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Beware of Carefully Cultivated Inferiority Complex

Thomas Menamparampil Thomas Menamparampil
08 Apr 2024

Sincerity of Purpose and Honesty Win Hearts

It caused much amusement among the critics of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the UK when his wife, Akshata Murty, declared him a good cook, far ahead of her. His talent, she argued, was much in that department. Did he mistake his vocation, then, joining the ranks of politicians? Did cricketer Imran Khan do the same in Pakistan? Actor MGR and actress Jayalalitha make a mistake in Tamil Nadu? And Modiji, who claims to have been a Chaiwala and Chowkidar?

In a democracy, there is no barrier for any citizen to move into the political field and rise to any level of responsibility as Prime Minister or President. It was not suitable for Kejriwal to ask for Modiji's graduation records. He probably did it in good humour; that was no reason to punish him. Degree or absence is not a barrier; dynasty or non-dynast are not obstacles; caste or creed do not count. What counts is the confidence of the electorate. People of diverse backgrounds and competencies have emerged in the Indian political scene. Those who were faithful to Raj Dharma were convinced.

Kamaraj was not known to hold a degree or to come from a privileged background. But he was respected all over India as the Congress chief. His honesty, uprightness, sincerity of purpose, and commitment to the nation won him hearts. Those are the values that voters should expect of those whom they elect. But those are the very qualities that are running short in the country nowadays.

Corrupt Ways Have Gained Power

Pranjit Saikia points out that India today is frozen into a state of "dearth of honesty and transparency". No embarrassment! Politicians have no ambition to be considered corruption-free. Horse trading, floor crossing, MP sale, MLA purchase, resort politics, betrayal at the last moment… these are daily events. Lately, they have been considered 'normal' in politics; they are not news anymore. Even voters take these things for granted. Accusations are for mere display.

Gone are the days of Gandhi, Nehru and Patel and the days of Shastri or Kamaraj. Today, money decides issues. No one studies manifestos or press interviews. Decisions are made on heavy handouts and freebies. Crimes don't count. Look at Trump in the US, who still has 65% of the Republicans supporting him despite his criminal records.

Society Has a Right/Duty to Judge

Don't blame leaders any more. Blame the society that stands by such leadership. Trump promises a "bloodbath" if he is not elected. No one is shaken. That is the language today. Sadhus are asking of the head of a dissenter, and Sadhvis for the elimination of the minorities…nothing less. As Benjamin Netanyahu boasts his forces have wiped out 13,000 "terrorists" in the Gaza strip, people on the 'other side' are always considered "terrorists". In India, weaker communities are anti-nationals, anti-Hindu, and traitors. Society must say these things are not right.

As concerned citizens, we suggest a stimulating debate on 1. The Excessive Role Money Plays in Elections. 2. The Philosophy of Opportunism. 3. Crimes Condoned for Political Advantages. 4. Punishments Imposed for Sectarian Prejudices. 5. The Morality of Hate Words and Personal Attacks. 6. The Wisdom of Imposing Food Restrictions on Fighting Forces, Factory Workers, and Malnourished Mothers.

Let a team that believes in genuine Sanatana Dharma be the judges. Those who score well alone should be allowed to stand for elections.

Self-Imposed Inferiority Complex

Modiji is most eloquent when he speaks about 1000 years of 'slavery'. Why impose this Inferiority Complex of 'slavishness' on others, even if he feels weighed? 1. In his case, it may be "self-imposed" 2. It becomes a "carefully cultivated" Inferiority Complex when it is imposed by Hindutva leaders on others to create animosity against minorities, sharpen polarisations and win elections 3. It becomes "well deserved" when we have developed a Complex of Inferiority through 'non-performance' in economic growth, healthy political goals, international relationships, and moral values. The first step leads to the rest.
It is no use blaming Western interference or despising Victorian moral code if someone points a finger at us for breaking our own Bharatiya cultural values. Sophisticated Hindutva think tanks who want to make Indian morality contextually 'sensitive' should not be allowed to go to the point of making it 'flexible' for all occasions! In this respect, we have failed. Together! We should be only grateful when someone from another land, culture, or civilisation points it out to us. We cannot be crushed by the low esteem imposed on us by our leaders nor be lost in infantile self-admiration proposed by our pride.

Changing Enmity into Amity

Putin is moving Russian forces to NATO borders after winning the electoral battle for the fifth term. He seems to be preparing for a large-scale war and a long-term struggle. Most Americans take a proximate World War for granted. How do we stand?

Look closer at the Tibetan borders. The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Anil Chauhan, speaking in Pune, said: With unsettled borders, the rise of China is the biggest challenge for India. There is a vast technological gap to be bridged. He called on academicians, thinkers and strategists to cooperate. Every responsible citizen has a role to play. Chauhan hopes to consolidate political and social stability in the neighbourhood of border areas. That is why areas like Manipur must be addressed.

But Jaishankar insists that Indo-China relationships cannot be reduced to border problems. Recently, some Chinese companies have proposed outsourcing certain kinds of manufacturing to Indian players. Dixon (phones), Karbonn (electronics), and Apple (iPhones) were interested. Trade may unite where tanks divide. It has an enormous future.

Festival of Democracy

The Prime Minister described the election as the festival of democracy. Of course, an army of digital warriors is at his service. Some 10,000 advocates in Assam want to be "Ambassadors for Modi" during the coming elections. Everything stands to his advantage. For him, it is a show of strength; for others, it is a moment of 'dread'! Fear of the Enforcement Directorate has made the media meek, timid and almost toadyish. All broadcasters support majoritarian themes. Films and books that come out today are all on Hindutva themes, legends, and devotions. Advertisements like over 21,000 cows to be fed and 'Modi Ki Guarantee' crowd out others. Modi-magic turns citizens' experience of poverty, injustice, and price rise into a festival. However, every boast provokes an echo: "No!"

