Why do we have mobs on the streets of India?

Pawan Bansal, Minister for Railways for the Govt. of India has said last night on national TV that the protesting men and women on India’s streets are an indication of our country turning from a “DEMOCRACY” to a MOBOCRACY!!

He may have been right there with this comment…perhaps I agree with him because I see many similarities between what is happening in this country and what happened during the last years of the Roman empire, which incidentally started off as a democracy.

So lets examine the similarities between the roman empire and India , today.

The similarities

  • The ROMAN EMPIRE= Indian union
  • Roman senate= Indian Parliament
  • Roman emperor= Indian PM

In times of chaos in the country, the Roman rulers, the Roman emperor were known to distract the restive populations in their vast regions by organizing Gladiator games or going to war. They had their own list of specialist “mob managers” who steered public opinion away from the topics that would ignite passions, to avenues that would dull their aggression and create a different kind of mob that would forget the mis-governance of their rulers.

In our times today, our neo – rulers, the political class in India distract the restive population in India, by using their professional spin doctors, who have turned their craft into an art form. They will use the stick ( police) and carrot (false platitudes, public appeal) to calm frayed nerves and tempers, and when that is about to cool down, publicly disown the protesters as a mob , meaning that the people on the street had no legitimacy in the first place to be on the streets to protest against a non existent government.

If the roman emperors had their Gladiator games as a distraction for their mob, the Indian political class use the following as red herrings and distractions to way lay the suffering protesters in India

  • Democracy is a consensus driven system- ensuring consensus of ALL stakeholders takes time ( in order to drive consensus , being a TRUE BLUE DEMOCRACY, we dont give any time limits of discussions and conclusions, thats our greatness compared to other democracies , like the UK or the US)
  • Your issue is nothing compared to other pressing issues- like Naxalite terror, Islamic terror, ( well my question is , who is responsible for creating these disparities in our democracy, in our social fabric, which is supposed to be based on equality….to create these disgruntled groups in the first place??), so you dont deserve a hearing
  • National security is at stake…we have potent threats from Pakistan…daily rape and pillage and corruption in the country in NOTHING compared to the national borders and maintaining its sanctity ( Really- when you add up crime against women, criminals in politics, corruption in public offices, graft and stack that against national security threat from Pakistan, I figure that the former far out weighs the latter which our Govt. has been touting as the most potent threat to our country!!!)

Well the above are just 3 examples of how the creative spin doctors in our political class have hood winked the masses in this country and will continue to do so.

If our political class have any sense of the simmering rage within the youth ( well technically, urban youth) and have read their history ( especially about the last days of the roman empire) they better sit up and take notice, and get their act together, because if they dont, they will have in fact been instrumental in turning our democracy ( for whatever its worth) into an actual mobocracy.

And when the mob takes to the streets, ( as they did in Rome) we know how that pans out!!

Learn the fine art of political intrigue from the Indian politician

As the debate continues in the national media about the state of security for the common man on the streets of our capital, and across numerous town and cities in the country, the 23 year old girl , the rape victim whose tragic story started this all, is being flown to Singapore because the “specialist” doctors who were treating her dont have the skills nor the technology to save her, and THAT may be the death knell for this pathetic show of a “people’s” government.

The systemic failures of our civil society are indicative of a slow rot that has set in at the very top, and this rot was set at the time of independence itself, when power was transferred to a veritable elite, educated in the UK; they will remind you of the adage- in the land of the blind ( majority, illiterate, ill equipped for leading- the common man, remember him), the one eyed ( literate, foreign , UK educated- remember Nehru?) will be king!

From the very outset at the time of taking power in the country, the ruling party of the day (The congress party), which ruled without opposition for almost 30 years, quickly understood , what it meant to rule.

