PERSPECTIVE
A CORRESPONDENCE WITH AN EX IAS OFFICER
Revolution and Introspection: Could it be hubris that is distorting your vision?
- Justice Markandey Katju
Revolution and Introspection: Could it be hubris that is distorting your vision?



A contemporary of mine in the Allahabad University, where I had studied from 1963-67, who is a retired IAS officer, recently sent me this email :

Markandey

I have always admired you for your blog Satyam Bruyat. But when the entire world seems to disagree with you, is it not time for 'atma chintan' or introspection by you? After all, all NRIs, diplomats, bureaucrats, academicians etc cannot be 'buffoons'. Ask yourself.

Could it be hubris that is distorting your vision? Remember, hubris leads to nemesis.
 
Fond regards
A B 

I sent this reply :

Dear A B

Thank you for your email.

Since there is obviously no possibility of meeting of minds, in view of the condescending and supercilious tone of your email, let us agree to disagree, and leave it at that.

However, I would like to say one thing. When in 1543 Copernicus (in pic) said in his book De Revolutionibus that it is the earth which goes around the sun (the heliocentric theory), instead of the sun going around the earth (the geocentric theory), he was the only one in the world saying this, and the rest of the world was saying the contrary (following the Bible and Ptolemy's theory).
 
In fact even a century thereafter it was heretical and dangerous to propagate Copernicus' theory, as the example of Galileo (in pic), who was almost burnt at the stake by the Roman Inquisition in 1633 for propagating it (and saved himself by recanting) shows. But who in the end prevailed, Copernicus or the Bible? 

So it is wholly irrelevant that the 'entire world' disagrees with me (which, by the way, is not true as there are plenty of persons who agree with me). The question is who is correct.

And as for 'atma chintan', let me tell you that I do it all the time, constantly thinking whether my ideas are correct or not, and sometimes finding they are not, whereas I doubt that NRIs, diplomats, bureaucrats, academicians, etc who mostly have closed, ossified minds (except a very few rare ones) do that.

For example, I have said several times that India is heading for a revolution, as all state institutions have become hollow and empty shells and the people's distress is growing (see my article 'Why celebrate Republic Day when the Constitution has become a scarecrow' online). Parliamentary democracy has really degenerated into caste and communal vote banks.
 
Casteism and communalism are feudal forces which must be destroyed if India is to progress, but parliamentary democracy further entrenches them. So it has to be replaced by an alternative system of government under which India rapidly progresses, but that is not possible within the present framework. A revolution is therefore inevitable. 

Some people ask when will the revolution come, how will it come, who will be its leaders etc? My answer is that it is impossible to answer such questions as one cannot be rigid about historical forms. But one can be sure that a revolution is inevitable in India seeing that everything has collapsed (your own former service, the IAS, has become 90% corrupt, as I am informed), and lately the economy is tanking.
 
No doubt revolution will not happen immediately, or even in the near future. First there will be a prolonged period of chaos in India, maybe for 10-15 years, prior to a revolution. But chaos cannot go on forever. Nature does not like a vacuum. An alternative system is bound to emerge, but it will be after great bloodshed. 

Revolution is not a picnic, as a study of historical revolutions reveals. There is a lot of violence in it, and many people (including many innocents) perish in the process, but ultimately a better world emerges (see the chapter 'The Bishop in the presence of an unknown light' in Victor Hugo's famous novel 'Les Miserables').

When will it come, how will it come, who will be its Robespierres, Dantons, Marats, Lenins and Maos, no one can say at present, and such speculation is idle. As I said earlier, one cannot be rigid about historical forms.

The truth is that we have even today massive poverty, record unemployment (as the National Sample Survey admitted), every second Indian child is malnourished (as recorded by UNICEF, Global Hunger Index etc), over 3 lac farmers have committed suicide (and the trend is continuing unabated), 50% Indian women are anaemic, proper healthcare and good education are almost non existent for the masses, 7 individuals own as much wealth as the bottom half of India's 135 crore people, the Indian economy is sinking with 5% GDP, crash in auto, IT, power and real estate sectors, onion and vegetable prices skyrocketing, unemployment mounting etc. This state of affairs cannot continue forever.

To divert attention of the public from the economic crisis, which the government has no idea how to resolve, it must resort to gimmicks like building Ram Mandir, cow protection, Yoga Day, Swatchata Abhiyan, abrogation of Article 370 etc. And of course lynching of Muslims and making them scapegoats, as the Nazis made of Jews, is a useful technique.

The test of every political system and political act is one, and only one: does it raise the standard of living of the masses? Does it give them better lives? How will abrogation of Article 370, which most of you so called educated people hailed as a great victory for India, give the Kashmiri people better lives? In fact their lives have become miserable due to shut down of mobile phones and Internet (which today are necessities, not luxuries) and curfews and other restrictions for the last 70 days.
 
To say that now businessmen will buy land in Kashmir and set up factories there, giving employment to Kashmiris, is nonsense. A businessman is not a fool. He will never invest in a disturbed area where bullets may be flying around.

When I put my ideas in the meeting of Allahabad University Alumni some time back, most of you were horrified. You just can't face the truth if it runs contrary to your conventional and closed way of thinking.

New ideas usually face strong opposition for a long time, for two reasons: firstly, because most people have conservative mindsets and don't want their thinking disturbed or challenged, and secondly because there are powerful vested interests who feel their interests may be jeopardised by the new ideas (e.g. the ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity at the time of the French Revolution of 1789 which were regarded dangerous by the French aristocracy as they thought they would endanger their feudal rights.)

With best wishes
Markandey

 
 
Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India.
 
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT







Comment by: Meenakshi

Above article is really an insightful one. It do encourages the people who are thinking uniquely. Thanks for a great write up

reply


Comment

your name*

email address*

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div>

verification code*
 







MOST VISITED
YOU MAY LIKE

TOPIC CLOUD

TAGS CLOUD

ARCHIVE



Copyright © 2016-2017







NEWS LETTER