The last quarter of the 20th century witnessed the emergence of the systems perspective in contrast to the reductionist approach that was followed earlier. The reductionist approach viewed phenomena by their parts and treated them as such. For example, if you have a headache you kill the pain with an Anacin ignoring the harms done to the body by the drug. In the systems perspective, you look at the whole rather than the parts. You use available knowledge and technology to find out the root cause of the headache and make the whole system healthy.
Any system such as the human body or a society is not just the sum of its parts. A system is a complex and inter-related network of interacting components. Relationships among the components are of vital importance in any system.
India is not just a sum of its states and union territories (Gujarata-Maratha-Dravida-Utkala) or a sum of the various religious communities (Hindu-Muslim-Sikh-Isai). Any nation is much more than such sums. Today, people's identities are not straitjacketed by nationality or religion or language or any one parameter. Parameters cut across one another making a complex network which transcends the sum of the parts. Any leader who fails to understand that is sure to be a millstone hung around the nation’s neck.
|Leader: of a System or?|
One of the questions that is shot at me frequently by different people nowadays is why I question the BJP so much when other political parties have been worse in many ways. Yes, the other parties were steeped in corruption. Their politicians were selfish and filled their pockets and their Swiss bank accounts with more zest than looking after the nation. Greed and selfishness are normal human vices. The BJP is guilty of a vice far more vicious than greed, jealousy, and the normal list of vices seen in moral science textbooks.
The BJP and its numerous allies like the VHP pervert the entire nation, the nation’s imagination. Consider, for example, the interpretation given by the VHP to the Prime Minister’s statement on the need for communal harmony in the country. The Times of India quotes the VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain, "The Prime Minister did not say 'minorities' nor did he mention any particular religion. The news traders are misreading his message to suit their agenda. When he has not taken any names, you have to see in what circumstances he has made the statements. The supposed attacks on churches have been going on for a while now but the PM never came out and spoke. He spoke only after the Delhi Police pointed out that 206 temples were attacked. He spoke on a day a temple was vandalized in the US."
People like Surendra Jain create their own truths and shove them down the throats of jejune people who are more than willing to swallow whatever is given to them provided they perceive some benefit in doing so. People like Surendra Jain replace truths with myths and falsehoods. Such people should found new religions and write scriptures. Instead, in India today, they enter politics and mess up the social networks in the country. They bring fragmentation where there is integration, strife where there is peace, hatred where there is tolerance. Worst of all, they fabricate a new history for the country. Murderers of mahatmas and perpetrators of genocide are canonised and put up on pedestals in temples.
Perverting a nation’s psyche is a crime that is far more vicious than stealing from the nation’s coffers or even using people as vote banks.