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The things we have forgotten

The Things we have forgotten

The so called seculars of today don’t like to hear it for vested interests, though they say they don’t agree to it on some (home-made) factual grounds. But the fact is 80% population of this country has not ruled itself for about eight hundred years. So the interests of 80% population of this country have been put on back burner for eight hundred years almost without interruption, with patches of braveries and exceptions i.e. 80% by today’s count. This number was higher earlier, and because of the same reason has been declining steadily.

How many cases we can count in last eight hundred years, where the ruler’s first priority was welfare of masses, welfare of majority, welfare of Hindus? Maharana Pratap, Shivaji and may be a few more. What percentage of population did they rule, for how long, if you see it for a span of 800 years?

Religion being the primary identity for muslim rulers, they not only did no good for the majority, but most of them persecuted Hindus. Destruction of temples, mass conversions, massacres, imposition of taxes on Hindus – unless one has a hidden agenda,

no one can deny these events occurred in hundreds of years of Islamic rule in India. After muslims, british of course didn’t rule this country with the intention of doing anything good for its people.

Any profession, be it farming, carpentry, trading or anything else – one needs time to be good at it. Many of the traditional professions run in families through generations because of experience gained over time. Is it possible that we have forgotten this profession, this skill of ruling ourselves in hundreds of years of foreign rule, which is why despite change in rulers from mughals, british to post-independence, there is hardly any priority for the welfare of majority 80% from higher up.

For generations, because there has never been a system that thinks of the welfare of majority, we think it’s not possible to have one and we just accept the things as they are. It’s like if you are eating decently hygienic, decently tasty food for years but suddenly you are put in a situation where the food is too bad, too unhygienic, you will complain strongly for first few days and resolve to end this situation soon but if it continues for some time for some reason, you will slowly start getting adjusted to it. After a few months, the same food will not taste that bad. It will start getting normal after some more time. You might get sick frequently because of unhygienic nature of food, you might see how some of your neighbors are eating delicious, clean food but you are so convinced that your food cannot be better. It’s because repeatedly, some people have told you by force, some by guile that your problem is too complex, too deep that it’s just not possible for you to get good food. In simple words, we have become accustomed to the situation of bad food; we are in the habit of eating bad food. We just don’t know how to get good food for ourselves, because for generations, we have never seen anyone from our country getting it.

All this may sound very philosophical, but the practical implications can be seen. The government and non-government organizations, institutions, think tanks, universities, ministries, departments, processes, systems – these are the devices that define how we do things in our day-to-day lives and this eventually decides how the country eventually runs. How many of these devices run with the national interest as its top priority? Many individuals in these devices may have intention of doing good, but they may not know how to do it because they have never seen anyone doing it. If each of the workers in these devices is basically an employee, he does not have ‘experience’ of doing good for the majority population of this country.

Taking a view of the other side – the people at the helm have primarily experience of siphoning off money and channelizing it in such a way that it cannot be detected openly. Over a period of time, they have matured the processes in such a way that they know how not to do anything for wellness of the majority and still come to power again & again, how to steal money which actually should have been spent for the people, how to park this money in such a way that it does not show in any tracking systems. If there is any chance that the money could show up in any obvious way in any trail of legal channels, they manipulate the channel itself in such that it doesn’t show up, because they have full control over the channel. Above all, even if it becomes obvious that they have done something illegal and immoral, they have mastered the art of creation and dissemination of information. So for a while, even if the majority people of this country know what has been going on, they are fed with such information repeatedly that their minds divert to other things and they forget the real issue. Its again experience – people who have ruled this country for longest period of time are most experienced in this art, so there is least chance of them being caught. The other relatively new rulers who seem to be their enemies and have sprung up in last couple of decades – they have less experience in this art and hence are more prone to being entangled in legal hurdles. This is the reason we could see Chautalas and Laloos in jail, but rarely someone from the ‘most-experienced’ party. Just like a family profession running through generations, the key families bring up their children in this environment and they start learning the art from their childhood. Their skill gets refined, polished, adapted to new circumstances with each passing day and because of the same reason, it’s hard for new players to enter the game. Not only that, with each day, because this side is gaining more experience and more power, the difference in potency between this side and the Hindu-welfare side is getting wider and wider.

A common man with no knowledge of their working, even if he becomes a minister and is ready to make money by illicit means, he may not know all the ways of making money and then parking it. How many of us knew that civil aviation minister takes money from private airlines and runs Air India (the state airline) flights at odd hours and on non-profitable routes so that private airlines can take its share of passengers and make good money, how many of us knew that you can sell the appointments of plum posts as railway minister, until they came out as scams. It’s all about experience! In a job interview, one may be asked – so how much experience do you have as a corrupt minister. And in the answer, you can add the years of experience of your father and grand-father also because it counts.

This situation is not specific to India only. Russia, for example, had a communist government for about eight decades and when it came out of communism, it was expected to follow a democratic path with freedom to express that was unheard of during communist regime. But even two decades after fall of USSR, situation in Russia is similar to USSR days in many ways. It’s because people who have control over the system are same as before and those who might want a change don’t have experience in an alternative system, they have just not seen a different way of working for past several generations, in spite of all good intentions. Similarly, Egypt has come out of the rule of Hosni Mubarak, but is still in chaos because his replacement does not know what exactly to do and how to do it.

While all this may look too depressing, the very fact that we are able to think and read about above few paragraphs and understand at least a little is a reason to smile. When Abrahamic religions (Christianity and Islam) started their quest outside their areas of origin, they completely wiped out the native religion/culture of the areas they dominated. They have been operating in India as well since that time with the same intention but have not been able to make the Hinduism vanish. The Hindu majority that used to exist from present day Afghanistan to Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand is reduced to present day India but not wiped out completely. Wounded but not dead, defaced by not faceless!

This is probably because of patches of good work by local leaders in different regions, at different times has not only given a push to survive, but has instilled a spirit of belongingness to the underlying essence of our religion. In spite of all the apparent diversity, each one of us might have the same thoughts somewhere inside us about the nature of God or an all powerful super-natural power, where we came from and where we go after death and to some extent, how to realize it in ourselves. So we seem to have this collective ‘experience’.

What we need is an open announcement that welfare of majority of this country is a priority, a system that encourages ‘experience’ in the welfare of the people who belong to the oldest religion of the world. Is there a person or a group of persons who say that they represent and lead the 15% population of earth called Hindus and well-being of this population is their priority? We need such a group, if we want to switch from Somehow-Surviving to Thriving mode. We will need quite a lot of new power to nullify the existing ‘experience’ of other side. This new power could come from lot of small entities with small power or few entities with lot of power or a mix of both, but somewhere, we need to start building this power. It’s a war of the experiences – the sooner we start, the better chances of holding onto what we have now, else another twenty years and see Kashmir practically going the Pakistan way, Assam going the Kashmir way and so on.  If a group can survive despite eight hundred years of hostile rule, a little push can do wonders. The key is to start realizing that time is running out!

Author: Arun Kumar 

Published: October 28, 2013

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