The past two days took me back to the first three and half decades, just wondering if there is any change in the DNA of India. The History of India is full of frictions. Before Independence (BI), the friction was with the invaders and after 1947 we have been struggling with ourselves. BI mainly the Moslems and English ruined India, AI we never needed them. All the times two sections, otherwise called brothers, fought with each other, each one was haunted and fully fuddled. Each shot at the public property. I have heard of Induchacha, the one who won over Morarji Desai, the then CM of Mumbai. Yes, it all started in Gujarat, post independence. That was the first modern satyagrah, dressed in the “physical friction”. The Gujarati society wanted the partition of the Mumbai Province based on the then accepted rule of division of India according to the language. The agitation was full of physique that is now seen mainly in Bollywood.
(Once I heard Shahbuddin Rathod. One of his characters elocuted about Gandhiji in his school assembly. Narrating the profession of Mr. Gandhi, he says, Gandhiji was a lawyer but his practice was not rewarding, he was hardly getting any case, so he started satyagrah, and surprisingly that business succeeded unrivaledly. Then what!!! He came to India and started Satyagraha in India too (મંડ્યા સત્યાગ્રહ કરવા). It seems that he not only stuck to satyagrah himself, but he saw to it that his country, if not the whole, then at least his province, must inherit the profession of satyagrah.)
If we look the fight for Independence, Satyagrah was the only possible and innovative weapon. But the AI, it had to prove itself to be the Weapon of Self Destruction (WSD). I wonder and also feel remorse, for Gandhiji did not claim the patent for satyagrah. Every developed civilization thinks that a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) should not fall in the hand of a leader of a radical or a mentally under developed society. I think for the current Indian agitation form of satyagrah, is far more dangerous than WMD. Yes, WSD the LSD version of WMD. Gujarat is addicted to WSD. AI, we have seen many agitations, the first two were grand successful. First was Induchacha brand Mahagujarat Andolan and the Second was Manishi Jani brand Nav Nirman Andolan. I was a teenaged participant of Nav Nirnam Andolan. Until now, I was feeling a proud participant of a very palmy agitation. I belonged to Nadiad, Kakarkhad at that time. I was entering into my teens. I was fond of narrating the story how I witnessed the first Martyr, Kanu Parekh, at the Swaminarayan Temple at Nadiad.
On 25 August 2015, every inch of me felt ashamed that I am a part of this Gujarat. How did we change the motive to use the agitation? Are we really civilized? Are our demand justified? Is the WSD meant for such unjustified and unruly movement? Then I am thinking why is this happening? And I am saddened. I find the roots of such agitation in a wrong turning on the policy matters of the Indian Politicians.
I feel the gene of WSD was mutated by Government by giving the previous generation a regular dose of opium. In order to find the root of this we will have to digress a little.
Let us take a look at our education system. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is getting the admission into the courses of Higher Education. The population explosion in Higher Education is out of proportion. Why is it so? Is this the reason for the agitation? Let is examine.
The fall of Chimanbhai Government was the last successful agitation in Gujarat, and, to the best of my limited understanding, in India. Then after, in 1980 the anti-reservation agitation was crushed (politically). It was the time for the cunningly cleverest political party/ies to think. They thought, “Keep the youth busy.” They kept the youth busy. They opened the door to the Higher Education for all. The current debate is about the undeserving OBC candidate. We should introspect only to find that not more than 2 percent of students allowed to enter Higher Education are up to the mark. What are our benchmarks? Well, Ratta Lagao and Pass Ho Jao.
In first half of 80s the tuition fees were waived for girls till the end of postgraduation. On the other front, the marks were like buy one get three free. The culture of studying and confining to the notes given by the teacher is the synonym of Indian Education Methodology. Even after this one fails, there is a legal stepwise gracing system in our education system. Some years ago, I heard that the government increased the percentage of the successful candidates of Higher Secondary by more than 40 percent in one night by gracing the marks!!! Was it a rumor or a fact?
The over population in Higher Education was the outcome of the brain of those clever politicians who wanted to keep the youth busy. If one fails in some courses, it is impossible to keep him/her engaged in the programme. The remedy was the gracing, generous gracing, over generous gracing. All this kept a couple of generation on the dose of opium.
This is how the gene of WSD was made silent in a couple of generation and now it has been dominating again. The clever politicians would not have missed to realize that the fruits could be this. But they might be short sighted. While thinking in early 80s, they did not care to bother about the venomous fruits in 2015.
Disclaimer: The present write up is far from giving a complete view and of course. It gives only the overview and lacks details. One is invited to strengthen the write up or otherwise in the form of comments.
Date: 26 August 2015.