destination india

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

why an empire crumbles

We have seen it happen time and again – empires built up over a period of time have crumpled, sometimes in one generation, sometimes over a couple of centuries. Nothing lasts for ever. Especially those that have been built up through unethical means. History abounds with examples. Herr Hitler was one of those who wanted to rule the World – he was unceremoniously removed and left without any obituary. Greed of any type is bad – we teach the child to be satisfied with whatever it has. Unfortunately, it sees us practicing just the opposite and, it follows what it sees rather than what it hears. Desire has no limits, therefore contain those desires, the wise ones say, and you can lead a full and satisfying life. Step outside the laksman Rekha and you have only yourself to blame for its consequences. These are very valid in Public life – as John F. Kennedy said: ‘you can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time’.

These are lessons that Indian politicians need to learn. The throne of power where a he finds himself in is supposed to be a gift to him from those whom he represents. It carries with it the hopes and aspirations of those who preferred him to another. It is the responsibility of the leader to prove the choice to be a correct one. Unfortunately, what we get is a leader who has suppressed his opponents by any means foul or fair to secure a forced mandate in his favor. Common sense says that such a situation cannot last forever. A time does come in his life when he may look back in anger but, it will be an extremely difficult task to wrest back the initiative. The passage of time brings with it certain situations that just cannot be reversed.

Large parts of our country still reek of poverty, people live on the verge of death, governments of the day paint rosy pictures but, all said and done, the end result remains pathetic. Politicians have realized that uneducated masses wield tremendous clout in a democracy like ours; they can sway the balances in the favor of whomever so desires by dangling of dry carrots that have no food value. Therefore, let there be darkness. Let us not improve the conditions of these people who are nothing but a group of animals that walk on two legs but are not supposed to think. When the leader asks them to raise their hand, they will obey. ‘…Their's not to make reply, Their's not to reason why, Their's but to do and die:…’ - Lord Alfred Tennyson – The charge of the light brigade’

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