A man (and Woman) is known by the words he or she uses. We rise in words and we fail, falter and decay in the squalor of words. There isn’t only an ornamental appeal to right words spoken at the right moment for the right reasons. They are the ambassadors of the king that they serve, the ambassadors to the minds and souls they represent. Words people speak tell us about the moral leanings of people and station they occupy in their own social evolution.
Our leaders ought to represent the best in us. When they fail us, their failure ought to shake us. The passivity of our reaction to the misdemeanor of our leaders define the future we are setting up for our kids. We are thereby creating the world for them. Tapas Pal of TMC has made utterances of late, on three occasions which ought to wake us up out of our slumbers. Intellectuals of Kolkata sided with TMC against the communists in the recent elections. But then, the reign of Communists was no better. The number of goons and anti-socials has not changed in the political scenario of Bengal. They have merely changed their political affiliations. TMC did not invent a new kind of politics as everyone hoped. They merely appropriated the politics of communist violence. It is often surprising to me as to how could the intellectuals of Bengal tolerate such violent politics. But then, intellectuals are often through history tried to create and run their own society of violent aggression. Those who fought and spilled blood were provided the provided cover of legitimacy by the power of arguments created by the intellectuals. Intellectuals lived happily in the control they had over less intellectual and more aggressive souls over the larger populace which had neither the intellect nor the strength of violent aggression. That is until the time when they realized that they have been all the time riding the tiger that they cannot get up of.
The violent one, the one without moral scruples, rose and thundered to kill and maim and rape the voices of dissent. The intellectuals realize the tiger that they rode on and to their dismay, realize that the power now was flowing in the reverse direction. They had to live with a pretense of their control. They need to come out on television and offer tepid defenses with glorious words. The tiger on which they were riding cannot be disembarked from. So Derek O’Brian at first avoids the Television to announce the grand apology. For the party chief, the matter gets closed with the apology. For the nation, it is a time to introspect.
Is this the kind of leaders we deserve? The leaders who incite the followers to kill and rape the opposition serves some strange sense of absurd machismo and invites applause in the close circles, much before it brings criticism on wider stage. Who are the people that applaud? Who are the people that tolerate this indecency of words? Do we realize the monsters we are creating as we allow it to go unpunished. Even violence, in a purer form speaks of righteousness and some glory as long as the cause is just and opponent is worthy. To propose violence against those who need to be defended is biggest cowardice. A man ought to know that. They are sorely aware of their own deficiency of ideology and they try to fill the gap which stares at their smallness with rhetoric. Noise, for them is only cover of their mental bankruptcy.
They are the orphans of democracy, the errant child of a nation hungry for leadership of the righteous. But then, the applause to such stupid comments tells us about our own deficiency as a citizen. Worshipers of words are ridiculed and those with lack of words and lack of thoughts are hailed as heroes. They have no courage in their own ideas and therefore violence is their only argument. That is what plagues our society at large. Debates end in expletives. We can’t articulate because we cannot think. We are failing as a nation. Where the libraries are burnt, inflammatory words flow in the air. I have a problem in the statement- it’s only words. Words define who we are. We need the leaders who respect words and speak words which can be respected. Then only they can be guardians of our thoughts and only then can they teach us to rise in our collective minds. Every act of violence kills a word in the dictionary and every violent word marks the birth of an animal, which hisses with poisonous whiffs. They are the people who ought to be suffocated out of public space, they ought to be shunned out of public offices. They are lesser men, for they neither have thoughts glorious enough, nor words graceful enough to cover them.
The numbers are shifty and they move. In Bengal, they moved from CPI-M to TMC and they will again. That is their nature. Mob is shifty. A mob is never loyal, they move to the side of power. Till the time, the intellectual with righteous indignation strikes again and creates a new axis of evil. We must be careful of the culture we build. It defines the nation. Intellectual movements must not try to hide behind brute force and must fight to create space on intellectual platform. The fight will be longer, but you will not be deceived in believing in a false change where one villain is replaced by another one. If you create to monster to fight another, you will end up with monsters ruling the world with humanity, feeble and outnumbered. Sanity is only logical counter-point to insanity.