Saturday, February 27, 2016

Deceptions


Here is a little story from the novel, The Palace of Illusions, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

            Once a boy came running in from play and asked, Mother, what is milk?  My friends say it is creamy and white and has the sweetest taste... Please, mother, I want milk to drink.

            The mother, who was too poor to buy milk, mixed some flour in water, added jaggery, and gave it to the boy.

            The boy drank it and danced in joy, saying, Now I, too, know what milk tastes like!

            And the mother, who through all the years of her hardship had never shed a tear, wept at his trust and her deception.

I am amazed by both the jejune credulousness seen in the country today and also the amount of deception being perpetrated because of that credulousness.  There is a lot of false propaganda going on among bloggers, social network users, the mass media, and even in the Parliament.  A lot of falsehood is dished out as gospel truths.  Many of our eminent parliamentarians are actors by profession and they continue that profession even in the parliament.  Acting is in the blood of all politicians, it seems.  Deception seems to have become part and parcel of life. 

Why are people so eager to lap up falsifications?  Political scientist, Dr Lawrence Britt, wrote a famous article listing the 14 defining characteristics of fascism.  If you read it, you will understand why this deception of the self and others is going on in our country.


16 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Touching. Thought-provoking. It made me think of our country.

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  2. Replies
    1. Life in India is becoming very challenging for many people. Some students from Kerala studying in Bangalore were beaten up today because they are "outsiders". Who is an insider in India today? Who decides it?

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  3. The plight of the mother is so heart-wrenching. And so is the plight of every daughter and son of India, who have to see and witness such stories around every single day, and I am not just referring to the politicians.

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    Replies
    1. Not only politicians, you're right. There is a whole lot of pseudo-nationalists who have become a pain in the posterior of the nation.

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  4. Such a touching tale! And, you correctly compared it to country's current state.

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    Replies
    1. The country has plunged into a crisis. A lot of people who call themselves nationalists are fishing in the troubled waters. Who is antinational here?

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  5. An apt fable to illustrate the hysteria going on in India today. It saddens and frustrates me.

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    1. Any right-thinking person will be saddened and frustrated. What have we made of this nation? What promises and what outcomes?!

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  6. The issues very well connected with the story.

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    Replies
    1. The trust as well as the deception are similar. Only the grief of the deceiver is missing.

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  7. Heart-rending tale. The fourteen points brought out are interesting too. Reminded me also of the Panopticon that controls and keeps surveillance.

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    1. India is becoming a Panopticon under the BJP regime. Deceptions are part of that process. What is being served as milk is flour solution and people don't realise it. The only difference is that now the mother is delighted with her deception!

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    2. Is the mother really delighted? Her delight is a fascade that hides her helplessness, doesn't it?

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    3. I'm not sure, Sunaina. There's a kind of triumphalism among the deceivers of today. You should read the comments that appear in the relevant reports in the Indian Express and the Hindu.

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