Divide and Rule
“The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.” ― Thomas Jefferson
India’s pre-1947 poverty was crafted by the British and their invading predecessors. India’s post-1947 poverty was handcrafted by the composers of the 1950 Constitution. A Constituent Assembly of elitist Leftists led by their patron saint Jawaharlal Nehru concentrated powers in a Central government – exactly as the 1935 Government of India Act passed by the UK Parliament did. 242 of 395 Articles in the 1950 Constitution were copied verbatim from the 1935 Act which was designed to subjugate the people and deny them freedom. The fate of Indians – and those unborn – was decided in those crucial years between 1947 and 1950.
The continuing Colonial Constitution (with its 100+ amendments which chipped away the few remaining freedoms that Indians enjoyed) has concentrated ever-increasing power in the hands of a few at the top of government – just the way the British ruled and controlled Indians. If we did not have freedom before 1947, it is impossible to argue that we have freedom now – because the rules have not changed.
With a government that had supreme powers, it was little surprise that with the passage of time the merely incompetent leaders gave way to the totally corrupt. This is the way power works, as Lord Acton put it so well, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” With absolute power concentrated in the political leaders, it created the incentives for the rise of those willing to do anything to get to the top – because of the huge treasure they could capture. Politics was not about serving the people but serving oneself – even if that meant imposing costs on others. The political party system became the route to extracting wealth from the nation. And thus, India morphed from a democracy to a kakistocracy — a government of the least qualified and the most corrupt.
To stay in power in a first-past-the-post electoral system with universal suffrage, it became quickly obvious that dividing voters to target the ‘selectorate’ was the way to acquire and retain power. Voting blocs were identified and pandered to. Muslims and the poor-fed-on-freebies were the largest votebanks, until the BJP decided that the Hindu vote was bigger than all of them. It perfected the art of winning elections with the triad of pro-Hindu, pro-poor and pro-India (read: anti-Pakistan) slogans. For every leader, the key was winning. And after winning, doing whatever it took to stay in power. Which meant more of the same tricks. Candidates had no party allegiance since all parties were the same – what mattered was being on the winning side because only then could one get a share of the spoils.
With every election, the size of the government and its powers grew. Business people realised that to succeed they had to befriend the politicians. Licences and permissions were in the hands of the political class (aided by the cunning bureaucrats). Indian politics became the newest industry – with the greatest riches at stake. Cronyism grew with every election as politicians depended on their own accumulated war chest and those from greedy, favour-seeking business people – this was a perfect alliance.
The poor were silenced with handouts and freebies and kept poor because they were the golden goose – the single largest chunk of voters without any skin in the game who could be easily bribed. The thin middle class was kept busy slogging it out so they could eke out just enough to keep their aspirations going. They had no way and no time to self-organise and demand a better future. The elite didn’t care – they created their private islands of opulence. Indians lost their freedom and their future.
If we are to reclaim our nation from the imposters who rule over us, we will need to unite against our real enemies – the politicians and their political parties. The Dasha Avatar can inspire us.
Tomorrow: Part 4