Thursday, August 11, 2011
A Journey from the Past, through the Present and into the Future - Part - 2
In the earlier Part of this discussion I had gone to our immediate past where, delving into the psyche of the Indian Society of pre-Independence India, I had started a journey through the structure of that society and then came to a timeline almost a decade after gaining Independence. I had stopped at a point in the timeline when the Nation like a flower bud was starting to blossom. There, I had attempted to look at the future (which is today’s present) with the balance-sheet of a highly successful, world-renowned, Freedom Struggle and a bunch of hopeful Indians looking at a bright new future, in hand. It had then occurred to me that there were a few anomalies that were creeping in into the future balance sheets. I thought it proper to critically examine these anomalies that appeared to influence the growth process of our Nation. In this part, I intend moving further in the timeline, pondering over a few premises that became apparent during the journey so far. It would be natural to make an attempt to discover reasonable answers to many disturbing questions that formed the basis of this discussion in the first place. I may not be entirely correct in my findings. Many of you who read this at some point in time may have different ideas found over your own experience and gained over readings and peer discussions. You are free to key in your comments. My humble request would be to keep your comments crisp and clear. I would also request you to kindly upload only those comments which are relevant to the discussion and not to badmouth in this forum.
Part 2 of the Journey begins here …
Having had no successor mentored over a period of time, and having learnt the way Europe's Royalty kept their flag high for centuries on, it was but natural for the top line leadership of Independent India to nurture a form of politics where the Secrets of prime political decisions (that had been taken in closeted fora mentioned earlier) and the key to Power be retained within select groups (read families) of higher society. Whatever could have been the cryptic and complicated arguments that may have been deftly presented by the engineers of the movement in this direction, the greater part of national leaders of that time did not have enough spunk in them to either expunge such moves or to go to the people for a mandate. In hindsight: what could have the people decided either? They were so much isolated from the decision making processes, they never had any say in what transpired at the top, in any case.
The second line of leadership, which was expected to support the general cause of the nation as a whole, give voice to convey public opinion to the topline leadership, advise the topline leadership correctly on the long-term impact of their foolish decisions on the psyche of the young nation, nudge the more courageous leaders to stand up to such autocratic ventures of a select few, were in a state of trance after getting too close to the real centres of power. Rendered faceless in a Society that had once been the breeding grounds of ideologies of meaningful resistance, they had to face an emerging structure of the same Society that was slowly shedding its virtues of honesty, commitment to national cause and most of all, the choice of equitable participation for the able-minded in National Development. Meanwhile, the bosses of this society had already started formal sessions of training on a new form of politics in the ante rooms and at the dinner tables of their homes. Apparently oblivious to the evil developments taking place behind their back, the second line of leadership steadfastly ‘stood-by’ the top line leadership whom they believed-in blindly and were always prepared to obey without question.
What grooming the top line chose to provide their offspring, they carefully withheld from their able and experienced counterparts and comrades of the Struggle who would, had they been provided with the finesse of fine grooming, have risen to pinnacles of Statesmanship leading a whole populace to winning glory. With no formal grooming to help them nurture into strong national leaders of the future, the second-line leadership were left wanting on the ways and means of imbibing, practicing and nurturing the nuances of the key issue of leading a nation on which the later generations of the top-line leaders were getting groomed into. Except for a couple of ideologues, few realized that Dynastical Politics was being introduced by the ‘Centres of Power’ at the cost of a whole lot of genuine leaders who had been part and parcel of a long drawn Struggle. Soon the second line leaders found themselves in an irrelevant disposition with little or no role to play even in the most popular of matters of the emerging Nation. Having spent their time, energy, health and wealth for a Movement which had provided them and the Nation freedom from Colonial Rule and of which they were flag-bearers, many genuine members of the second line of leadership could not come to terms with the newly emerging form of politics and soon started to falter in their decisions and thereby misguide their loyal followers. The second line of leadership of a young India started to disintegrate. Few of those leaders, who had the will to fight, stood up to fight, but sadly, went down fighting. We don’t even know their names. The smarter of the lot, found it very convenient to be followers of the emerging form of dynastical politics. Having got to taste the legendary pot of honey (read privilege of proximity to power) they accepted for themselves the convenience of getting reduced to mere carpets on which the top leadership were happily treading on. Very soon they chose to forget the common man's trust and faith in them, which had made them what they were. They completely forgot the Common Man's needs that they were morally bound to fulfill, which were the essence of Nation Building. They chose the easier wrong than the harder right.
The utter disregard in enabling the masses to take part in true nation building led to chaotic overtures by a confused generation of leaders that emerged as a result of this serious mishandling of sensitive issues by the learned top leaders. The top leadership disregarded the need to develop think-tanks that had in-depth knowledge of the fabric of the nation, who were capable of making decisions and systematically executing them to successful completion. A classic example is the failure of the well-meaning five-year plans which took more than double the time allotted and still remains half undone. What the emerging nation needed was a sustainable knowledge bank of experts and elderly scholars who had the power to scrutinse parliamentary decisions and who held the power to veto such decisions that may, according to them has far-reaching negative consequences as far as policies related to national security, foreign relations and economic reforms were concerned. It took more than four decades of free and independent India to produce a sound financial manager who opened up Indian Markets ending a sickening License Raaj, which had been the result of distrust on the psyche of the ordinary Indian.