The trappings of power vested in titles, in governing the common man, in ruling without accountability under the protection of a “democracy” became clear from day one, and like a man eating tiger who after making his first kill, cannot go back to hunting his traditional prey (because that is back breaking work!), these politicians have found easy pickings in “investing” in “long term career management” programs, that entail the following

  • Take sycophancy to the level of an art form, with no self respect and shame- pander to the ego massaging of he ruling elite, and leverage their power base to build your own and create your own mini , local support base.
  • Divide and rule- create divisive politics , by appealing to caste, ethnic groups, religious groups and thus ensure captive vote banks that NOT only help you drive your long term agenda, BUT also those from the ruling elite who you suck up to.
  • “Manage” the growth of development within the voting masses ( poor, semi literate, illiterate, un educated, largely rural based, easily led, or mis led)- when you actually ensure real development to a mere trickle in terms of housing, food security, infrastructure, sanitation, potable water etc in your target population, the voting masses, you can always create “illusions” of being their benefactors, and thus their REAL leaders , every 5 years, by giving them a semblance of “development” by building a toilet that works for 4 months, and then collapses, giving the politician enough time to get his vote , and then forget about his voting masses and the real issues for the next 5 years.

On the subject of issues plaguing the common man , in rural India, in urban India, the process of redress remains elusive and has remained so for the past 65 years that we have been independent.

Our judiciary has become defacto mistress to the corruption, seeded by our largely sleazy politicians,  our police forces are no more meant for protection of the common man or the voting masses, but has been reduced to a private security service for all politicians ( including those with criminal backgrounds, rape cases,  murder etc), who are ALL deemed to be VIPs, our bureaucracy lacks the courage of conviction to stand up to politicians who are either clueless or indulging in political intrigue at the expense of real , solid work for the common man, who their claim to represent!

All the above leads to classic red herrings that our politicians throw at protesters, at the common man when they take to the streets on rare occasions to vent their frustration at the ignominy that our politicians call “democracy” AND mock the basic tenets of a hallowed institution.

Some classic red herrings that our politicians deliver when confronted with street protests and peoples anger

  1. Creation of a committee, which will come back with report in 30 days- REALITY , the committee will comprise of judges who are  already tainted, non committal, or if committed, will not be provided adequate admin support to get the job delivered in the stipulated time, by which time , the politicians will have swept the issue under the carpet, taking heart from the fact that “HOPE” is the opium of the common man in India. A story of HOPE will unravel, where deadline after deadline will be conveniently missed , with politicians speaking to the common man in a calm , cool, modulated voice, and lulling the angry mob to a stupor, and after 1 year the issue will have died, and these politicians will be back in power , with the vote of voting masses!
  2. Setting up of a Judicial inquiry- REALITY -Again the same story will be repeated- more judges, more tax payers money gone down the drain, free incentives to friendly judges as a post retirement “gift”, with little on no accountability, no independence from political or bureaucratic interference , and no result even after 20 years! Again the opium of the common man will be the undoing of the real issue and the issue will die a natural death, with the politician revered as a veritable “performer” and coming back  to power, riding on the high horse of Indian democracy!
  3. I am right, he is wrong- the classic blame game- REALITY, the politician blaming the bureaucrat, the bureaucrat blaming the police, the police blaming the bureaucrat, the police against the judiciary, the politician against the judiciary! this game of Chinese checkers, is played out all too often , and gains momentum, especially at the time of a people’s crisis, when people take to the streets to demand their rights and vent their anger at the pathetic level of governance. There are enough examples that can be cited of how this classic game plan has protected corrupt, selfish, self serving politicians, police officials, bureaucrats and judiciary when the anger of the common man was such that accountability was the need of the hour, and once that was established heads would have to roll- however this successful ploy by the unholy nexus of the politician, the bureaucrat, the police and the judiciary has paid them all rich dividends, because they have always been successful in diverting the debate from the core issue, and take that totally off tangent, leading to utter confusion, and again playing on the opium of the common man, HOPE. All the drama that ensues with accusations and counter accusations exasperates the common man and best his spirit down , eventually- the politician is the master at the waiting game and he plays the game like an expert.

The Indian politician is a fine teacher to the uninitiated wannabe politician , who wants to learn the fine art of political intrigue and long term sustenance , while less said about our version of democracy the better!

I would love to hear what American senators and American thought leaders have to say about my blog.