LAKHINDER SINGH | 17 AUGUST, 2017
The Myths that Make for a Dysfunctional India
For a long time various think tanks watchdog organisations and analysts have been referring to the sundry anachronisms of the Indian subcontinent which are evidence of a dangerous dysfunctionality.
The subcontinent seems to be simultaneously traversing a period of seven or eight centuries in its cultural, societal and civilisational mores. In our anxiety to get rid of the British and carry on with the task of governing the country our leaders and ruling class overlooked the systemic faultlines in our society and civilization. And we all know that trying to construct anything on a faultline will end in disaster .
Gandhi was one of the greatest persons in history. But his attempt to tackle the political issues in the country in the absence of a serious amelioration of the social factors led him to face failure and disappointment at the end of his life. The aura and the awe of his personality should have been used to mend the faultlines in our society, our civilization.
His adversary should not have been the British Raj but the mind set of his ignorant, obscurantist countrymen with an antediluvian mindset.In the last few months of his life or the last two years of his life he waged the greatest and grimmest and most glorious struggle of his life far more significant than his confrontation with the British from 1921 to 1945 . The thinking in the subcontinent is quite often unintelligent, totally unscientific totally emotive and inflammatory . The very basis of all our political history for the last one century has been adoption of emotive strategies followed by a completely emotional and destructive denoument.
Gandhiji’s conviction was that with the departure of the British the social, economic and political problems would be easily solvable.When the British came to be leaving he and India had to face the greatest of problems .
The divisions and faultlines and civil strife leading to dissonance have a major effect on the economic or social conditions. If one disregards this idea then one is living in a fools paradise or like many psychotic people in paradise itself. It is this dissonance which is enabling some people to try to modify the general narrative or course of History.
Historical knowledge or the narratives of history are like Magellan’s voyage or the adventures of Ulysses and are required to withstand the ravages of time .For instance ,discrediting the general narrative of history by declaring victory for Maharana Pratap ( as if it is a Third Umpire decision in a one day cricket match) again shows a dissonance of mind which will always be dangerous . The proper course is to do research and develop a counter narrative leaving Time to do the rest.
Historical investigation or historical research is a very difficult thing even in advanced countries. It becomes virtually impossible in under developed countries where academics have to depend on doles from the government or the Ruling elite. And dissonance and Faultlines in Education are a certain recipe for disaster. We only have to look over the fence at both our western as well as Northern neighbours.
Dysfunctionalities in Civilizations, societies ,Countries or Individuals are the result of wrong thinking wrong concepts followed by wrong actions. Our Freedom movement had one big positive consequence juxtaposed with some deleterious effects . The first was the acquisition of self government along with self confidence and the coming of self rule and independence. . The latter was the surfacing of a whole lot of issues for which the Freedom movement and its leaders were ill prepared and ill equipped. The debate will continue for the next few centuries as as to which aspect had the greater impact on history.
The critical factor is to minutely scrutinise the dysfunctionalities in our civilization , our society and in the general psyche of the people in the subcontinent. Again and again impartial dispassionate and non subjective reports inform us that the Indian subcontinent is one of the most dangerous places in the world. The general weakness in both character and intelligence of people of the Indian subcontinent is the greatest cause of the dysfunctionality .
It is this above –mentioned general weakness that poses the greatest danger to India. Cool reflection will probably enlighten us that the country is a veritable ocean of dysfunctionality. A few hundred factors of dysfunctionality can be identified. But I am going to focus only on a few. These are as follows –
a) The total absence of any capacity for self analysis or introspection.
b) The supreme capacity to identify mythology with history .
c) The belief that hundreds of years ago we were a great economic power(no evidence) ;thousands of years ago we were a supreme civilization ( very limited information). In any case centuries have passed since then and much water has flowed in our rivers ( very much cleaner at that time) since then.
d) The belief that there is no caste system in India . The belief that caste system was extremely beneficial to India (zero evidence). It was the high watermark of human civilization etc etc.It was a high watermark for specialisation and division of labour( delusional and psychotic).
e) The belief that cleverness is superior to intelligence ( a very great cause of the continuous disasters in Indian history).
f) The belief that if the Lord could use non-ethical means to kill Guru Dronacharya in the Mahabharata war we can all do the same and get away with it ( consequences ------disaster, calamity and catastrophe).
g) The belief that “saam,daam,dand,bhed “ is the ultimate strategy and Chanakya the ultimate philosopher in Human history( very misguided).
h) The growing belief that Gandhi was a national disaster (lots of people age group 60 to 80 and some children below 12) and that his life and message was deleterious in the growth of India as a superior power.Conversely the opinion that Nathu Ram Godse and others of that crowd were very deep thinkers).
i) the conviction that Hindus and Muslims have been always adversarial in their relationship during the course of a thousand years and each is out to get the other(thanks to ignorance ,apathy,sloth and total deficient and unenlightened education. Also due to point mentioned at’ e’ above ) and neither should trust the other. Also the belief that there is no method and possibility that they can trust one another.
j) The belief that Hindu --- Muslim conflict is a natural state of affairs with no transformation possible.That Hindus and Muslims have always been in conflict throughout history (totally wrong).That the partition of India was the best of possible solutions.
And so on ad infinitum . FInally I would like to end with a quote by the great Israeli statesman ---Abba Eban ,”History teaches that the nations of the world act wisely once all other alternatives have been exhausted.” He did not have to clarify how terrible “all other alternatives “ were.