Why do we lose our collective conscience first over individual conscience (PART 1)

I was amazed by the new invention of CRISPR- Cas9 gene editing technology. It talks of a method of gene editing which can be the solution to hitherto complex problems of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The enzyme targets the gene sequence and repairs it so that genetic manipulations can be terminated. Before I should say that this invention must deserve a Nobel price, I must say that I am also amazed by series of inventions going around the world. 

Whether it is NASA’s new flights under new horizon mission, Isro’s control over scramjet engines, a new Ebola vaccine and the invention of autophagy. All these discoveries not only amaze us but prompt us to think in a new way. If we try to analyze as for why we are able to leap forward at an unprecedented pace in the sectors such as science and technology we might not get a single answer. Similarly despite having a great progress and inventions in physics mathematics and chemistry altogether, why we are not able to instill the values of liberty, equality, fraternity and common brotherhood amongst all people is the other question.

The question is simple as it should be as for why even after great progress in science we are not able to eradicate the thoughts of hatred based on community, religion, caste or nation. Why do people, even in this great globalized era could not understand the importance of common goals and common values? Why do we succumb to same socio-political agendas which ride on the kangaroo motion?  

Whether the invention is the result of individual conscience or collective conscience is the new question we should debate. An individual may propose an idea and with great work may promulgate that idea into general reality. But should we say that concern idea which now is a reality is the work of an individual only? We should ask this question in a way where we see a multinational firm employees thousands of brilliant heads who strive hard to give actual results.

So why do we require so many heads when the idea is the result of individual conscience. Is it the time to which we give prime importance? Is it only because we want some project to get completed in a record time that we employee several people? When might have compartmentalization and derivation of work started in its true form? Should we get the answer to this question in the lower Paleolithic era when hunting and gathering were the main occupations? 

If it is for hunting and gathering our collective conscience might have first sprouted while hunting over gathering. As far hunting is concerned, it would have been very early when we might have realized that it is not an individual game rather a collective one based upon support of few individual. On the other side, we might not have bothered when we sent an individual for the collection of taxes for the first time. Mind you the collection of taxes is one of the important tenets for the definition of civilization. So we realized that it is better if we go for hunting with several men and gathering can be done by an individual. 

Where does the conscience play part in this analogy? Is it a generalization or a great fact that we slip to unwanted situations just because of our vulnerability to collective conscience. Why do we do things which we might not have done as an individual? Is it because of some kind of security which we get when we attach our self to some group, caste, religion, gender or for that matter nation? The prominent question we should ponder on is as for why we lose our individual conscience to collective conscience.

Can we say every time when progressive ideas might have been conceptualized it would have been proposed by an individual. And every time when we thought of controlling or bringing in conservative idea it would have been the result of collective endeavor. This clash of collective authority over individual liberty might have occurred in every society of every era. And whenever an individual conscience prevailed over collective conscience the result would have been a progressive and rational society. And whenever a collective conscience would have prevailed over individual conscience a result would have been a regressive or conservative society. But again do we have some exceptions?

Before we should talk about exceptions we should ask- do we need more rational individuals who have the ability to challenge the conservative ideas? Is it the individual’s rational outlook and the progressive mindset that we should look for if at all we want to progress? One might counter this analogy by quoting some individual authoritarian leaders whose individual conscience caused great wars. But isn't electing them to power a result of a decision taken by several collective men.  Can we not say that these men collapse with their collective conscience? 

Again a new question which we should discuss is whether this game of conscience applies to present society? We have a very few example where a foreign power succeeded in their aim of installing a democracy in a war-torn authoritarian based country. This might be because an authoritarianism though inflicted by an individual is the result of the collective conscience of several individuals who voted that authority in power. But isn’t some charismatic leaders the result of their gifted golden spoon provided by hereditary rights. Should we consider those leaders as an exception? 

The question of ultra-nationalism, reverse globalization, a calculated denial to basic values of liberty equality and fraternity must have surfaced where a collective conscience prevailed over an individual conscience. One might also ask the question as for why I choose a word collective conscience over mob mentality. This is particularly because a mob mentality might be an instant process where we might lose our conscious to cortisol. But probably the word conscious is quite different from conscience as latter we lose to some prolong rational process. So the question might be as when and to what factors we lose our collective conscience.

Do we lose our collective conscience to a charismatic personality without any attributes of good or bad? Do we lose it to the loud sound coming out of the chaos of some selfless collection of individuals who have some preconceived agenda? Or do we lose it to individual fear which erodes individual conscience which in turn leads to eroding a collective conscience? We should find the answers to these questions in next part.

