Death by a thousand cuts to bleed your enemy till he is finished is a time-honoured tactic of guerillas from all over the world against an enemy whom they don’t want to face and can’t defeat in a straight fight. The same seems to have been adopted as the strategy against Narendra Modi by the present opposition, intellectuals and a section of the media. As shared by Burkha Dutt in her article that lets fight him locally sets the stage for a battle that to me reeks of plain hypocrisy. Perhaps the only difference is that here the opposition is fighting as a guerilla force. Their enemy is not an outsider but someone within, rooted in our soil, in our motherland.
Throughout history, when an ill-trained, ill-disciplined and sometimes morally bankrupt group of motley fighters have faced an enemy whom they couldn’t face directly, they fell back on giving the enemy a thousand cuts so that he bleeds to death. They attack violating all ethical rules in order to win. Mostly they fail but not always. When they do succeed and win, it is after a saga of deceit, betrayal and help from a common enemy. In the present scenario is it difficult to see if all this is true?
The death by thousand cuts seems to be coming from every direction for Narendra Modi, from every quarter, everyone who is opposed to him. The goal is to tire him out and exhaust him so he gives in. Today everywhere there are articles denouncing him, intellectuals write narratives denigrating him in a language as vile as possible. He is blamed, abused for everything going wrong in the country even if those wrongs existed before their birth. He is called virulent, vitriolic names not so far used for any prime minister of our country or any other I know in the world. Some of his opposition seems to have joined forces with Pakistan and China to call for his ouster, a reminder of the early days of Islamic and British invasion. Is history repeating itself?
I am not a supporter of any person. As a psychologist, I believe idolizing any leader has many pitfalls and as a nation we need to limit ourselves to issues, not personalities. If at all, my outrage is from the hypocrisy that is being passed on in the name of “secularism is in danger” theory in present-day India and asking us to oust him in that name. Isn’t there an inherent secularism that has been rooted in the soul of India since time immemorial and present in every Hindu that has led to shelter, acceptance of the others? Isn’t the present so-called secularism of India alien and imported? Why is it paraded by those who never talk about the inherent secularism of India?
The hypocrisy around being secular and treating the other as more than equal is what I believe has divided my motherland into pieces after pieces down the centuries. I wonder if it is not being repeated again and feel one shouldn’t be silent and speak up against this hypocrisy.
Will Burkha Dutt or any congress leader mention the secularism of Hindus down the centuries ever as India the land of shelter and absorption of others that Hindus have built up?
Meanwhile, the strategy to bleed Narendra Modi seems to have started full swing in coming national elections of 2019. Will the opposition of Narendra Modi succeed this time? The opposition is not my enemy but the method they have adopted to bleed him through a thousand cuts is what I oppose.
Why are they trying to bleed him to death like a group of wolves in the name of secularism? I believe if they don’t, they will face annihilation. But if they do succeed in the name of their so-called secularism, I also see them like a herd a pack of animals who after a kill will fight over every morsel. The nation is being damned, all in the name of removing Narendra Modi. The mantra seems to be ‘just remove him at any price’, even if one has to shake hands with the enemy. It is said things will automatically take care of themselves and come back to normal once we do it. They didn’t five years ago and that is why he is here. The loser will be us, the ordinary Indians. Our motherland will witness perhaps another vivisection. What will it do to the soul of our nation? Will it even leave us as a nation anymore?
I wonder why is it that all of them who are expert politicians, who have fought many elections at a national level and won with massive margins can’t stand up to him individually? Why is it he grew into a larger than life figure while they didn’t? Why do they have to fall back into joining hands with each other when just the other day they hated each other? Why did they not grow into goliaths to face him with courage? Why do they act like a pack of rats peeking out of a hole to see if the coast is clear? Does the answer lie in the death of conscience they brought about in the nation after they gained power? Why is it that they have lost the moral courage needed to face him and do so now collectively? Is it their corruption, their greed and looting their motherland that has made it impossible for them to stand alone and face a single man?
As a psychologist I realize that giving death by a thousand cuts is what describes the relationship between the opposition and Narendra Modi in present-day India. I wonder why is there no opposition leader who is not so morally bankrupt that he or she can face him alone with courage and fortitude. Why do they have to create an alliance whose only aim is to see him ousted, sorry destroyed? Has their hatred for each other been taken over by their fear of annihilation? Is a vacuous rambling of a forty-nine-year-old man or the narcissistic hysterical antiques of a woman going to lead us from now on?
As an ordinary Indian I am both saddened and pained today. I haven’t ever been the supporter of any political party in the past. But I feel anguished when I see a chosen prime minister of my country being abused in a cheap and mindless language without decency. Four years ago, like millions of others, I was surprised and shocked when Narendra Modi had come to power. My friends had predicted doomsday for the country within a year. The doomsday has passed. When I remind them, they point out the harm he will do now if he is voted back to power. It will be nothing less than an apocalypse this time in their opinion. I guess it will be announced soon by all the intellectuals together. Any takers this time?
Meanwhile, the man himself seems to be facing it with calmness and equanimity. He faces abuses but neither hits back nor abuses back.
Many years ago, I had lost my favourite school teacher because of infighting. He was popular amongst students and it was said that it had created immense jealousy amongst the rest of the teachers by wanting to bring changes in the school. The Principal had succumbed to their demands to oust him. He had to answer many false charges that the school levelled against him and had to leave. We were bewildered at first with the intensity of hatred shown against him. Had he paid for his outspokenness? For wanting a reform? When he had said goodbye to us, we had asked him why so many people were against him for wanting changes and reforms and if he felt wronged by them. I remember he had smiled ruefully and looking at us had said, “I am in the majority of one.” Many a time when I faced conflict and crisis later in life I remembered that last encounter with him. I learnt to repeat to myself that issues like reform, truth always speaks in the majority of one.
The other teachers had behaved as if it was a coup to remove him and had tried to tell us that he was unfit to be a teacher. But we knew in our heart of hearts the truth and I believed some of them knew it too. I remembered and saw the contrast, the calmness, the equanimity on his face and the marauding mob of teachers who bayed for his blood. Who do we students respect and remember today? A man standing alone and facing a group baying for his blood.
My father had told me on hearing this, “When you see a single man against a system wanting to reform, know that the man will face the vilest criticism.” He had told me the story of Socrates who stood alone and wanted to speak the truth. Moral courage, I also learnt, resides in the human heart alone. It is in the majority of one, not as a collective.
Many decades later now as I have studied many conflicts across the globe, to decide who is on the side of truth is a challenge I face often? When people speak in different voices, when some people become a group and denounce one of them, how do you know whom to stand for?
Now one memory of mine emerges, crystalizes in my mind and shows me the answer. It is always where many scream aloud blaming an individual for all their ills.
The article by Burkha Dutt that all fight him locally to defeat him nationally is the final straw that points towards that age-old dictum of guerillas. It seems the opposition is determined to see him finished and end his journey. Her statement alone, I believe, represents the collective voice of the crowd. Is their mentality any different from that of a herd who come together for a kill and fight amongst themselves afterwards? But one thing I wonder, if they are able to do that, having done so, will they not then turn to the country and do the same to it?