It was a great pleasure to read your article that was published in The Hindu magazine on 6th of February. I, personally, agree with the anti-populist writers. May be our nation is passing through a phase the western world passed through years ago. The system has generated a set of popular thought processes. The voice against this popular thought is brought down by collective cackling. But then speaking up against a system which has been hugely beneficial to you or me, is very hypocritical.
You did write about the three essential components of a healthy nation- logos (reason), hymmos (spirit) and eros (pleasure). You had mentioned that we were filled up in eros part but sadly we ignore the spirit component of a nation.
But it baffles me when we arrive at a conclusion that we lost the ‘spirit’ of India post-liberalization. Sometimes it has become a fashion to blame all the ills on liberalization. I am not much of an avid reader. Right from the pre-independence days, back to Mughals have we ever showed the spirit as a nation?
Indians had been under a feudal system for centuries. Whether we stand on the beneficiaries’ side or the suffering side, we feel more comfortable under a feudal system. The independence, democracy and liberalization hasn’t disturbed basic mental structure of an Indian. Thus a small percentage of the society gains precedence over the rest. Their opinion would be considered as the sentiment of the day.
For us Kashmir is rebellious teenage girl who has to be disciplined. If she runs away from home, it will bring dishonor to the name of the family. Besides we have a few troublesome neighbors who stir up strife in our house.
We hold up a trophy Dalit as proof of our inclusive development and progress. But when they protest against the hypocrisy, it’s time to teach them their rightful place in the hierarchy. We have gone as far as to jail a Binayak Sen, who dared to speak out for them.
What I have been trying to say is it’s not just the spirit we lack, but the reason. The way we arrive at our concepts and ideologies are based on bias. In short we will have to re-visit the concept ‘India’.