Wednesday, 12 October 2016

How to Discern Commonalities in Diverse Politics

There is this show called Adventure Time where they often show a segment called five short greyables. They tell you five stories and ask the viewers to find a common theme in a futuristic broadcast. I am going to follow the pattern and ask the readers to find a common theme to these five short greyables.

Greyable 1

We have been speaking a lot about nations and national integrity recently what with Syria trying to take back its territory and UN charging it for war crimes. Syria, of course, defended its stand saying it would not concede territory and all hands pointed towards a group of people trying to spread terror and how all this was necessary to stop spreading fear and make a statement and how the collateral damages were incidental.

But the point to be noted here is the UN at the initiative of a certain nation about to face its greatest showdown indicted Syria at the national forum for war crimes and implicated its sore rival in the process. The fight was unchanged. It was still Syria fighting against a group of radicals trying to wrest back its territory. They were still probably adopting the same tactics but with better weapons having gained some new friends over the past year. That got them in the news more than their misery could in all these years. Hence, in the forum of nations, you never know which act of yours will be considered a war crime depending on your and your rival’s allies and who starts having a better claim to freedom according to an influenced majority.

Greyable 2

When civilization began, there were no laws. There were tribes formed for convenience and safety. Then being ambitious as men often are, tribe leaders started capturing other tribes and territories. They declared themselves sovereigns. There was still no willful subjugation to a monarchy. Hence, to maintain political vantage, the troubadours and court poets started composing tales of bravery and loyalty and treason. Treason was always against the king as there was no nation. After the prodigal child of Britain, USA decided they wanted freedom from its forefather, it borrowed the hallowed concept of democracy from ancient Europe and contemporary philosophers.

France, however, had a legitimate case of tyranny and their philosophers developed concepts of democracy and the social contract. There were democratic structures in ancient Greece, but it was an advisory opinion at best (like UN's decrees against radicals). Now, when you are overthrowing a monarch but you want to maintain the territory and your way of life, you start thinking of self-governance (like when you fire your domestic worker and swear never to have another gossip monger in your already crumbling home but have to think of keeping the house from the next day forward). So they thought about forming this governing company with rules and votes and accountability to protect themselves from external aggression. This was garbed as a nation which was now declared the sovereign. People were enthralled by the idea and wanted to adopt it for themselves. There were revolutions all over Europe and people demanded nations rather than kingdoms. But most of them did not rethink the fundamentals beyond their current territorial affiliations.

Greyable 3

There were once thousands of small states in South Asia. The land was fertile, everybody was happy. They had conflicts but the people, in general, were happy. They rarely thought about rebellions unless somebody else came and conquered them. It mattered little to the commons which king they served as long as they were sufficiently nourished. They were more interested in the boundless afterlife anyway. To avoid conflict, they had even distributed their work according to birth which some of them carried proudly as emblems. Thousands of leaders invaded the land, created kingdoms, ruled them and perished. Everything was going fine until pale-skinned foreigners started invading them. These people threatened their way of life. They considered this happy go lucky lifestyle inferior to their profound knowledge and interest in material things. Moreover, the contemporary rulers were also not on good terms with one another because of their difference in opinion on the nature of the afterlife.

So like a diligent promoter who pitted neighbors against one another to ultimately acquire the entire property for redevelopment, the pale skinned played one leader against another. It is relevant to understand, by this time, due to invasions of several people who could not make it in their own lands, the area was overflowing with crowds hating each other due to their differences. The promoting tactics with occasional liberation propaganda led these foreigners to control the entire sub-continent directly, indirectly or coercively. Now, nobody likes being bullied to subjugation and being conquered and bought like chattels. So people protested. Their most important contention was these foreigners were messing with their afterlife plans. Also, nobody seemed to care about what was happening and they were being extorted by landlords with foreign aid. They had sentience like lab rats that only know their confinement to be unnatural but did not know what rats ought to do as rats. The people who were privileged with foreign education and whose ideas resembled what the foreigners observed in their own lands started to propagate dreams of a better life to be realized by heterogeneous means according to your subscription to political identities.

Greyable 4

Britain is a homogenous nation with internal problems spanning centuries. They were descendants of barbarians (so regarded by the snobbish Romans) who were now too civilized to keep such civilization within territorial limits. The descendants of other barbaric tribes like Franks, Goths, Visigoths, and Vandals were also feeling an overwhelming urge to share their civilization. Since they could not share them with themselves, they needed subjects to teach their ideas. They needed subjects to rule as superior races. They were thinking big. They were eyeing continents. Britain was hurt by the way its prodigal child had rejected its paternal discipline to set up his own home and started using harsher discipline on its step children to keep them on their toes.  But its wife, Ireland, was no longer under the illusion of grandeur that Britain courted her with and wanted out.

Even Scotland was having problems staying loyal. Hurt and betrayed, it started taking its frustration out on its adoptive children like India. It was still quite tender with its other children like Australia, New Zealand, Canada but it was showing no mercy to India after it started acting all rebellious following its step brother America's liberation. Britain itself had found some liberation with the foundation of democracy but it was a possessive father and did not want the same for its children, much like the dad in Udaan. India had schizophrenia and instead of curing it, Britain fanned it and let it fester, so as to prevent India from escaping its clutches. Britain was, in fact, a very dominant patriarch who rarely tolerated insubordination. However, India was trying to fight back, in all desperation, despite its schizophrenia and Ireland was posing a threat to its domestic peace. Britain was also trying to appease a lunatic punk who wanted to kill all Jews and usher in Aryan domination before asking the security at an opportune moment to throw him out. The punk was apparently bitten by a bug of extreme nationalism.

Greyable 5

When India was finally emancipated, its suppressed schizophrenia was worse than ever. It was essentially a cluster of numerous identities that were trying to manifest themselves. In the meantime, there had been two wars and the world understood the importance of peace, even if artificial. India’s personalities were at loggerheads with one another on their contentious claim over its crown. Other personalities were challenging its internal constitution. In fact, it could only separate one of its dominant personalities through a split. The rest, in absence of that one imposing personality, were now posing problems and threatening India's existence. The other personality also had its own problems. Addressing one problem led to the grievance with another. It was a chain reaction. At first, the fight over the crown was quite nominal. Then, one of the far-flung appendages of the second personality started seeking independence and India sought the opportunity to give its interior components a common objective like America often does with its constituents.

So, India, in order to secure internal peace, paved way for eternal strife with its second personality, each trying to up the ante with every move. Now, with time and events, their separation is almost complete with the split entities having self-control and they no longer consider themselves as historically one. In fact, like in "1984", probably, all of them have molded history to show there was never a case of mental history and they were separately great as nations. Even the martyrs are now being used as emblems for factions fighting over the epithet of the best sacrifice. In fact, the crown has become sentient and seeks independence, and India is attempting to cleanse leftovers of its second personality.

So, readers, have you guessed the common theme? 

Take some time and think it over. Yes, it is using fear to control people. Syria is being bugged by terrorists. The French and Americans, before they were successful, tried to create panic amongst the rulers to force submission. Indians were trying to wrest freedom by scaring Britons. Britain was having problems with Ireland and IRA was adopting guerrilla tactics to frighten Britain into giving in. Finally, India’s second personality is being charged with terrorism. You thought it was nationalism and liberation? Those words have been irrelevant since United Nations started promoting peace. In fact, the politically correct terms are patriotism and human rights violation.

I hope you have also understood the entities discussed here are vegetative and can reproduce through segregation and adopt through colonization. So long.

Written by Sayantani Saha
Writer, dreamer of world exploration and lover of high fantasy

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