December 23, 2005

India : The Enemy Within

The Constitution of India has been mutilated once again. This is the 104th time it has been done in the past 50 odd years and the purported reason is social equality. Reservations have been extented to private, unaided educational institutions. And who has done this ? People who, just a week before, have been caught red-handed on camera accepting bribes to 'act honourably' in their chosen profession. With custodians like this who needs enemies ?

We have heard of the enemy in Pakistan, in China, in SriLanka, in Burma, in Bangladesh, in the USA, in the WTO ... we have also heard of commercial enemies that apparently trouble our commercial enterprises .. who outsell us in garments, in tea, in computer services ... we have heard of foreign trade unions demanding ban, or restrictions, on Indian programmers and we have heard of foreign trade bodies that seek to ban exports of Indian shrimps or put tariff barriers on Indian products.

These are enemies we recognise and know how to deal with. It must have bee Lao Tzu who said that 'if you know your enemy, you win half the battle'. So very correct. The battle that the global fights with these external enemies is fair battle, or at least as fair things can be in things like love and war !

But are they our real enemies ? They are not. The enemy is NOT at the gates, they are in our heart, at the core. Look at my post on CHAIPANI ... as I do not wish to repeat myself again. This is the real enemy .. the corruption, the hypocrisy, the incompetence ..

The Noble Amartya Sen ( may his tribe DECREASE ) believes that democracy is the solution of all problems. I beg to differ and differ very strongly. The ascent of man, and to the extent that it mirrors the evolution of sentient intelligence, is a product of darwinian selection possibly helped by dollops of good luck. At the risk of sounding cliched, I would like to (re)state that survival of the fittest : and that is true for individuals, organisations, commercial enterprises, societies, species, genes and the genome itself. There is no alternative to merit and elitism. Success cannot be mandated at least not for too long. Nor can it come across through parliamentary dialogue.

And that is where the 104th Constitution Mutilation Bill/Act falls flat on its face. By striking at the very roots of meritocracy it has shown once again that while Global India has its head in the clouds, its feet are very much rooted in the clay ... and this clay is teeming with parasites like roundworms, tapeworms and their like ... waiting to burrow into the soles of the feet and then into the soul of the nation itself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A nice view towards the current political melodrama in the state. A couple of points I would like to add here -

1. No political party exists with just a noble will to participate in the political process. They either have an objective to rule, or to become a niche player with significant influence. The ruling party of this state is no exception. What is exceptional is their long-term vision. Pursuing a strategy for about half a century requires significant determination within the leadership of any organization, and this particular party has demonstrated that very well.

2. In any democratic process, there needs to be a responsible opposition. Unfortunately, the state of West Bengal does not have so. For any sensible voter, bad candidate is a better choice than the worse candidate.

3. In an era when nobody believes that a political party can do a single good thing, this party has managed to please many. It could be by distributing small pieces of land to a large population by snatching it out from a handful few; it could be by employing a large number of powerful youth to their payroll (trust me, party whole-timer is a paid job); it could be by distributing grants to the influential intellectuals; or it could be any other thing. At the end of the day, many people vote to them not because they believe in their principles, but they received some form of support from this party in their lifetime.

4. The party has shown a good deal of flexibility as well. Before coming to the power, they were pro-revolution. During the first two decades in their rule, they were pro-unions. And now they are pro-capitalists in their newfound quest for "more improved front".

So, I concur to the fact that Mr Rao will not be able to dismantle this ruler. I don’t think he has such an agenda as well. He is here with a very short-term objective: to conduct a free and fair election. As long as a good part of the legitimate voters can vote this summer, I think his job should be rated "well done". So far the dismantling this ruling party is concerned, some other remedy will be required.