The primary objective of power, particularly political power, has seldom been social service. A peep into the history of political powers of various types will convince us of that without any doubt. Political power is an intoxicant: as good as a drug is to the addict. People don’t capture power by spending billions of dollars or crores of rupees on image building and propaganda in order to render service to anyone. People ascend the rungs of political power because the heights intoxicate. Putting it in a more acceptable way, success gratifies or gives one a sense of fulfilment.
Self-actualisation is the highest goal for any individual, according to psychologist Abraham Maslow’s theory. Alexander the Great had as much right to make his conquests as Diogenes had to sneer at those conquests. Albert Einstein would have been as out of place on a Prime Minister’s chair as a Prime Minister would be in Einstein’s shoes. So, let each person gratify himself. But let us be clear about one thing: Diogenes and Einstein didn’t bring doom on any section of people.
A Prime Minister who has put Machiavelli and Chanakya to shame with his manoeuvres and histrionics may describe himself as “Prime Servant,” while in the background
The discourse matters. The Europeans colonised much of the world in the past two centuries in the name of a discourse which they fondly called the white man’s burden. Israel has performed a vanishing trick in Palestine in the name of a discourse that Palestine never existed. Hitler’s discourse cost 6 million Jews their lives and eventually cost the world 60 million lives.
The discourse matters. That’s why it is important to notice which individuals and groups are being given prominence and which are catapulting themselves into prominence.
Powerful oratory is capable of creating impressive facades to edifices. But what goes on behind the facades is what will matter in the long run.