Sunday, August 17, 2014

Power Games


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.

The Hindu
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
shrewd moves are made on the political chessboard.  It is important to understand those background moves if one is to know which discourse is being written upon the palimpsest that the country is. 

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.



11 comments:

  1. Its an interesting take Matheikal. With the existing frame of things, it looks like it is a power struggle more than a service oriented job and it is further more justified with every slight issue being made into a political one from a normal social one.The one day we might start seeing a difference is when we start looking at it as a job over a position of power..

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    1. There seems to be an underlying agenda, Vinay. That's not at all an encouraging awareness/feeling.

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  2. Absolutely....being a public or political figure, the power of oratory is a plus point...but time and again it's not just the talk but walk the talk will bring much needed changes... It's time the basic physiological needs to be taken into consideration by the ruling team.

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    1. Mr Modi knows what he wants and he will achieve it. Will it be good for the country is something that can be debated. However, the debate will have to wait until his motives become clearer.

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  3. I sincerely hope that the message that you are trying to convey - to look beyond the obvious and to seek the truth and not be gullible to misled ideals - does not fall on deaf ears (or eyes in this case)

    I hope that people become wise enough to sort stuff out for themselves. I am also beginning to write a more socially applicable topic. Let's see how it goes.

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    1. Quite many people in India are not interested in anything more than economic welfare and accompanying benefits. But some of our political leaders will bring in other things in the name of religion and culture and create problems.

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    2. Yep. The moment religion enters the arena, everything changes. All variables become obsolete and all that matters is the factor of religion. The leaders have realised this and are capitalising wrongly on it...

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. The majority, is coaxed to look at "only now " benefits, and is not given much time to go beyond religion , caste and community. They are not disturbed by the historical horrors of the past.

    Disturbing trends.

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