Where the native Indian failed, the White man won his war. Having tasted the creamy pie free of cost for more than two centuries, the whites never wanted to let go of the treasure trove that they had found, into the hands of 'monkeys' as he would later call the natives while in the company of his peers. He had started his psychological war on the people of India long before he left our shores and as years passed by, the results were emerging for his countrymen to party about. Hawks as they always were, watching out for the perfect chance to snatch away its prey, they got down to hatch plans for the economic invasion of the Indian peninsula. What seeds they had sowed at India’s Independence had grown to bear fruits. The Great Game had come to be in place to reap the benefits of the efforts of their forefathers. But by this time, having got wounded in War, he needed like-minded brethren in his quest and he forged alliances with a vide variety of Hawks. They packaged their potions in attractive deals that were designed for the emerging psyche of the modern Indian.
As for India, the masterplan of the Whites executed by default by the well-trained brains of Indian polity created a young generation of men and women who were more than willing to fight the white man's war against their own countrymen. The only difference this time, was that the whites had rented brains instead of guns. The packages were set to the modern Indian youngster where he could reach for it but could never grab it unless some major reforms had to be engineered in the nation’s Economic Policy. The neo-educated economists started the fight for the change - after all he too had become an intelligent slave at the hands of the whites who had taught his forefathers the tricks of the trade. Economic Freedom finally came and it became possible for the urban Indian to reach out and grab lifestyles, perks and facilities he had only dreamt-of in his wildest fantasies. The situation was akin to an overturned food basket amidst hungry fowl. Naturally, the fight for survival began yet again. Each member of each household in the country wanted to float in the comforts that were suddenly available for everyone who had the will to own and the inclination to pay the price of acquisition. Values that were cherised for centuries and traditions that were being followed from times immemorial were pushed to the corner in homes. Families made it convenient to suit the cultural setup the foreigner wanted the takers of his products to follow. The Economic Invasion had started.
Where peaceful daily life persisted with each family living in perfect harmony with his neighbour, there emerged envy and jealousy. The hunger for becoming an owner of a possession that hardly had a relevance to one's daily life came to rule the light of day. Families and communities started fighting for money, wealth and possesions within themselves. Groups of families emerged that were hallmarked for their quantum of possession of luxuries and wealth. Societies that were established as classless at the outset of Independence lost their relevance and many got replaced with those based on caste or community. In his passionate pursuit for luxury and wealth, the average Indian youth started losing interest in gaining a deep understanding of unity in diversity that has driven the nation for centuries. He started looking at the diverse culture of India as aberrations of the past. Heads of families blundered in not inculcating and breeding their offspring with a respect and concern for their compatriots. The limitless resources that the country offered and now deregulated in stages threw open immense opportunities for the modern Indian mind to make good use of. However, making good use was not welcomed in the transitioning society. Exploitation was the buzzword that the West had taught the educated lot that emerged with ideas to lead family businesses. The mentors of these neo-leaders could not match the new thinking nor relate it to suit the cultural fabric of the India they had seen and known. They themselves had been apparently blinded by the glare of the make-believe world that was taking shape in front of them. Facilities that they could never imagine when they were children were now available to be chosen not from one source, which they were used to, but from a variety of choices. The youngsters were gaining more intelligence than them, but were not interested in imbibing their wisdom. The elders in their struggle to match pace with the youngsters did try to drive some sense into the brains of the young; but the young never had the time to listen. Their psyche had been moulded differently by the West already – to look more closely at the Bottom Lines and to always set the eyes on the Bottom Lines only. What you do to improve the bottom lines mattered. How you did it did not.
While Economic Freedom threw open the wonderful world of opportunity hitherto unheard of in ordinary Indian societies, but were only the privilege of the Upper Class, it also brought in the bad effects of greed for money. Technology upgradation in all sectors made education, research and development scale greater heights. But it also started making virtual circles of exclusivity among its users. The youngster's peers and mentors at work were reduced to mere prototypes of an artificial world who only understood two words - money and money. Nothing else. The peers and mentors who by tradition have the moral responsibility to use his or her influence over their colleagues to advice on moral values, now laugh off such matters as trivial stuff. In result, the average young Indian, confused and misguided as he has emerged to be, with the help of like-minded groups of his society is now trying to circumcise the very diversity that has unified the nation for centuries and is trying to mould a society and class that emulates something he sees in the cultural extravaganza his foreign ‘master’ is presenting to him. The modern Indian has lost his true Identity, while the common man is awestruck at the struggle he has to do to manage a decent living. The emerging economy and the accumulation of wealth in certain pockets does not reward the technically qualified average Indian proportionate to his qualifications. When it came to wages, the Indian industrialists and their paymasters never paid any heed to the takeaway that the average Indian required to run his household. The age-old business tradition that the Whites practiced on their Slaves - to hold them on a thin line for survival while squeezing the juice of life out of them - was being practiced with great zeal in the industry but packaged in attractive literature and presented in a silver platter. In slow transition, the modern Indian has drained his brain for the sake of his white master. Some of them who saw greener pastures on the White man’s land and overcome by a self-centred drive, cheated on the soul of India when they migrated away to toil for their white master. For many of these migrants, the homeland has ceased to be dear to him and his offspring. He has degraded himself and his offspring to be glorified slaves of the White society. He has quietly forgotten what his motherland had given him in the form of the best of education and facilities to learn and elevate himself from the throes of downtrodden existence even when more than three-quarters of his countrymen were struggling to eke out a living to fill their stomach at least once a day. Not a tear fills his eye even as his motherland is being torn apart by the monster called communalism which his white master fomented through known friends as well as unknown elements. He remains stoic even as he, in his intelligent brain gets to realise that communalism and religious sentimentalism has grown to monstrous proportions with the realistic possibility of engulfing the entire nation in just a matter of time.