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Psychopathology of Pathetic Sycophancy

Psychopathology of Pathetic Sycophancy
Shafiq R. Mahajir

Psychopathology: scientific study of mental disorders, abnormal cognitions, behavior and experiences. Pathetic: arousing pity, as through vulnerability, etc.  Sycophancy: obsequious behavior toward someone important in order to gain advantage.

Thinking aloud, tossing around these thoughts in well-meaning, nation-building, institution-protecting exercise, I sometimes do not like what I see, sometimes (my own limitations, of course) do not see sense in what happens, and quite often suspect I (wrongly of course) hallucinate and imagine what some others do not seem to see.

When Jesus (after a concocted political pseudo-“trial”) was about to be crucified, Pilate thundered, “This man claims that he speaks the truth. But, I ask you,” he rhetorically demanded, “what is truth?” The subtle shift from an empirical verifiable, “the truth”, to just “truth” per se as an unknowable conceptual abstract, is unmistakable verbal sleight-of-hand.

Recently Pontius Pilate’s problematic polemics were put to rest. One VIP allegedly said there cannot be your truth and my truth, because there can be only one truth. Like, one nation, one truth principle. Extrapolating, hearing the unstated, imagining the unimaginable, hallucinating, could these not be the distant rumblings of “one nation, one law, one religion”?

So. One retired judge alleged a CJI was almost prostrate before the executive rendering the Apex court not only ineffective as check, balance or watchdog, but actually subservient to executive.  Judges are, like citizens, required to have a scientific temper. They should not leave out the scientific part, retaining only the temper part. Also, when judges ascend seats of justice they are required to leave their ideological baggage outside. They should not carry the ideology part, leave out the logical part.  Should not is not recommendatory, but mandatory, nay, imperative, in both cases… but what if they should not, but nevertheless do? Which law arraigns them before which authority and when?

One judge observed India’s Supreme Court is responsible for upholding the rights of over 1.3 billion people. A thought immediately entangles itself in my completely tangled mind: is that the same as upholding the Constitution and the law? And why does the quote run is“responsible for upholding the rights of”, not run “is upholding the rights of”?It can be quite mystifying if, reading between lines, hearing the unstated in spaces, one uses imagination gone haywire…or not properly wired for high-voltage spikes frequently experienced nowadays.

One judge allegedly waxed political when he allegedly stepped out to allegedly describe a political functionary…no a versatile genius and political visionary… one who he allegedly thinks acts locally and thinks globally… People should know, no? How will they know if those who know do not disseminate what they know? And if they don’t know how will they know how lucky they are? But conventions… should judges… Just shut up right there, okay, you and your alleged conventions. Our soldiers are dying fighting on the freezing border, and you have the audacity to talk convention? Convention le ke kyaa kar letheVoh bhi firangi convention?

Dekho, haule sonchre Houses of Parliament could impeach judges who do naughty things. Haule! Could is not would, nor should, nor shall. It is only could. Again we are haunted by “what if they don’t?” Which law will then call Houses of Parliament, the Portals of Power, to account, before which authority and when? Ah! Yes again!! The People, that Electorate, before the Election Commission. When? At the next elections…

What if Houses of Parliament have a majority of versatile political geniuses exulting in the alleged subservience and capitulation? What will happen absent two-thirds majority in each House for motions of impeachment? They will fizzle out, right? So then? Await election time? Like three or four years later? Oh-oh…just a few years away, no?! Do you all see what I don’t see.

Power corrupts we heard, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The moment the President sees such capitulation, what ought he to do? What if he does not? Who is to suggest to him what his duty is, to uphold the check-and-balances of the Constitution on which he took the oath of office? Come to think of it, all the above functionaries did exactly that, and then theoretically hypothetically apparently cynically allegedly proceeded to do what they were never expected to, so…? Where does that leave citizens?

Courts remind me of quotes, and quotes from courts! Court-quotes come in handy, at times.  Like, one judge asked, tongue -in-cheek, “What do you expect when you make a virus head of a pharmaceutical company?” Baap re! Bulls-eye. No-no, only metaphorically …no animals were harmed during the construction of this sentence, like. Better clarify …sensitive times, nahin toh SPCA waale complaint kar denge… aur trend dekhein…warrant chal paddhegaa.

But why go that far into the future? Recall a recent “unlucky number”: thirteen naval personnel arrested spying for Pakistan’s ISI, giving out sensitive information of India’s Naval Command. Unfortunately so very unlucky for our nationalist media, that not one spy Muslim. I mean, what’s the point, yaar, if it was a group of these…y’know, non-vegetarians, whom we love to keep out of our lease options… because they are non-vegetarians, y’know, nothing to do with their being Muslim, no, no, we are not communal, yaar, just a wee bit sensitive to…y’know, certain things… CAA ke baad dekhnaa sab theek ho jaayegaa… Detention centre? What detention centre? No need re, just one prefabricated wall, like uncomfortable truth hidden from Trump… Had there been a M…, no, non-vegetarian in those 13 the media could have blasted TV screens with screeches+shrieks+screams going overboard with gay (not that gay, yaar) abandon, and of course some honoured neta or two would have agitatedly instigated goli maaro saalon ko… But dekho, saaraa mazaa kkharaab kar diyaa. And was there any PSA KCOCA TADA POTA UADA or the like in re the glorious DCP D Singh of Kashmir infamy? No? Koi baath Nahin putthar, ho jaayegaa. Baddhaa kaand hai na, gehri tehqeeq karnaa paddhthaa hai. Time lagegaa. Aur baath hothi agar voh naam koi badnaam naam hothaa. Tu na, jaa ke CAA ko cover kar. Aur sunn : unn sab ko desh-drohi bathaanaa, haan?

It seems someone said “aar paar ke ladaai,” someone else said “goli maaro saalon ko,” and someone else said “if the police don’t, we will.” The HM clarified the riots were caused by the first statement. The other two, it appears, are innocuous. No wonder someone got Z level security. If riots were not caused by that person’s statements, who he would be under threat I can’t figure out.

The depths of departure from norm, from convention, the acceptable, the Constitutional, must be tasted before the people can fully understand future implications of what is happening, for them and their children. Double-speak and triple-speak are political, but for progress we need industry, agriculture, stability, rule of law, inclusive democracy, good governance, not pitting one section against another in the quest for Game of Thrones type dominate-and-finish exercises. Absent awareness, there can be no corrective measures. The truth shall set you free, but only later. First, truth makes you uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. It shall, however, triumph, because… Satyameva Jayathe.


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