Thodasa Terasa Hoga Thoda Mera Bhi Hoga

                                   In the last three or four years, ( mind you and not in last one and half year) there has been an influx of some awkwardly meaningful but equally grounded words. Definitely, the evolution of these words started on social media platforms especially in the comment section of leading dailies.Whether it is 'Sickular', 'Pokistan', 'Chaddiwala', 'Bhakts', 'Aaptards', 'Modrons' 'Namonia' 'Pappukachamacha' or some serious ones such as Anti-national, Bharat-Mata, and Patriotism all of these resurfaced as a result of vibrant netizens.  

                                     A student of social science might see this as changing conscience because of a vibrant democracy. On the other hand, a student of History might see this as a degenerating era of Indian history. A political one might hold on an age old analogy that 'differences in opinions actually help to bring out the real problem'. But the real question is that can we draw some parallels and try to comprehend -what is really happening.

                                   So probably, Indians though, possesses a great amount of tolerance and sympathy but surely, a majority of us lack empathy. The empathy is to feel another's feeling for yourself or rather to keep yourself in his position to understand his feelings. Contrary to it, sympathy is only to have compassion for another person and not necessarily feeling his feelings. In a swizzling mode of modern technology, supported by easy availability of social platforms, we have put ourselves in a fifth gear, only to prove 'why I am right and you are wrong'. 
                                     We have completely forgotten to understand the other side, the other half, the contrary view, the proletariat. We have become so stubborn that despite having any knowledge about the past, we mediate through our theories only to garner hatred and personal mottos. In the debate of nationalism, several views stunned the Indian subcontinent. Many scholars, academicians and politician tried everything to prove as how their definition of nationalism is correct. But the conclusive and more profound definition is probably given by an American comedian Doug Stanhope.

" Nationalism teach you nothing but to hate people you never met, and to take pride in accomplishment you had no part in"

                                      For sure, India is surrounded by many complex and cumulative problems. But excluding the other half or blaming it for all problems is highly uncalled for. We have to understand that, In a progressive democracy, the primacy of individual rights over state's right except in severe emergencies should always be given importance. And political establishments, not the military should have a final say on all issues. 

                                    This is particularly true about the problem of Kashmir valley. The Indian military has time and again gave the excuse of security and its past sacrifices, which no doubt is a real one, to perpetuate AFSPA on Kashmiri people. I will not reiterate the security problems, the views of the military, the politics and international scenario involved, that is because tonnes of articles have already been written on the subject. But what as a citizen I think is that a democratically elected  government should have a primacy in this matter and not the military. Because military will always want to be in power which is a natural thing, and it will always give the excuse of naughty neighbour and its vulnerability. 
                                    Very true, but for a larger cause, it is important to build a dialogue and slowly, in parts, step by step,remove AFSPA from the region. Many times, it seems remotely impossible to do things. And again, the question of will power resurfaces. Because of political interference, and to take a cut in vote bank politics, our politicians seems to have made easily solvable issues into gangrene.

                                     Like I said earlier, we lack certain empathy, we have become averse to human rights, their problems, the dignity and  the human value. If our neighbour has that capacity to radicalise local problem of a separate state, why can't we use the same weapon? We should rename radicalisation to curation and start mass advertisement and mobilisation programme so that the people of Kashmir valley looks towards India with confidence and rejuvenating force. A good start in this direction would be by giving diverse and abundantly available opportunities which they can't refuse.

                                   No problem is a real problem unless we talk with the people. Even if we identify people with their religion, region, caste, creed and be afraid that this problem can't be solved, and even if we used all means and still that problem won't seem to solve, we have to believe in one thing. The thing is that we are human beings a product of great adaptation and evolution. Throughout the centuries, there were problems, problems of grave nature, unsolvable, undefeatable but still we progressed. Still we found the solutions to these problems, uniting, adapting, again uniting and again adapting. Probably, the first thing we did, might have been we looked at each other, smiled and said

" Aadhi Aadhi baantlei aaja dilki ye jamin,
   Thodasa terasa hoga, Thoda mera bhi hoga, Apna yein        

The only thing required for the triumph of evil

                     By the time you wish that the horror is over, a new stone stumbles on your face. An individual from the optimum bourgeoisie, bigoted by ultra right wing ideology will use his keyboard as per his flimsy wishes to tarnish the delicate fiber of our diverse society.  Surely, he does not read Panchjanya, nor follows twitter handle of radical Muslim daily. But the very fact that his insensible comments draw a handful of crowd creates a situation to know who these people are in reality.

