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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Democracy - A beacon of hope.

An article titled “The American Century” appeared in LIFE (magazine) on 17th Feb, 1941and was penned by Mr. Henry R. Luce, the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine.

This oft-quoted, prophetic article was written before U.S.A entered Second World War and when the so-called isolationists in America were vehemently opposing such an entry. Mr. Henry Luce predicted that U.S.A would be forced to enter the war and sought to set at rest the confusion in the minds of Americans on this issue.

The following passage from the article, albeit written in a totally different context, reflects the reality of the current Indian political scene and if read in conjunction with the prevailing uncertainty gives the reader a clearer idea of the causes for the decline in public morality, the erosion of social values and the steady deterioration in the quality of political leadership.

“But, even beyond this necessity for living with our own misdeeds, there is another reason why there is no peace in our hearts. It is that we have not been honest with ourselves.

In this whole matter of War and Peace especially, we have been at various times and in various ways false to ourselves, false to each other, false to the facts of history and false to the future.

In this self-deceit our political leaders of all shades of opinion are deeply implicated. Yet we cannot shove the blame off on them. If our leaders have deceived us it is mainly because we ourselves have insisted on being deceived. Their deceitfulness has resulted from our own moral and intellectual confusion. In this confusion, our educators and churchmen and scientists are deeply implicated.

Journalists, too, of course, are implicated. But if Americans (read Indians) are confused it is not for lack of accurate and pertinent information. The American people are by far the best informed people in the history of the world.

The trouble is not with facts. The trouble is that clear and honest inferences have not been drawn from the facts, The day-to-day present is clear. The issues of tomorrow are befogged.”

How much of the blame the Indian public must share for the present situation is a moot point. The people of India are not the best informed people in the history of the world. The point is that when the most well-informed people could be misled by their leaders (the WMD hoax is a point to ponder upon) then not much can be expected of ill-informed people who continue to languish below the poverty line and whose lack of education and health the State refuses to acknowledge and address. Even the day-to-day present, let alone the issues of tomorrow, is befogged.

But there is hope! The greatest hope of Democracy. Power in the hands of people to throw the mighty and the powerful out of power. This power to change, the will to change and the need to change will change the life of the Indian people and deliver them from the morass they have sunk into. It is said that one has to know what is bad to understand what is good. We have seen what is bad and worse - the political chicanery, the thuggery, the bandits who are looting our nation of its natural wealth, the corrupt, the unscrupulous and the criminals masquerading as gentlemen...... When the good comes we will be able to understand, appreciate and enjoy it better.

1 comment:

  1. You know my problem? I have erred in the past and at present I feel I don't have the spiritual and moral courage to prevent others from erring.

    This makes it almost impossible to take any positive steps. All I can do is to advise people - For heaven's sake don't err!

    But even there they can say, but you committed an error once, so allow us the pleasure too!
    In such a situation, all I can do is to become a writer and write a blog.