27 June, 2013

will there be anyone left to speak for me when the time comes?

we seem to talk just about modi (i still believe that all he has really won is the PR battle, and his opposition sucks at PR, while he has mastered the art)...we forget that people like him are not the founders of communalism...they are a manifestation of what already exists...they are a sign of the times...we are all racists, communal-minded, xenophobic people whose sense of identity is defined by the accident of birth and imaginary lines across a map...we are petty, selfish and short-sighted idiots...all of us...the rich people cheer and fund, the media follows the wind, the poor people don't know they are being gypped, and the institutions do not care...the legislature is at the mercy of the identity equations created by the very people who intend to milk those identities for votes, the judiciary is packed with so much frivolousness that they can't get any serious work done, the executive is a handmaiden of those in power, and the armed forces oscillate between heroes and villains

we have a 'strongman', an 'efficient leader', a focussed individual who has promised to bring the country out of the morass it finds itself (no thanks to the idiots who got it there in the first place for the past 6 decades and more), the army suddenly finds itself feted and respected to a point where it is seen as the answer to all evils, the press simply follows the latest flavour (if it bleeds, it leads?), the businessmen are smiling and throwing money at the side it thinks will most probably win (that's the way to bet, ain't it?), the law enforcement agencies are running scared because they don't know who would be their future master, the intellectuals are wringing their hands and talking of bowing to the 'majority opinion'...and those that can see it coming and want to avert it are confused, directionless, and leaderless

now, coming to my own personal situation: nominally, my birth, my last name, my language, my relatives, my passport etc show me as such:

"hindu, kokanastha, maharashtrian, brahmin, indian, from pune", not in any order....though i am almost none of the above in reality

given this, i am possibly in the last row in front of the firing squad as this country and society gets polarised...but i am worried...and i should be...because eventually, they WILL come for me

First they came for the communists,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Catholic.

Then they came for me,

and there was no one left to speak for me.

-Pastor Martin Niemöller

later edit: a lot of people have told me how the congress is as bad and has been in power for 50+ years without showing much for it, and how it has been complicit in the 1984 riots, amongst other grievances. i have also been told that it is time we give mr.modi a chance since he can't be worse than what we already have. to clarify: i am NOT defending the congress...i am personally not going to vote either congress or bjp this time. but i think the argument deserves a more detailed response, since such a simple fact is ignored so easily. so, here it is:

the problem with the tu quoque argument is that it is a logical fallacy and only useful when preaching to the choir...

let me illustrate: i am a chain smoker...i have tried to quit several times but have relapsed...reasons? maybe i have low willpower; maybe the habit is so addictive, it has addled my brain; maybe i do not really want to quit; maybe i am an ass****...whatever the reasons, the point is that this does NOT disqualify me from advising a young man not to take up the vile habit...whether i am even more qualified as someone who can talk about the ill-effects of tobacco from first-hand experience or whether i am too biased to opine on it is immaterial to the fact that cigarette smoking is bad for the lungs, and harmful to body besides being extremely addictive

what is the point? that if one is talking about the ill-effects of person A's possibility of coming to power, the argument against it CANNOT be that person B is as bad...it proves nothing...like the pot calling the kettle black argument may mean that the pot needs to introspect on his/her own blackness too, but it does not, indeed cannot, mean that the kettle is shiny...

so, once again...no one is defending the congress, or the mess it has made...just like no one is refuting what can be proven with evidence about modi (i have not seen it, but i believe some people claim there is evidence that he is a good, strong and efficient leader...something hitler too was, as was stalin, pol pot, franco and mussolini)...what i am claiming is that giving him more power would be dangerous for an already polarised society

here is something to mull over while you think that over: "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

honestly, i wouldn't want to take a chance when it is my (and my children's) future we are talking about...no sir, when a bottle is labeled POISON, i'd rather stay away from it than 'give it a chance' to prove otherwise...thanks, but no thanks