The Enigma of Modern Democracy- Narain Rao, Balijipeta

0
96

In reality, modern democratic republic or government is nothing but a maggot that eats out on the bodies of people without their conscious realization of their own mutilation anaesthetized by entertainment and fashion. And then, when there is no one else left, this maggot will start to devour itself. It is as true, plain, and simple as day.

In October last year, I was listening to the headlines of the morning news, “the chief minister on his visit to South Korea was able to raise a private investment potential of 3000 crores from various companies on a single day!” These companies are due to start their corporate ventures in the land that will be granted to them after having confiscated it from farmers through exclusive means at the government’s disposal and power.

What baffles me is that the modern politician dupes corporatization and urbanization as development. It will be logical to question, whose development? Is it the nation’s economic development? Then what is in it for common people? Does economic development mean anything at all for the commoner? In the heart of the Krishna River Delta, there is no denying that the supposed land intended for the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, is the food bowl of the state, given its fertility and proven record of agricultural fecundity. I fail to understand as to how anyone could see more value in money as against food or agriculture. The value to money is only attributed from physical things that contribute to its value. Currency is an invention of man that does not mean anything when there is no physical attribution of value to it. The biggest obsession and false agenda of the politicians in India is the promise of jobs which they owe to fulfill on their ascendance to power in the election campaigns. That is nothing but a masquerading instrument in whose façade, corporate laundering and looting is carried out for the politician’s long-term sustenance of power. Here, I would like to ask, why not establish a collective farming or agricultural concern sponsored by the state government aimed at preventing the impending food crisis? Even that is one way of creating jobs and at the same time, protecting a resource fundamental to survival. It is no exaggeration that there is no nutritional value in the food infested with pesticides and insecticides partly because the average farmer is under the pressure to produce larger yield in the same land that is diminishing with laughable policies of the government that is at all times predisposed to gifting lands to corporate entities.

If population growth is challenge, to complement the growth of corporate development and creating jobs is not the solution to it. Increasing resources enough for human sustenance is. Because, through corporatization one is exhausting natural resources further. Instead, what we need is a development with context; a development with ecological conscience; a development without sophistication; a development that resonates with Gandhian economics. On the other hand, if the cost of a commodity in the 1920s has doubled itself in its present market, it’s not the population growth that’s responsible; it’s the failure of the democratic economic system that could not control its price. This is the failure of democratic economic system in not being able to make commodities affordable for the common people. Simply, the democracy is only interested in increasing currency notes, a policy that does not serve or solve anything but lend onus to its dreams of building paper castles. Currency notes cannot reverse climate changes, or the imminent famines and water wars of the future given that the present economic weapons will continue their hegemony over what are most fundamental to human progress and sustenance of species. There is no such thing as the science of money. It is false; an American concept that has created a false world centered on money.

Two sides of the same coin is the same material.

When Bill Clinton visited Hyderabad during the regime of Chandra Babu Naidu, beggars were evacuated from the entire city besides other make-believe arrangements to lure the then American president, who was visiting the city, for corporate investments. After so many years, this event repeats itself in exactly the same manner, with roads repaired and beggars jailed in lieu of Ivanka Trump’s visit with a different government in the newly formed Telangana state. This only shows that politicians are all one clan, they are shameless to emulate the very misdeeds that gave them the moral standing to fight for new agendas, new governments, new states, and new countries. That epic scene in the movie Viva Zapata (1952) where Emiliano Zapata, on ascending to power, realizes that he did exactly like the president what the president did when he was questioned by Zapata earlier, comes to mind. All those in power act alike. But hope for goodness can never cease to fade. And that’s what the legendary Zapata proves.

