Skip to main content

The Futility of Revolution



One of the shortest but classical works of fiction on the futility of revolution is George Orwell’s Animal Farm [1945]. The animals on the farm revolt against the oppressive human master and seek to establish an egalitarian society where all animals are equal. The revolution is driven by very noble ideals which have the potential to create a paradise on the farm. But sooner than later, the ideals give way to venality and the new rulers among the animals become far worse than the erstwhile human master. The human master only exploited the animals for labour. Now the animal masters are utterly vicious. They enjoy the highest forms of luxury at the cost of the other animals which are treated as worse than slaves. There is not only inequality but also injustice, cruelty, violence, government’s surveillance on the citizens, and plain butchery.

It was the aftermath of the Russian Revolution that inspired Animal Farm. The Russian Revolution sought to replace the dictatorial Tsar with a people’s government founded on socialist ideals. What Russia got, however, was a government far more inhuman than the Tsarist one. Something very similar happened with the French Revolution too which began in the name of the noble ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity.

Revolutions are too idealistic to be practical. That is why the great thinker and writer, Albert Camus, said that revolutions culminate inevitably in police or in folly. The kind of perfection quested after by revolutions is impossible in the human world. The humankind has not evolved yet to that level of sophistication (emotional, intellectual and spiritual) required to create such paradises on earth. The human is far too fallible for that. Too frail. Too guilt-ridden.

The human fallibility, frailty and guilt require gods. To fear and worship. To forgive and give a pat on the back. To take revenge on the enemies, whole races of them if possible.

It is not Ram Rajya that the bhakt quests after. It is Ram – with all his might and hate and vengeance. Let us build glorious temples for him. Let us sacrifice fellow beings for him.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal.” That is how one of the ideals in the revolutionised Animal Farm of Orwell had metamorphosed under the new leaders.  

PS 1. This post is provoked by a Facebook visitor to my space who told me bluntly that I, being a non-Hindu, am “only an unwanted guest” in his country which was destined to become Ram Rajya under the present political leadership.

PS 2. Thank you Blogchatter for the following award.


 

Comments

  1. Brilliant. I really enjoyed this piece. It triggered another thought in my mind, something similar that I shall soon share. Sometimes I think we are all in a spiral, and there's no one better than the other. I am so sorry about the Facebook trolling. It's become some sort of culture. Congratulations for the award.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sonia. Don't worry about the FB thing, I've got used to that sort of things. I look forward to your post on "something similar".

      Delete
  2. Hari OM
    Interesting you should use Animal Farm (and appropriately, I may add)... have you seen the news that in some of the [dis]United States, there is a move to ban books because they are perceived as having potential to 'misguide our youth'? (An article on this...) Driven by fear of the mighty word, requiring the censorship sword???

    Congrats on being recognised for your contribution at Blogchatter! YAM xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's rather odd that the US is seeking to ban books. They're supposed to be liberal, aren't they?

      Delete
  3. Interesting post. I don't think bhakts quest after Ram too. In fact i think they don't even know Ram because what they are doing is directly opposite to what Ram stood for. Facebook trolls are funny things. I have lost count how many times i have been called a Vampanthi (communist). Congratulations on winning top blogger award.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those who really know their god and religion won't indulge in hatred and violence.

      I take trolls in my stride, no problems. 😊

      Thanks.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Advani and Modi

Cartoon from Deepika This morning's Malayalam newspaper, Deepika, delighted readers with the above cartoon on the front page. Modi is portrayed as Bhima in quest of the Sougandhika flower.  He encounters Hanuman on the way and is unable to meet the challenge posed by Hanuman.  Finally Bhima will understand the real power of his interceptor and seek his blessings. Fabulous cartoon, I mused.  It depicts the present situation tersely.  And there's a deep irony too in it. Neither Modi nor Advani is worthy of any comparison with the epic characters.  Both have acted from selfish motives thus far and continue to do so. But the nature of the Kurukshetra has changed too today.  Today our heroes are no better than these characters.   

The Ugly Duckling

Source: Acting Company A. A. Milne’s one-act play, The Ugly Duckling , acquired a classical status because of the hearty humour used to present a profound theme. The King and the Queen are worried because their daughter Camilla is too ugly to get a suitor. In spite of all the devious strategies employed by the King and his Chancellor, the princess remained unmarried. Camilla was blessed with a unique beauty by her two godmothers but no one could see any beauty in her physical appearance. She has an exquisitely beautiful character. What use is character? The King asks. The play is an answer to that question. Character plays the most crucial role in our moral science books and traditional rhetoric, religious scriptures and homilies. When it comes to practical life, we look for other things such as wealth, social rank, physical looks, and so on. As the King says in this play, “If a girl is beautiful, it is easy to assume that she has, tucked away inside her, an equally beauti

Reading Comprehension for Senior Students

 Let me present the reading comprehension test I gave to my 12th graders recently.  1.        Read the passage and answer the questions that follow .                      1x10 = 10 1.     On 1 Oct, India launched 5G services. It was a low-key affair even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi was launching it. Natural, perhaps, since it came after 70-odd countries had deployed it in close to 2000 cities since 2019 when South Korea kicked off the new era of connectivity. 2.     Attempts to get 5G going in India have been botched by muddled policies. The biggest bottleneck was the high reserve prices for airwave sales. The 700-megahertz band, which is needed for 5G technology, was priced so high that it did not receive any bids in the March auction and even in the recent auction, only one company, market leader Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, has been able to cough up the asking price despite a scaling down of rates by the government. Telecom companies are bleeding after the cutthroat tar

To a friend

Vincent van Gogh - self-portrait of a man who suffered much This post is dedicated to a person who was very dear to me for quite some time. We were good friends. But certain situations affected that friendship adversely. Years later, he contacted me recently. There is a lot of frustration, anger, sadness and rebellion in his psyche, as I sense it. Dear Friend, Your present situation grieves me as much as it worries me. I knew you as a benevolent individual who went out of his way to help friends. I received much help from you for many years. You were an inspiration for me in more ways than you might have ever imagined. What happened to our friendship was inevitable to some extent because I was passing through a painful phase of personality deterioration and your efforts to assist turned out to be counterproductive. It was not your fault at all. You meant well, I know. I knew it at that time too but my psychological condition made it impossible for me to continue our friendship. I n