The 'dread' we spoke of is not ill-based. Arvind Kejriwal is arrested. This is the second time a Chief Minister has been arrested in India recently: Hemant Soren and Kejriwal…and that just before the elections. The world is not as shocked now. These and worse things are expected in an "Electoral Autocracy", as they have described the present Indian order. Regarding Kejriwal's arrest, the German Foreign Ministry commented that the presumption of innocence is part of the Rule of Law until guilt is proved. India refused to accept any interference from outside. That is what Hitler would have done. Silence is won. For Germany, India's orders for weapons are more important!

"Might is Right"

We stand close to too many people who do not mean to be 'accountable': Trump, who warns of a possible bloodbath; Putin threatening nuclear war; Kim Jong-un with his finger on the trigger; Xi Jinping, who calls for 'combat readiness'. Those who ordered the arrest of Kejriwal do not consider themselves accountable, even though the Opposition protested in unison.

If Might is always right, what happens if China 'decides' that Arunachal is just Southern Tibet? And Putin decides that Ukraine is a part of Russia? Pakistan and China decide together that Kashmir is part of Pakistan? Well, Might was right when Babri Masjid was brought down, Kashmir was broken, Ladakh was humiliated, 687 attacks were made on Christians in 2023 and if Congress complains about frozen accounts and Opposition protests against Kejriwal's arrest. Sonam Wangchuk, the climate activist from Ladakh, puts it bluntly, "This Government knows only the language of the gun". Might still remains right.

If a religion that has nothing to do with a moral code is propagated, worse things are bound to happen. Hilal Ahmed asks what really counts for Hindutva. Moral-philosophic principles or ritualistic performance? Does it mean being anti-intellectual, merely appeasing sadhus and soothsayers, bending to cheap reciters of Mahabharata and Ramayana, and listening to erratic religious guides? That is how today, even our MLAs and MPs carry no weight…with criminal records high and moral respectability low. No Gravitas. No Seriousness. No Stature.

A Sense of Insecurity in Ladakh, Northeast

One of Wangchuk's demands is for Ladakh to be granted the Sixth Schedule status. He feels that Ladakh is being flooded by outsiders and wants to defend indigenous land, natural resources, and political rights. Kashmir is eager to do the same.

Northeast is afraid of a demographic invasion of their region by people from BIMARU. When Modi laid the foundation for a 27,000-crore semiconductor industry at Jagiroad, the question was to whom it would belong. Reports are that much of Jagiroad already belongs to Amit Shah's son, Jay Shah. The fear expressed is that the development of the Northeast will be like an 'over-bridge' that passes over the heads of indigenous communities. The rumours are that 40% of the infrastructure development itself goes to authorities that get it done. Too many rumours prove true!

The 'Assam Tribune' of March 20, 2024, carried headlines to show that BJP Vikas is nothing but vinash. The World Air Quality Report 2023 said that Guwahati is the second most polluted city in the world. Human ecology, too, turns alarming. There is a human flow from the Hindi heartlands swarming into the city. Fake beggars besiege bus stands and railway stations, as it was never seen in the region earlier. A careful study identified 2500 of 4500 as fake beggars, earning Rs 1500-2000 a day. There is also a steady increase in transgender beggars. Christian institutions for assisting the impoverished and crippled are hindered in many ways, so more and more people have moved into the streets.

Force Imposed upon the Tribals

When people heard about Karbis being beaten up by outsiders in their own land, which falls under the Sixth Schedule, a sense of insecurity overwhelmed the population. The law 'Might is Right' is getting established in the state. People are being compelled to renounce Christianity. Tribal leaders are forced to let down their own people and get their land sold to top men in the Government. This is what has been happening to tribal communities during the last 3000 years. Patanjali and others have bought up vast areas.

Tribal Karbis see a bleak future. The other day, the United Christian Forum of Golaghat met the Governor to complain about anti-Christian activities in their neighbourhood, including the threat of the imposition of "Assam Healing (Preventive of Evil) Practices Bill 2024". The Rule of Law is forgotten.

People can become desperate when the Rule of Force replaces the Rule of Law. The Opposition must be able to raise people's hopes and not get lost in internal quarrels, a "game of thrones" where everyone wants to be the Prime Minister. Self-worship of the ruler has been the ruin of nations.

Consequences Provoke Thought

Negative relationships have negative consequences. Thomas Piketty, a French economist studying the Indian situation carefully for many years, says that Indian inequality has risen to the highest level lately, with 1% owning 40% of the national wealth. It has led to a distressing situation before the elections. The rupee has touched a new low in relationship to the dollar, Rs. 83.42, and lost 20% per Dirham. Listen to Suze Orman's teaching: Give importance to people first, and the rest will follow: "People first, then money, then things".

Change the order, and as Jairam Ramesh points out, the 'Billionaire Raj' takes over. From now on, we shall not be obeying the legitimately constituted authority, nor even the BJP-RSS elite, but the 'crony capitalists' who keep everyone in subjection. The great political philosopher Michael Sandel called this state of inequality a new form of "tyranny".

Historians tell us how Greece and Rome sank. Their civilisations began decaying when the elite became 'exploitative' rather than 'creative'. That is an imbalance that has kept hurting India ever since inequality rose with the rigid caste system, and lower classes were reduced to the status of slaves. No external domination was as hurtful as this internal domination of the higher castes for over 3,000 years.

Our best efforts should be to change this situation. The election should bring redemption!

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