Exclusive and emergent need for new capital

What was the need for an entirely new capital when several cities in the newly formed Andhra Pradesh were suggested as probable? The Andhra Pradesh politicians could not come to terms with the reality that they will no longer have access to the lavishness and lifestyle that they so much got accustomed to in Hyderabad, which was to be given away to the newly formed Telangana state after sharing it as a dual capital for ten years. Interestingly, the division of states did not affect common people as much as it did to the politicians from both sides. It was the politicians that were fighting for or against the new policies and for increased budget (to serve as a fresh supply to their money laundering mission, which has suffered a set-back since the division of the states). What is in it for the bargain of a separate status for Andhra Pradesh? Who uses the funds that are granted? Why were common people influenced to fight for what they have no legitimate stake in? In one village, when the central government sanctioned funds for tar roads to be laid, the village sarpanch (president) gobbled off the money and immediately bought an SUV; it is a public secret; and bleak cement roads were laid as a consolatory precaution. So many houses in another village are still due to receive the money for building lavatories sanctioned under Swach Bharat mission; some say the funds are never to arrive for they have already been gobbled off in between as they flowed down from hands to hands from the top. Corruption is not the issue here. It will be safe to conjecture that the government is entirely for the politicians and government servants and not for people toward whom the theoretical and hypothetical scales of democracy incline where democracy implies rule of the people. The new capital is entirely for the politicians whose self-serving interests overweigh those of the people.

Obsession with government jobs is a colonial patch in the brains of young Indians. It is their subconscious crave for power inspired by experiences under their colonial masters. These young people lose out their vigor in prolonged years of preparation for government jobs which is the ultimate solution for all their problems and will prove to be safe haven for their progeny. They end up being pedantry form fillers functioning at the heart of bureaucracy. Administration is a national duty whereas agriculture is not!

Why there cannot be a solution to this?

Simply because the people don’t care unless if there is hike in prices of petrol and vegetables. The affluent higher classes do not see problems because it is they that have founded those problems and continue to fund them. They are the very face of consumerism ubiquitous in the third world. The middleclass are too busy buying cars and i-phones. Not to forget the frenzy social media maniacs who care for frivolous things and issues not realizing that they alone are summarily responsible for those problems. The Aarey Forest protestors are a fine example in this regard. Mumbai commuters cannot do without a metro but on the other hand, they wish to fight against climate change without realizing how they are in fact, integral to climate change. Their causes are self-contradictory. In other words, they are the very causes that are responsible for a rebellion to take shape. Simply, they are fighting against their own shadows. The least they can do is stop being rampant consumers and stop upgrading their smartphones every festive season. You cannot develop an ecological conscience just on the surface through word and deed without an insight, without an inner consciousness of what you’re fighting for and how you can embrace the age old truth that change begins at home, not only that but from one’s own self-hood to begin with. That’s what one can learn from Gandhi. In principle, the protestors should deny everything that contributes to climate change starting from the individual ‘self’ which is a consumer at its heart. The transformation of the individual self will serve as the foundation.

A true revolution is like a force of nature that will, once set on course, disrupt and destroy everything on its path; a true revolution has a conscience that will stand the test of time, not merely against a ruthless government that can easily shun even a true resistance. No doubt, the Aarey protestors were all self-denying in their cause, however, what they lack is a pinch of reality. It would be interesting to question, though, whether they were protesting to create a public spectacle of themselves. Section 144 – the government will not hesitate to apply on these educated protestors the same treatment it does to thugs, whereas these are non-violent protestors. The government does not discriminate because it must expressly prosecute these people on the ground that they threaten to expose its true face. It is our constitution, it is our people who have gone and become the police who maintain law and order, it is our people who have gone and become politicians and formed the government. But when it comes to the acute moment of truth such as in the case of a non-violent protest against something unjust, these so called ‘our’ will show ‘their’ actual colors by not using anything external to what is permitted within the constitution. Which means we the people are massively trolled on ‘constitutional’ grounds. Which means, people are not in an equation to be a checkpoint for the politician’s status-quo in a democracy. Which means we cannot in anyway shake-up the slumber of politicians laying golden eggs inside democratic incubators.