                       He must be the same person like you and me. He may wear the same dress, might have gone through the same school and might have sung the same national song thousands of time in his school. But the only difference is that he has acquired that extra half knowledge for which our ancestors have cautioned us. 

                        So where did this guy get his training especially if he does not attend nonsecular collegium or have that wish to research something about our society. Normally this idle fellow is the byproduct of neo-orthodox society. He is impacted by Goebbelsian political class and self-acclaimed gatekeepers of ideal society who bombards waves of heated neutrinos in order to capture his imagination. 

                        He believes in them not because they have successfully implanted the nuclear of hatred and intolerance. But very sadly because as Edmund Burkey says “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  This is the fact that he can’t comprehend as why intellectuals in India are returning their dignified awards. Why are they undermining the highest achievement given by the state elected by the people of this country? And why they are called as intellectuals?

                       They are called as intellectuals because time and again they have read about stories of holocaust targeted by majority towards the minority. They are intellectuals because they know about the inner character of the leaders and his ambition based upon precedents of leaders who have ruined the mankind based upon that divine theory of kingship. They are called intellectuals because they do not form the opinion based on the previous election but surely on the basis of the history of this great diverse country.

                        Every country preserves its cultural and historical heritage not because a handful of visitors both native and foreign should visit and cherish it. But because the very identity of the society, the very ethos of greatness and patriotism are dependent upon it. In that context, it becomes the responsibility of every stakeholder to preserve and sustain its historical institution, cultural forums and the ideas of a secular state in its true form. 

                          If you will dig the history of our neighboring countries or for that matter history of South East Asia or Arabian land, you will find that these countries got the freedom around the same time as that of India. But if you look at the last five-six decades then you will realize that except India most of these countries have been the victim of tyrant autocratic government. They could not sustain democracy because of the fact that their founding fathers did not vehemently believed in the democratic system. 

                       For e.g. Pakistan could not sustain its democracy because its founding father believed in the state based on religion. A different but equally similar was the case with Bangladesh and Sri-Lanka. People of these countries could not take a breath of relief because of continuous violation of rights and persecution.  Whole of South East Asia is full of the examples of autocratic government whether it is Shinawatra of Thailand, Pol Pot of Cambodia, Junta of Myanmar and much more. It is better not to talk about Arabian land because democracy is the word which they have never believed in.

                          The result of such tyrant system is simply continuous wars, a gross violation of human rights, large-scale migration, and refugee crisis. It also includes the grave anarchy, chaos, persecution of minorities based on ethnic, cultural and religious bigotry. Humanity simply cannot prosper in this situation. Just imagine government banning the internet, asking to cut your hand for a simple violation, or in a case of girls, rupturing the hymen of adult female long before marriage so that she can’t enjoy pleasure or beheading just for expressing your ideas. 

                           At this time, it may look to be a vague idea but surely recent steps look to be the first of the steps towards achieving these objectives. It may not happen during the tenure of this government but it will surely add to the confidence of next autocratic government whoever it may be whenever it might be. The fundamentalist regimes of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan have lived to these bigoted inhuman ideas and people have supported them. They did not support because they liked those ideas but from their birth till now, they did not see what a free society looks like.

                             In a case of India, we have a long history of sustaining political democracy. Except in one or two cases which off-course were regretted, India has not seen a gross violation of fundamental right and very large scale persecution based on religion like that happen in Nazi Germany or Uganda. No matter how much autocratic Indian politician would have been, he, at least, respected the judiciary and every decision of it. This is the traditional system of democratic set up which we have respected and prospered. It is a hard earned set up and an autocratic leader will think thousand times before undermining judiciary and elections.

                          The problem with some people of India is that they fail to understand the importance of freedom of expression and choice. They have failed to understand how much effort does it take to bring that system which favors right to express freely, cherish your thought and prophase your religion. Thousands of men have time and again sacrificed their whole life struggling for bringing these ideas of freedom. And mind you, the very idea renaissance in Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth century was based on humanism. The idea that human is the most beautiful thing happened on the earth and we have every right to cherish his desires.   
                           We have to understand that no autocratic state can live in perpetuity by ignoring the views of the bourgeoisie. The very fact that government did back off when we commonly tried to counter porn ban because whole nation was united on common agenda, gives the hint for the future course of action. The question is not whether to find which fundamental rights violates which other fundamental rights. But that the very idea of the fundamental right should remain intact. 

