A few days ago I was reading an article in Reader's Digest. It was about a photo-journalist who took and preserved forbidden photographs during Mao Zedong's Cultural revolution in China. The Cultural Revolution was some kind of movement where students and youth ridiculed their teachers and elders, where creative initiative was crushed and 'children were encoouraged to inform on their parents and did'. The photographs show people being humiliated in public, people facing firing squads etc. etc. Mao Zedong did something that Hitler had done before him : encouraged mass mediocrity, baseness, savagery and animalitude to consolidate his political power. Like every other mass movement the motto was 'if you are not with us, you are against us'. Conformity or death.
Similar mass savagery was there in the French Revolution and perhaps even in the Russian Revolution. Perhaps it is there in the Bihar of today.
Several questions arise. To what extent is this savage animal-ness present in human beings : how many of us are susceptible to it, to what extent is any person susceptible. What kind of people are susceptible? Will such a thing be possible in India, say if Laloo becomes PM? Has a history of elitism got something to do with such mass movement (China, France, Russia each were (I think) previously prosperous but elitistic civilzations. So was Bihar.) Given that some sort of elitism is required for Civilzation and Growth, can societies achieve subtle elitism, where social tensions, jealousy etc are avoided and the so-called masses do not feel alienated. It would be an interesting study.
How safe is Democracy? Who should get to vote? Is Dynastic Leadership within Democracy such a bad thing?
Coming back to Laloo. He is a very sharp man. He is a very successful man and like somebody said, 'one cannot argue with success'. His ways no doubt are very beneficial to him, but I am scared to death that he may not have the good sense not to encourage mediocrity. Sometime ago he seemed to have said something like 'we in Bihar don't want this IT-computer stuff etc.' What if he becomes the PM and starts this wave of 'anti-academic, anti-creative, anti-IT' feeling, where the suppressed jealousies of the people to whom India's economic rise has'nt benifitted much are brought to the fore, where the mass does not struggle towards prosperity in the changing economic scenario but lazily banks on the fact that it is with the majority. The possibilities of such a thing happening are pretty s
I don't think I have thought any of the above through. Just thinking aloud. Just tranisent thoughts.