Saturday, May 6, 2017

Not with a bang but a whimper

In his article in today’s Indian Express, Vijay Singh laments the jingoism that marks election speeches of presidential candidates in France.  “Once upon a time, presidential candidates making election speeches spoke of lofty ideals, their vision of history and the world,” he reminisces.  One of the French presidential candidates, Marie Le Pen, harped on the strings of “xenophobia, Islamophobia, immigrant-phobia, anti-Europeanism, anti-globalisation.”  ‘France for the French’ is a popular slogan now.

Image from OutlookIndia
Donald Trump wants an America of only Americans. The right wing in India is going out of its way to create Hindustan in place of the heterogeneous India. Various Islamic organisations have been trying for quite some time to fabricate a Caliphate in the whole world.

It’s interesting to ask the questions like who the Americans are really or who the Indians.  With German ancestry from his father and Scottish ancestry from his mother, Trump is himself a product of miscegenation.  Most of those who consider themselves Americans today belonged to Europe originally.  They colonised America, killed the original inhabitants or converted them into their own folds. 

The case with India and many other countries is not different.  The Aryan invasion theory may not be indubitably proved.  But no one can deny that the Dravidians, the Adivasis, the numerous tribal people and many others lived in India even before the Aryans gained ascendancy. 

Historically, it is quite silly to argue that countries like America and India belong to a particular category of people.  Invasions and conquests, conversions and miscegenation, have all mingled too much blood in too many veins.  Moreover, we now live in a world without borders.  America’s own pet notion of globalisation was highly responsible for this condition of borderlessness.  It is good too to have a globalised world in which anyone can live in a country of his or her choice, marry a person too similarly, and believe in deities too with equal freedom of choice.

Islamic terrorism with its ignobly parochial ambitions has been largely responsible for the insecurity that marks the worldviews of many political leaders and parties today. But countering parochialism with similar parochialism is not the solution.  That approach is making the world a terribly violent place.  Can we have peaceful solutions to the problem?

Terrorism has to be met with force, violent if necessary.  But what about the majority of peace-loving people who have nothing to do with terrorism of any sort? How do we create a better world for them?  That’s the question that should really bother the leaders.  Instead if they behave exactly like the terrorists, then we are heading for disasters.  The present leaders, including India’s, seem to be neatly poised to fulfil the prophecy made by T S Eliot in his poem, The Hollow Men: “This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper.”


  1. I have been following the events closely. I have also observed the way economy is moving with a surge of anti globalization sentiments among the nations; with brexit, then trump policies, make in India etc. I wonder, where this is going? Will history repeat itself?

    1. My guess is it will. Though history is not cyclical, it has a tendency to repeat itself in slightly different ways. So we will go back to the old nationalist sentiments, increasing religiosity (cults and gurus and so on), and perhaps a world war too.

  2. It really is a sad state of scenario for peace-loving people. We really don't have a choice but to watch helplessly as the world falls apart with these issues.

    1. Peace-loving people are helpless in a world ruled by the violent.


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