Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dissent is Democratic, Consensus is Fascist

Dissent is Democratic, Consensus is Fascist

I still remember those days in my early twenties when I got to read the novel `Atlas Shrugged' by `Ayn Rand' loaned to me by my cousin sister. Ayn Rand was a born rebel who had her own vision of a society based on an idealistic objectivism.
If someone mentions `capitalism' to me ,then Jefferson , Washington and Ayn Rand only come to my imagination. Such has been her influence on American society.
Ayn Rand and democracy:
She will tell in one of her works- " Whenever you hear words such as `unanimity, consensus, etc, immediately know that the organization is fascist. Democracy has dissent built into it. No two men think alike and act alike.
So , in a large organization like a business corporation or a political party, if there is such a thing as consensus, it simply means that views of one man or a few are pushed down the throats of those down the hierarchy. The result ? Oppression , obviously.
Think of an organization or society where plurality of opinion is accepted rather than tolerated and even welcomed. There, my friend , democracy blooms. Where the freedom to think, speak and act is inherent in the society, democracy shows its fragrance.
Suppression is fascism. Liberation is Democracy.
The ideal society
Rabindranath Tagore, in his Gitanjali, writes
Where the mind is without fear and the held is high
Where knowledge is free
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Have you ever heard of a land where these values were actually practiced ? Well, it was the wonderland called Bharat. The sons of Bharat , a fearless intellectual group, dared to differ from the mundane and visualized a society based on free enquiry. We see much of it even now in India though the society lost many of its golden standards.
The village level self management, freedom for self enquiry and self realization ( as later summarized in the Gita) speak volumes of the society. It was in Bharat that is India that the 'free education for all ' policy was proclaimed and practiced till 1850 when the indigenous Gurukuls were destroyed.
An example of a Democratic village:
A small village in the erstwhile Chola Kingdom , Uttiramerur, Tamilnadu, (which is a temple village), has a written constitution in the temple complex devoted to Lord Shiva. This temple is typical of Chola Grandeur in stone. There , in a mantap, the gram Sabha met and elected its chief. The tenure was fixed and the election process was by dropping the choice written on a palmyrah leaf into a pot. The votes were counted and the winner declared by the village nobles.
The norms were also stringent. The contestant must not have married more than once, not have had illicit relationship, who has not usurped public property and so on. This happened thousand years ago under Rajaraja I.
The Present India
The India of present is a mix of honest, pious, religious and law abiding citizens headed by a few dishonest, deceitful, bigoted , nepotist and corrupt leaders. They have perfected the art of dividing the population on the basis of religion, caste and language in order to keep the throne for perpetuity.
Democracy was made into a laughing stock when a single family of Father, Daughter, Grandson, and his wife were all raised to the throne in almost regular succession. The family employed all the untruthful means to remain in power thus ridiculing the price of the blood of freedome fighters.
Undoing of Indians in Democracy
They realized that the only true bond of all Indians is their religion. So, they employed all means to keep the Indians disconnected from their umbilicus. To this end, they invented a novel formula of secularism which meant several things to several people.
The Hindu was taught that secularism meant sacrificing his rights of his religion over his motherland. It also meant forgiving of all oppressions of the past by other religions. It also said that tolerance even in the face of grim oppression was secularism.
The Muslims and Christian were free from such indoctrinations. For them secularism meant they were free to practice their religions and convert anyone to their religion by whatever means. They could even use force on Hindus who had to be complacent as a rule.
The Hindu, by such vicious inculcation of untruths, became indifferent to his society. His temples were nationalized and their lands and properties were stolen by the government. He dare not show off his religious affliction as it is a sign of aggression. If he formed a party, he was termed as communal. But the other religions were free from such injunctions and they were as secular as ever.
The average Hindu is longing for real democracy. His plight is his own making. He simply has to look back in time and realize what a tradition he belongs to. His tears will vanish and so will the suppressive , fascist , secularistic bondage.
J Venkatasubramanian

1 comment:

GlobalCitizen said...

Excellent article. Also published at: