroad freely. But it has also tainted our attitude that all that is foreign is superior to our own. This attitude is preventing us from becoming a nation under the freedom provided by democratic governance. Instead, we are becoming more individualistic in our dealings. Our knowledge, which is more influenced by foreign practices, makes us feel our systems inferior to others in the world.
Our leftists are influenced by Marxist doctrines and Rightists by Islamic radicalism. Most ‘neutrals’ feel that our ethos of self-governance must bear influence of the so called advanced western systems. Hence, they tend to oppose any and every idea that our own brand of leadership evolves based on our thousands of years old cultural superiority. Such pseudo patriots think that the ‘grass is greener on the western shores’ not realising that our own drier grass is more suitable to our race and social wellbeing. This ‘foreign is better’ fixation makes us even appreciate the corporate billionaires like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Zhong Shanshan, Jack Ma, etc. We welcome their investments in our nation and feel great but our own home-grown ones like Ambani, Adani, Tata, Birla, Mahindra, Kirloskar, Modi arouse only jealousy among us when they wish to participate in financing and running the nation on its own merit and products. We would rather have FDI in financing our own anti-nationalistic agendas than let our own indigenous financers aid us in our endeavours to become affluent by helping boost our assets and efforts.
This, I feel, is the mood prevailing in the ongoing agitations and the tendency of the opposition to oppose and criticise every effort of the government and also the national image hurting utterances and indulgences of the self eulogised pseudo intellectuals. We have suffered centuries of slavery because of such divisive tendencies. We have not learnt from our gory history but persist in repeating it. We have not learnt to be a nation but persist in dividing ourselves on caste, region, language, colour of skin, facial appearance and religious practices; just to appease ourselves and realise our individual goals. On the one hand we are propagating our dictum of the ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam’ (the whole world is family) and, on the other, we can’t be a nation? How hypocritical! It appears that in our country we elect our leaders only to criticise them. Even when the world is appreciative, our own think that we are being oppressed by our leaders. The leaders in opposition have an attitude never to appreciate publicly the good done by the ruling government but always criticise them as if the citizens who have elected them to govern are all fools.
Freedom of expression in a democracy needs more discipline and self-control than in any other kind of governance. Both our media and individual ought to exercise it for the sake of the ‘nation’. “Democracy is threatened by the inertia of good people, by the selfishness of most people, and by the evil designs of a few people.” – Stanley King
“I’m all in favor of the democratic principle that one idiot is as good as one genius, but I draw the line when someone takes the next step and concludes that two idiots are better than one genius.” – Leo Szilard