Recently we saw a revolution in Arab countries. It started off from Tunisia and spread like a bonfire in forest and ignited the spark of revolution in most of the Arab countries. Our problems too are not different than that of the problems of Arab countries which forced people there to rebel against their ruler. Alike Arab countries India is also suffering from diseases like corruption, inefficiency of bureaucracy, poverty and inflation. Apart from these indifferent and opportunist attitude of leaders across the political spectrum has aggravated the situation. After giving due opportunity to all the political parties and their recurring failure to satisfy their expectation, People have lost their faith in present political system and some are even saying that British rule was better than this. People want change and Arab revolution has come like a ray of hope to them. After watching and reading the news of revolution in Arab countries, people here also started nurturing the dreams of revolution against government. This utopian thought was further fueled by the support of some popular column writers, bloggers, anchors of news channel and some self appointed experts. Although neither I am a political expert not did I claim to be one, but whatever little knowledge I have on the basis of that I can say that in near future revolution against government or political system is not possible.
Learned helplessness - In my childhood I had heard the story of a Chinese prisoner who was sentenced life imprisonment in his young age and after 40 years of jail term he was released on the eve of coronation of new king, but now he wanted to stay in jail because after passing such a long period of life in jail he was habituated of jail life. In the long history of evolution humans have acquired a tendency to get used to right or wrong native environment. Although it was necessary for us in order to survive as a species, this virtue later developed as a weakness in civil society. People soon get used to the social atrocities, injustice and oppression. Rather than fighting against injustice we start adjusting ourselves with it and then we think it is our destiny to live such a miserable life. Our country is weakening day by day because of terrorism, corruption, poverty, inflation and inefficiency but now we have compromised with the situation. Because that Chinese prisoner had 40 year old habit of living such pathetic life but we have 63 year old habit of living poor life.
Lack of visionary leadership- It is mandatory for revolution to succeed, that it should be commanded by a man of vision who have qualities like 1) ability to understand the difference between necessary and unnecessary revolution, because if there is even little scope for improvement in the system than it is better to reform the system rather than initiating destruction of system by the means of revolution. 2) Knowledge of when to start, when to stop and how far to go. Because if the leader doesn’t know when to stop then there is a possibility that the movement which was started on the name of fighting against injustice, later on itself become part of injustice or may even develop in greater oppressive regime. This is what happened in French revolution and is happening in indigenous Naxal movement. 3) Just having right intention is not enough, knowledge of right path of action is also necessary. Naxal movement was started with the noble intention of fighting against injustice of landlords on landless labors, but means chosen to fight against injustice were not right and hence Naxal movement finally culminated in parallel system of oppression. 4) Who knows about effects and aftermath of revolution and has appropriate plan for redevelopment. Since the objective of revolution should be to change the system and not merely change of ruler.
Now take the present case of India, do you find a single visionary leader possessing above mentioned characteristics? Before independence we had a huge cadre of such leaders but after Independence we failed to prepare the second generation of such genuine leaders and today most of the leaders are belonging to some established political family whose sole aim is to get the power by whatever possible means. We can’t expect these leaders to take charge of a revolution for nation’s cause. In fact continuation of this corrupt system is in their benefit only.
Lack of unity- Unity of purpose and unity of people is utmost essential ingredient for the success of revolution. If there is a lack of unity among people then the person or regime against whom the revolution is launched can take benefit of it to dilute the movement. 1857 revolt was suppressed by E.I.C company because neither there was unity of purpose among rebels, since everyone was fighting for his or her selfish interest and not for the independence of nation whereas British forces fighting against them were dedicated to single cause of maintaining their hegemony in India, nor there was unity of people since whole India had not been united against British. Because of this we could not withstand against overwhelming British power.
Neither we were united in 1857 nor are we today. Our society is still divided in various casts, classes, regions, religions and political ideologies. Politicians have always utilized this lack of harmony by the means of cast and religion based reservations, communal riots, tax rebates to specific classes, subsidies, pay hikes to government employees, favorable budgets to specific states and pampering the regional and linguistic chauvinism. People are feeling discontent but everyone has been given their lollipop now suck it and keep quite.
Safety valve theory- Human mind is like a pressure cooker it has a limited capacity to bear the stress and when the stress level increase beyond bearable capacity it blows up. Therefore nature has arranged a safety valve to relieve excessive pressure from human mind. Crying, sharing our pain with others, fantasizing about punishing the culprits etc. work like a safety valve by which we release our emotional outburst safely. In the countries ruled by dictators there are high chances people revolting against ruler because all the means of communication and expression are put under severe control. Because of this people can’t redress their grievances by non violent means like discussion, debates, agitations and applications. More than ruler’s atrocities, people’s inability to share their pain with each other creates frustration and when this frustration reaches beyond optimum level it finally culminates in aggression and is expressed by violent revolution. This is the reason during emergency people’s anger busted because excessive use of censorship abridged people’s freedom of expression. However in a normal democratic system there are some inbuilt mechanisms by which people can exhaust their anger and hence there are less chances of violent revolution. Discussions and debates on T.V channels, show off resignations of one or two responsible (or irresponsible!) politicians, people sharing their feelings on internet, newspapers, campaigns against corruption, Public interest litigation, and even writing this blog are means by which we feel that at least we have some power in our hands and it reduces our frustration.
Because of all these reasons I firmly believe that India will not witness any major upsurge in near future. Don’t be disappointed because today we don’t need political revolution, rather we need is mental revolution in which every person rather than blaming the system and politicians understand his or her own responsibility. First we should stop giving bribe and then blame the system, first we should do whatever work we ought to do with full honesty and then blame bureaucracy for inefficiency and finally don’t forget that you get the leaders what you deserve to get. No political revolution will help us unless we will not change our mentality.