                            Off-course the question becomes difficult when we have to select between two worst things. But no two ideas can be exclusively similar. There has to be some difference, a thin line where we can separate ugly from the worst. There have to be some people who will stand by nothing but their own vision. There have to be some people, no matter how strong opposite forces, will fight for the righteous society. The thing which we so called as citizens must do is to make them our heroes of democracy.   In that context, it becomes important that we must apply our conscience, that knowledge, that innate ability to compare things and take a righteous decision in order to achieve the idea of free society.

Who will cry when women of our country will die ?

                          I was traveling from Jahangir Puri to Badali village on the northwest side of Delhi in a government bus when a girl in her mid-twenties asked the conductor “Uncle a five rupee ticket?” the conductor pointed to the front side of the bus probably suggesting that another conductor is standing on the front side. The girl went to the front side and came back giving a confused look to the conductor that no one is on the front side. The conductor in a vicious manner said “you said uncle” and further raising his voice said, “Do I look like an uncle?” He refused to give the ticket to the girl. His argument was that at least she should have said bhaiyya or bhai. 

Narendra Modi's communalism adventure

                 This is really a contentious time for our PM. The speed and vigor in which Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad are moving, it seems that they were waiting for this opportunity from very long time. BJP’s historical win has been interpreted as the festival of Diwali. Each local branch of Vishwa Hindu Parishad is busy bombarding crackers of communal-ism.

                 Narendra Modi’s voice of stern warning to his party members, though to some extent, has resisted his party member from making irrational comments but there seems to be no effect on other subsidiaries. In this situation when RSS is busy in reminding that it has major contribution in BJP’s win, it will be interesting to see what kind of stand Narendra Modi takes to entrench his image. 

                 Narendra Modi’s silence is been interpreted as big YES to Ghar wapasi program which is being carried out throughout the country. If this is true then it will hardly take another 6 months for people and media to turn wave against him. Our Prime minister should not support this hardcore Hinduism when he can easily rule for next ten years. What he needs to do is to take firm stand against these factions of society who are ruining not only his image but also of his brand.

               It will be difficult for him to control to Nagpur especially when independent minded Mohan Bhagavat is sitting on the thrown in central India. But if he can force veterans like Lalkrishna Advani to fall in line then Mohan Bhagavat will not be a big deal for him. But this should be done in the cautious manner because RSS still holds ground in major part of country.

                 But keeping silent and only watching the show will not be fruitful to Narendra Modi. He can at least give signal of dislike to RSS headquarter. There is really no need to do these silly things. This is a time when nation is looking at Modi with a great hope. The series of economic reforms initiative which are carried out in opening phase will itself be sufficient to gain dignity and respect in international world. The workaholic nature of our PM and his advertising strategies can establish his image as  Deng Xioping Of India. But only thing he needs to do is to explore that quality of himself which paved the way for authoritarian respect in the eyes of other parties. Time has come to tightened the ropes against RSS. The nation knows that he can do it.

How could have Delhi proposal avoided the partition of India and Pakistan

         This question is always asked in the historical perimeter as why Mohammad Ali Jinnah turned to extreme communal-ism from his earlier position of secular politician. A lot of efforts have been done from both sides to find out the answers to this question.  Historians have tried to find the answer of this question in the series of negotiations including the Simon Commission, Rajgopalachari formula, Desi-Liqayat pact, Cripps Mission, Cabinet Mission plan and finally the Mountbatten plan which decided to carve out Pakistan from India. 

Who will cry when Raj Thackerey will die?

            I remember one of those mornings of 2005 when Raj Thackerey left Shivsena. Some four thousand supporters were surrounding him and his healthy and manly sound was answering the million dollar question ‘Why he left Shiv Sena?’ The answer and the period that followed until the election of 2009 was a mesmerizing one. As a college student, studying in Nagpur, I saw laptops of students flooded with the roaring and inspiring oratories of Raj Thackerey. He was their hero, one who had shown them the hope of modern and respected Maharashtra. 

This is what Congress party needs to do?

                 They are one of the greatest parties of India. Their leaders were not ordinary persons but were one of the greatest personalities of modern India. They have the politics in their genes. They have ruled almost 60 years in free India. Still their position now is no more than the sidelined, bigoted traumatized old man with no formal saying in any family matter. Certainly the Congress party has lost its confidence, they have no moral and the word called 'hope' on which entire leadership virtually ruled India for decades.

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