The idea of my article is to give you a historical sense of where the doctrines on political systems once came from and to engage you in contemporary debates about them. So, it’s not that I have illusions that I’m the next John Locke or something like that. I am just someone who is concerned about the current political state in India.
John Locke, a natural Law Theorist, said “Science is a must for all kinds of politics which should boil down to individual rights of life, liberty and happiness. Based on his statement, what would you do if the state violates the natural law by not protecting you from anything that is a threat to your life, what if it violates the very first law of nature, that is life. Then it’s your right whether to obey the state or not, as it automatically becomes the right to disobey, in fact the obligation to hold the state responsible for violating the law.
However, the opposite of this happens when we overlook certain demons of our state, we step into Anti – Enlightenment Tradition – Conservative, which doesn’t care about individual rights. History says that can only be offset by a revolution whether legitimate or not ?
Another famous and respected Political philosopher Jerermy Bentham said, states are driven by pain and pleasures; not physical but moral & intellectual. Physical freedom is meaningless if it is surrounded by pain rather than pleasure; it’s like living in an anti enlightenment era, where there is hostility towards science discerning the individual. It has happened as only Traditions and Heritage have become the centre of the universe. It has become too hard to justify individual rights & natural law, trying to do without them is even harder. Invoke any theory, economic, sociological, philosophical or welfare, all will fall flat in the current scenario.
Greece, the father of democracy was one of ancient Greece’s most enduring contributions to the modern world. The Greeks started the “rule of the people” in 5th century BC, in contrast to autocracy. Since then we have stuck to it, without thinking much about the evolution in the same. It’s happening perhaps because political doctrines have not evolved, nor has the system corresponding to it. So yes, sharp critics exist but not deep critics. We are at that point in history where we need to think deeply and perhaps change the world from India itself.
Another philosopher Karl Marx who was about revolution, socialism and communism said ” a time will come for revolutions. A new way of thinking will come”.
It’s time we think, should there be “Govt of a person” or “administration of things” and how this can become contemporary and new age. How things can be administered without violating our individual rights, liberty and happiness.
What happened recently while India gasped for Breath during the pandemic and reported violence from Bengal. God’s natural law was violated. God speaks via scriptures that Individual is sovereign, so why was that individual suffering due to the negligence of those who are to protect them ?
There are many paths to agreement; natural laws ? Usually there is no agreement on natural law and then a power of coercion is applied, and it becomes natural law. But the absolute opposite is happening, a coercion is applied to implement dictatorships rather than natural law. And that coercion is sold to us as a political conception of Justice, so we all become politically justified whether or not in reality.
Let’s revise what happened in the past;
A Jingoistic election campaign followed by intractable violent crime – an active Hostility of TMC & BJP
What Happened to Bengal ? News started pouring in with #BENGALBURNING. Elections were over and there was a landslide victory for TMC. Then why would it burn now ? Television screens were trending with blame game reeling all over.
TMC blamed BJP, and BJP blamed TMC;
Apparently there was a minimum guarantee of Votes from the constituencies and TMC thrashed them for siding BJP, being the people of Bengal and supporters of Mamta Banerjee in the past.Whatever the truth may be, Fact remains that in the name of democracy via the electoral process, we are often witnessing ideological quibbling, egotism and unedifying sight of two people screeling conflicting proposals.
But If Indian’s have to die like this, then are we not in a free country with a democratic constitution; if we are then why a death penalty for changing opinion, changing the right to vote by choosing a different party or person. Is this democratic process still some kind of delusion in India. If people participate in any kind of change, they will be burnt and a hashtag will trend like #BENGALBURNING with our leadership, police and law makers keeping quiet.Perhaps the reason for these scenes in India is deeply rooted in less educated politicians, with rarely a skill set or competency in what they are doing or what they are trying to achieve. The only skill set of the current politicians is to gather people followed by good oration which changes the chemistry in the biological bodies of their audience.
These skill sets are of the past; they were considered very critical when India was at the doorstep of freedom, fighting the British Raj, leaders needed courageous, brave and retaliating people. Except for Mahatma Gandhi & his followers perhaps everyone else followed the ideology of Netaji which was to “Tum Mujhe Khoon do, main tumhe azadi doonga”
But what kind of freedom were we fighting when #BENGALBURNING was trending, the elected Chief minister of TMC said, “I had not taken oath yet, so I was not in charge of the unforeseen situation” . The opposing BJP Party leaders said, we have lost elections and with that all the power, this is not in our control – Ask the Chief Minister. And in this confusion, as to who is really accountable, Bengal kept burning. Leaving behind dead bodies of people who had participated in this electoral process with either of the parties.
So as a citizen what should people do, should the Bengalis who participate in the electoral process flee their own town for a week; till the oath takes place, ceremonies of handover & media interviews get over. Should they get back to their city only when someone takes accountability. This has been Bizarre for a nation which propagates non-violence and peace of Mahatma Gandhi on the world stage, but fails to implement it in its own country. Have we forgotten, nothing comes from blood shed, not even Freedom. Freedom of India in 1947, didn’t come from Indians who resorted to violence, it came from a revolution in the world. So stop thinking that violence, rebellion or resistance brought us freedom.
The assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by south slav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in 1914, had set the World War primarily against the Habsburgs, Hohenzollerns, Ottoman Empire and Romanovs. It was primarily against Imperialism weakening its roots because a lot of money was spent over it. These imperialistic families couldn’t stop the second world war either, when England & France declared a war over Germany leading the world into the second world war in 1939 ; it resulted in losing almost all wealth & changing the map of Europe forever. The Royal family of Britain had realised that the only way to survive as a family was to win the hearts of people at all costs. So the Royal Family went touring the world to showcase their belief in equality and freedom. They survived and we got our freedom. They realised it was time for change, to let go and find new ways to thrive within the new system. They ultimately chose peace.
Presently, what’s happening to India and few countries around the world is the same, the democratic charade of national parties, trying to expand territories is almost like mini wars taking place in different corners of this nation. They need to stop. We have had enough of this violence, blood shed and terror. They are not adopting the new sentiment of the younger generation which wants PEACE. Let’s look like a normal average citizen, he / she is eating an Italian Pizza, having a french wine, listening to some American pop singer, playing with their own made in China electronics and planning their next trip to Singapore or Dubai. So the average citizen is global and is not interested in this old age, and perhaps revengeful political system. They are much more educated now and are losing trust in politicians and political systems. A revolution for evolution has set in place;
This evolution is not violent, that’s not the process of democratic development. We need to let go of the violent instincts in Politics. Democratic development is about Dialogue and Peace.
Debacled emboldened bigotry – A demonology of BJP & AAP
OXYGEN in demand – While this was happening on one side, the other side of our country was gasping for breath. Our phones were constantly buzzing for help. Help with Hospital Beds, Medicines and Oxygen. People were tortured in this process of going from one hospital to another, standing in ques forever just to get care for their loved one. All of this was taking place simultaneously. Time & Space was exhibiting another battle with the opposition, AAP in New Delhi.
In Spite of global & national warning on the second wave of Pandemic, both parties were disavowing, catapulting conflagration of unpreparedness. Delhites were wracked, for the first time, Modi spell was falling apart. People heard Tanks of Oxygen Cylinders being on hold at Delhi Borders for days, consignments stuck at airports and an unprecedented chaos all over.
The Centre Government had abandoned Delhi, with the excuse that Healthcare is the responsibility of the state. The centre did not realise that Capital gets global attention and this would quell the Modi Marketing, Results were seen. India ranked as worst performer in response to managing Pandemic, by the Lowy institute’s report. The global media ridiculed Prime Minister everyday including leading publications of India e.g. India Today, with their latest cover; Republic of the self.
I still wonder what went wrong with such a great leader, was he misguided by his own,
1. Was it an anathema by the BJP for their own PM ?
2. Was the Prime Minister with his cabinet relying on vaccination; most of the vaccine was exported for goodwill and there was no plan of vaccination implementation on ground as such. Vaccines were lying in hospitals for months with people not showing up, Govt not tracking and changing strategy to vaccinate those who wanted it, rather sticking to their rigid strategy of older citizens first.
3. Was the focus on making another Kingdom, kingdom of BJP. In the entire process of mishandling the second wave of Pandemic, with deadly consequences, BJP also lost the trust of the nation.
I am still confused whether Pandemics are to be managed as a nation or a state ? And with Delhi’s new status as Union Territory, who is really to be held accountable for ? Perhaps the current government can clarify this. People cried, sitting in their homes, feeling powerless, helpless VIP’s like Retired IFS officers died in hospital parking waiting for a Bed, could you imagine the plight of a normal citizen or someone who is below poverty line ? Since then the disingenuous vilifications are coming across as pure treachery mulled in incandescent augury.
A Capitulation Required
A capitulation with new political philosophy has to emerge out of this unforeseen situation; here is the raw material for the readers, take this as an exercise and think about these questions
1. Having one national party is absolute power with an atmosphere of sociopathy instilled in a pseudo royal dynasty. Do we want this ?
2. Having too many political parties with hate agenda rather than cooperation agenda on each other is dangerous, especially when a human life is at stake; making ordinary people suffer traumatic experiences. Do we want this ?
3. In this current democratic system, we are saying the citizen is supreme, he has the power to vote. On the contrary the way these votes are organized is violent, wasting a lot of money in organizing crime and violating the constitutional powers. Do we want this?
Will this article make a difference; perhaps yes, it will sow a seed in the minds of people that we need peaceful politicians, it will encourage them to think differently and articulate it to their families & societies. World’s biggest revolutions have never taken place in Parliaments or Government Houses or Large Corporations, they have usually taken place in small tiny streets & homes of people.
So I want to leave the readers with a thought – What should the new improved political system look like ?