And then there is this caste issue which is a universal divisive force that is too real for academicians to deal with. Caste is a highly arbitrary concept. It is also similar to the analogy of the two sides of the same coin which is but one material. Instead of enlightening and contributing to resolving the caste enigma, Dalit intellectuals are permeating hatred and violence. Even after all these years of what we call progress since attaining independence in 1947, if the Dalit is identifying himself/herself as a Dalit, it only means he/she is subscribing to the idea of Dalit from the perspective of the higher caste who was the founder of that label. In other words, the Dalit is adhering to and accepting the status-quo assigned to him by the higher caste. It is a very tricky situation. Now that I have addressed caste, the first thing the biased reader would want to know is my caste! Here, I would like to cite a small instance. I was in a bank when a group of student intellectuals and their leader made their appearance. I do not know what curiosity piqued his attention to me, the leader asked me, “are you an SC?” I said “No”, “are you an ST?”, “No”, “So you must be an OC…hmm…but still, you’re disabled, and the higher caste guy calls you a ‘lame’. You’re discriminated by the higher caste guy and you really need to know your rights, and fight against such discrimination.” And I said “thank you for your insights”. I think this man was on spree collecting volunteers to fight for his imaginary causes. But neither do I belong to the high caste category and it is not for that reason I am critical about the average high caste man. Any association with categories of class or people does not provide me the onus to take a stand, which is nothing but an arbitrary thing of time, which will fade away, and become invalid like most of the imaginary things that I said in this essay. Nothing can be as close to reality as reality itself. It’s better to leave it alone. As Gurajada Appa Rao says in one of his diaries, “do not believe what you hear; only half-believe what you see”.

The Dalit resistance in India is as overemphasized as anti-Semitism or modern tenor of the African American struggle. Historical reality is complex. Whereas the Dalit causes are concerned, this historical reality, which is history of repression, is masqueraded as continued slogan for equality only for personal gains more than anything collective. Rohit Vemula doesn’t deserve to be a national problem, it’s a personal problem to put it in the right sense. I am surprised that several left-wing scholars are accumulating theses after theses owning the cause for emancipation of the Dalit citing Rohith Vemula’s case. Suicidology postulates that prevention of suicide is highly improbable if the person has decided to end life at the level of mind, it is bound to happen and repeat until peace is achieved through self-destruction. And we have the prevention of atrocity to top it off. So, the enlightened Dalit goes out of his mind filing atrocity cases right, left, and center, on all the higher caste people he personally dislikes simply because he wishes to rejoice in the fervor of empowerment. Empowerment of downtrodden masses and socially backward classes is the electoral weapon of the higher caste politician. Chandra Babu Naidu passed legislation declaring all kapu caste people as backward classes because they are the most populous class in Andhra Pradesh and also because pooling system of land for building the new capital received opposition from Reddys and Kapus, while most of the Naidu/Kamma caste land-owners gifted their lands for the government’s dream capital.

Corporate entities are the backbone of democracies. And the banks too. From the very beginning of the BJP regime, it is clear that the new government will not leave the people in peace with policies directed at empowering banks and corporate organizations. Politics ends where and when administration begins. However, it has not been the case with Prime Minister Modi, who has been campaigning for BJP in regional elections in every state. It is a resounding reality.

Politics is a costly affair. While the majority of the youth is busy chasing the government job dream and the other group pursuing corporate careers, an intelligent and selective minority is after the political dream. The reason is, politics is the new opportunity for investment, you place one rupee and the return is a two hundred plus unlimited power. What remains a greater mystery than God, is the question as to in which car in the endless fleet of SUVs is our MLA seated! The above exclamation excludes some really hard-working MLAs like Sunnam Rajaiah who travels on public transport (bus) from his constituency to attend assembly sessions in Hyderabad. People like Rajaiah are the very personification of goodness. Rajiah lost in 2019 elections. He was defeated not by his opponents but by people; people who cannot tolerate goodness.

The people of Andhra Pradesh are incapable of any substantial resistance to the obsessively greedy schemes of the politicians for two reasons; the caste factor, and the affluent parents are busy sending their educated children abroad. The education that these children receive renders them imbecile, impotent, and incapable of pursuing anything intelligent. They are educated but not enlightened. Because enlightenment as per Immanuel Kant “is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance.”Would the educated call themselves educated if what they are doing is sub-standard, subordinate, and secondary occupations? Frederick Douglass says, “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave”.

The intelligent cream is made complacent of the government schemes playing an integral but a passive role. Academicians and intellectuals either spread violence and hatred or are simply silent and complacent to this system of violence through bureaucracy which renders it slow, steady, dragged, and gradual making it unfelt and unnoticed. Government servants are obsessed with a secure future and wish to retire in peace, what about the present? They are the symbols of huge inactivity and insulation with unmoved and indifferent attitude. The system renders them imbecile through imposed nonage. Any substantial revolution can arise when people have nothing to lose. But what about us? We have everything to lose if we chose to fight for the cause we never own, for we own a lot of other things starting from an all-powerful God who protects our wealth!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

*