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Games

September 19, 2011

I remember it was the foxy Deoraj Urs who created the masterpiece of manipulation – can I call it politico-social engineering? – for his fuehrer. The ‘F’ is not capitalised, I use the word in the original sense, before Adolf.

He theorised that the equivalent of the European “class” as in “class struggle” of the Marxians, in the Indian context, was “caste.”  Apart from the proletariat’s struggle, it could also be used in the context of the electoral struggle in the Indian state. The art and science of management of vote banks was born. But it did not restrict itself to using only this theoretical construct. It was a consummate art (or science, as you prefer) that mixed caste, religion, poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, obscurantism, feudal attitudes, patriarchal village chiefs, oh what have you.

To fight it, there was only another manipulation, one that threatened to make the silent majority (apologies to dear old Spiro) an irresistible steamroller, that proved worthwhile. Who cares what schism it creates in society?

Between the two, the dream of egalitarian India was washed down into the waters of the Indian Ocean.

All this came to mind while watching the notional – Malapropism intended – press play up the comment (“he has insulted not me, but my religion”) of a cleric  who offered a skull cap to Narendra Modi on his fast and the latter refused to wear it. The whole sequence looked like playing out an ulterior psychological game. Would the cleric have accepted a vermillion ’tilak’ on the forehead, asks someone I know.

When will the opinion-makers and public personalities stop playing games?

 

p.s. (Got caught about the capitalisation of fuehrer. Someone’s telling me that ALL nouns have an initial capital letter in German. So let me say I am not capitaising the word in English. German seems to be the only language in the world to capitalise all nouns. Not like e. e. cummings at all. Edit dated 20/9/11).

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One Comment
  1. Induchoodan permalink

    Why vermilion tilak, we had one minister in Kerala from the minority community who refused to light a lamp for some inauguration saying that it is against his religion. The vote bank politics has got so deeply entrenched, it will take a full blown renaissance to purge religion from the statecraft. I do not see any light at the end of the tunnel as yet.

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