There is a science called dermatology. There was a movie called Darr. “Fear”. Unlike beauty, which is skin deep, the science of dermatology has undergone profound metamorphosis, infiltrated much deeper, penetrating every subcutaneous tissue. It is now called darr-matology. Its practitioners are seasoned majoritarian politicians, dazed patients carefully selected are its victim-citizen groups “treated” by a very special, deliberate, geographically localised, centrally controlled, politically orchestrated, projected as “spontaneous” but carefully timed and calibrated, allegedly police-supported, allegedly State-sponsored genocidal vivisection.
Hospitals (read mohallas/localities) where darr-matology as fine-tuned art form is meticulously and precisely practised are presided over, in jurisdictional terms, at temples of justice where doctors …of jurisprudence, of course… exercise great judicial restraint compelling confining legal acumen (and awareness shared by everyone else, never spoken aloud) within straitjackets.
Shocked citizens perceive unseemly haste in seeking to destroy everything that has been assiduously built over decades of deliberated effort as culmination of centuries of culture, educated thought and reflection, in the primitive belief that all that provided value so far must be pulled down, give way, to be replaced by something else supposedly ushering in eras of gratification of legitimately suppressed illegitimate political yearnings… while no thought is given to consider what would substitute and replace what was being pulled down and (with universities under attack, dissent crushed, freedom of thought meriting physical attacks, opinion meriting jail terms for sedition) how anything could ever be created by uneducated minds… as a result of which great institutions of thought and evolution are attacked, whether via police and goons or BC-era VCs, crumbling under oppressive indoctrinated political intermeddling, with nothing comparable to replace them. But then, what can one expect from minds that cannot differentiate between revolution and evolution.
In an academic, intellectual, politically concocted vacuum, completely empty of cultured thought, sans traces of any wisdom, devoid of any sense of direction, denuded of morality, a stunned world watched pervasively uneducated, illegitimate claims to everything as belonging to and originating in majoritarianism, from Taj Mahal to nuclear and rocket science, take root, inspired by the when-I-can’t-create-it-let-me-at-least-claim-it desire to “own” anything and everything, motivated only by megalomania, hate and spite for others…and in such an atmosphere of indiscriminate “acceptance” of the base, the illegitimate and the immoral as the new normal and the new legitimate, naturally, it saw the basest of creatures emerge from their hiding places and claim, without any credentials entitling them, scramble for power, political legitimacy and positions. In the decider-stampede of the who-could-be-the-most-depraved, who-could-stoop-the-lowest, who-could-cause-the-most-mayhem-based-on-the-most-vicious-thinking contest, those who subscribed to and understood values unthinkingly derided by uneducated power-hungry masses found themselves shoved aside, unable to tolerate the ignominy of the platforms they would then have to share with self-seeking “pseudo-netas”. The coast clear, the political vacuum had to be filled. And filled it was, as we see, but… by what? Are these examples of political toxicity the “leaders” who you and me want as “representing” us?!
What had been built, was built by profound imagination of cultured minds trained by centuries of education rooted in time-honoured values, principles, ethics and the resolution of competing claims by a process of civil reasoning based on educated discussion. As uneducated politicians supported by muscle-power-ruffians and quick-money financiers took control, absence of education ensured that every vestige of discussion and debate to resolve issues also went for a toss.
With prevalence of unqualified back-door entry to command positions, what emerged victorious was the goli-maaro-saalon-ko doctrine: no thought, no debate, no discussion: kick out-grab-usurp mentality was the Nayee Tehzeeb. What earlier hid in shame, aware of its illegitimacy, was now official policy! Police, traditional provider of level playing fields to poor and rich, weak and powerful, via equalising power of State, no longer was trusted by those it policed (see the way every single business establishment now has private security)… Non-application of mind graduated to application-of-primitive- mind, substitution of trained thinkers by those unexposed to nuanced thinking caused total collapse of institutions that had the substance to stand up to everything, from international diplomatic interventions to periodic eruptions of confrontations among the local populace, but once these institutions saw political appointments, their credentials, their value, their ability to withstand pressures and protect democratic principles that form the backbone of civil society, representing centuries of thought, were forced to yield to machinations of those in power… the governing manuals observed more in the breach, the resulting disgracing of our nation is there for all to see. Not to mention the collapse of industry, production, banking, and growing unemployment, the last feeding into aimless idle youths whose best option for a profile is to acquire political notoriety via mindless violence and hope for elevation from local thug to district thug… extortion can be good business.
Why is the police and the political establishment it protects frightened? It is frightened that one day its hollow basis would stand exposed, one day it will have to account for what it has destroyed, asked to reimburse the social costs of its anti-social actions. Frightened people are busy protecting themselves in their awareness of personal fragility, defending themselves from the truth, from the light that reveals what they hide, and from imagined antagonists (read Muslims, Christians, Dalits, Sikhs, whatever). Frightened people have neither the time to think constructive thoughts, and neither capacity nor inclination to build anything. By nature, they are destroyers, destroying everything their level of thinking is unable to even conceptualise.
Delhi High Court order legitimised anti-Muslim hate speech by countermanding the next day salutary earlier orders of Justice Murlidhar: apparently it was not a conducive atmosphere for FIRs against communally provocative slogans, but conducive for midnight transfer order of the Judge. Recall Zakir Naik was charged in absentia because someone was radicalised by that man’s words. Here people killed people instigated by communally provocative slogans. No FIRs! Worse, capitulating HC subordinated itself to both Delhi Police as well as the Political Executive… The message, about India’s judicial independence, is clear to both minorities as well the world investors.
Shafeeq R. Mahajir is a well-known lawyer based in Hyderabad.