Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Revolution

In the wake of the greatest country-wide protests since the days of the Emergency, one only wonders how such a vast and diverse people, which can normally be dismissed as a bickering population at best, is united by a common and singular passion. Stranger still is the fact that thousands of people who have taken to the roads don't have an inkling as to what they are protesting. But that doesn't matter, does it? After all, in Hitler's great words, "Nothing unifies a nation faster than a common enemy."

Turning one's gaze towards the so-called educated lot - the ones who speak sense on Television rather than simply "Hum Anna ke saat hain... Jo bhi Anna karenge, wahi hum bhi karenge" - the uprising seems to be based on much stronger fundamentals. In fact, most of us can empathize with these people even as we attempt to comprehend the simplicity of a Gandhian struggle. While Anna, a man, can be done away with, "ideas are bulletproof."

Ideas alone have molded our civilization into what it is today. These are ideas which aren't intrinsically right or wrong; the notion of 'right' and 'wrong' is decided by the observer alone. But how independent are we in choosing our stance? While we continue to ridicule the fools who have no idea what they are fighting for, although they happen to support the righteous side by chance, we must consider how our own viewpoint on the matter came to be...

Most debates are won, not on logical grounds (as it is hardly possible to pitch the merits of one idea against different merits of another) but by appealing to one's sentiments. While Anna Hazare's motives are perfect and flawless, the Jan Lokpal Bill seems to be the only logical course of action. But imagine, for a moment, that our ruling Government wasn't such a supercilious, high-handed bunch; that Kapil Sibal didn't always carry that disdainful sneer and didn't declaim everything that the civil society did; that our thus far mute Prime Minister was able to address his people and make them understand that - while the idea of a Jan Lokpal Bill is excellent, a parliamentary democracy cannot allow such a movement to succeed as it will set a precedent which future governments may struggle to cope with... Then, would so many people still be on the roads?

If there is one emotion human beings are perpetually capable of exhibiting, it is Dissatisfaction. Channelize this, and you win the war. After all, if everyone understood what they're fighting for, no revolution will be possible. And debates are never won on logical grounds.