Indians have the innate capability of bringing down every battle to the personal level and then it becomes extremely easy to explain the nuances of the issue in your favour. When the battle is perforce translated into a personal one, the issues of objectivity, rationale and logic takes a back seat. You are being criticised for being liked or not liked for ulterior motives as they say. This also throws up another fixated capability in the Indian psyche that everything happens because of wheeling and dealing. It also makes you believe that your professional career growth can happen for reasons outside of competence. If the vast majority were to have this mindset, which seems to the case we are in for every battle with a losing stance.
Take any major area of India’s democratic existence and you see the battle being unfolded over and over again. We can start with politics. If we were to take out some 25 political names from our evening debates, there would be no debate at all. If they were to be debated in an objective and empirical manner, data driven, analysed and findings made public, still there cannot be any debate. The beauty of personal battle is that it can take even hunger to the surreal. Another very fascinating dimension of this whole exercise is that everything has to viewed through this filter. How much it can vitiate the reality is right in front of us.
There are no facts or figures or absolute reality but for the number of votes polled and the victory and defeat based on it. Rest is a personal battle, even manifestoes. The spokespersons have gained so much in stature that they have got into personal battles between themselves. The personality cult is behind the personal battles. Individual interest should take precedence over societal interest is the name of the game. Individuals can be extrapolated to include political parties, religious institutions, business enterprises and media houses. These entities are defined by the ones putting their cart before the societal, democratic and the national horse. How will the cart run?
We don’t talk of news, we talk of anchors. They keep ranting their goodness from morning to evening. They run their own ads. They have life consuming personal battles. Somebody even becomes the voice of the nation. Every channel claims to be the national television Crusaders and Singhams are being littered all around the place. The might put the real crusaders of our Independence struggle to shame. When your job is only to fight your personal battle or that of your channel for shellfish interests, what service are of you, for the society. Business battles are again one of names, which keep on getting flaunted with an astounding regularity. Personal battles apart they have to deliver, there is no choice, and they do.
SOCIETY, COUNTRY AND DEMOCRACY PLAY A SECOND FIDDLE IN THE AGE OF PERSONAL BATTLES.