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18 May, 2016

Dumbing down of Indian politics – The Hindu

The first obligation of the ruler is to ensure prabhavaya, or prosperity of his subjects. The second is dharna, the holding together of all human beings. A righteous ruler must not draw arbitrary boundaries between those who ‘belong’ and those who do not. The third obligation is that of non-violence. The rules of Raj Dharma thus place limits on power.  Let us fast forward to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections that swept Narendra Modi into power. In speeches laced with demagoguery, contempt for political opponents, and asides that verged on the abusive, he paid ritual obeisance to development and transformed it into an abracadabra mantra. Spectacularly missing was an emphasis on dharna, of ways of bringing diverse Indians together through non-discrimination, justice, and non-violence. This glaring omission accounts for the complete bankruptcy of political debates today.

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