Thursday, August 14, 2003
Logic and Polity

I was having a very engaging conversation with a friend this evening on a topic that has become a sort of obsession for me these days - what is it that fundamentally ails our society and our polity. As I was thinking abt it, I realized something... I was trying to analyze this very logically. That is why I was not ending up with a narrow answer. Sure, there IS no one reason to which all ills of any society could be attributed to. However, there usually is a way of tracing back concrete relaities to more abstract underlying problems. However, in the grand tumult that Indian polity is, there is no logic - and there is no discourse on logic. And hence, the system ends up being pretty illogical.

Look at one typical example - we have heard so much on "secularism" till date. But how many so-called secularists - real, as well as pseudo varieties, have actually explain just why secularism is important? To me, the discussion should focus on two things - diversity and fundamental rights. Why is diversity important? Has anybody sought explaining that? I think not!

One reason for it is that, there is a fundamental assumption that Indian population is not intelligent enough to understand ideas. The argument usually runs like, "of course, is it not true that a majority of Indian population is illiterate? True. But remember - though her constituency was made of an illiterate majority, Jayalalithaa lost in Bargur in 1996 - this in spite of the fact that she truly took special care to nurture the constituency. Indians - especially the rural folks - may not read. But they can understand. There is a fundamental lack of appreciation of this fact.

The other, more common reason is, of course, cynicism so rampant among our netas.


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