DailyPost 2319

There is a ghost lurking everywhere or so it seems. Indian politics has been a land of machinations of unknown varieties, very few of it, comes to light. What comes to light with great difficulty is generally dealt with a lurking ghost theory. Most politicians and parties have perfected this model and at the first smell of crisis, the lurking ghost machine starts working full time. Not facing the facts and not allowing the facts to remain as facts has been the crux of this model. You cannot be blamed for anything, as an individual, party or the government is the sine qua non of this approach.

This theory works on the premise that let any number of skeletons might fall out of your cupboard, yet you will come out unscathed. There is a lurking ghost which makes things happen against you, though the ghost can keep on changing depending on the incident and the nature of the crisis. Some ghosts become popular and have remained at the centre stage for quite some time. Some change with the tenor of the dispensation. Foreign hand has for long remained a lurking ghost for anything going wrong for whatever reason. That somebody is playing politics or it is out of political rivalry,* has been a very standard ghost lurking all around.

From finding a reason unsubstantiated for a hard-hitting fact to finding a ghost in every protest, agitation, or movement is the logical extension of this model. We have found such instances even in farmers protest while they literally braving out everything to get their grievance sorted out. Leave the ghost amongst the pigeons and then enjoy the flutter instead of deafening silence of investigation, trial and conviction. The lurking ghost theorists happen to be in the media, bureaucracy, civil society, intellectual and professional classed and the bandwagon goes on.

It is in nobody’s interest to get to the root of the problem, incident, accident, crime et al, giving it a decent burial is the name of the game. Setting things right is not on the agenda. It might lead to harsh implications and costs in nobody’s concern. The smokescreen of comfort needs to be created, which cannot be done without the lurking ghost theory. Somebody gets blamed and that is not tangible, with no legal or any action on that ghost and in process you save your skin, life and profession, to resurface again with the same theory repackaged. If in a rare occurrence it does not work out, then some symbolic action is taken but heart of heart the solidarity remains. From Pegasus to Hindenburg the story goes on, each being ascribed to one ghost or the other.

Sanjay Sahay

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