Thursday, 28 September 2017

The ‘enemy’ within us

As Donald trump stood on the podium to announce his candidacy for the President of The United States, he launched a scathing attack on Mexican Immigrants in USA. Much of his campaign revolved around this rhetoric from then on. He created a narrative that much of the problems faced by US citizens in the ‘rust belt’ are because of ‘these immigrants’. Not only were the immigrants taking jobs away from U.S citizens, they were also the root cause of rise in crime and the drug problem which plagues the cities, his campaign stated. I think it’s important to mention that none of these claims were backed by data but why spoil a good story with useless facts. The narrative plus the inherent misogyny of much of the electorate made sure that a candidate so clearly unfit for office won the presidency.

Whereas the world’s oldest democracy was busy fighting within itself, pitting one American against another, capturing eyeballs from all over the world in 2016-17. The world’s largest had done the same thing in 2014. One party left no stone unturned in order to find ‘anti-nationals’ that they could send to the neighboring country. Remarks were made about ‘pink revolution’ and how ‘minority appeasement’ has ruined the country. The prime ministerial candidate even went so far to suggest that Hindu immigrants from other countries seeking shelter in India should be welcomed with open arms and in the same speech explicitly suggested that the ‘other’ immigrants are a burden. Again I think I should mention that no data was provided to back this but the common thing among politicians is they always remember not to spoil a good story with facts.

Every country has its own set of problems and every country has chosen a political mechanism to solve it. Whether single party system is better or a multi party democracy, nobody seems to know but one thing is for sure that these political ‘masters’ are not to blame for any of our problems. It is always the fault of ‘others’ among you, at least that’s what we are told and we take it as a gospel truth.

I tried to find the reason as to why we always need an ‘enemy’ to band together, I couldn’t. Maybe it is the evolution process, maybe it is something else. But one thing is clear that our ‘Political masters’ have understood this. They want majority of us to band together and vote for them, stand beside them. Easiest way to do this is give us an enemy, scare us and become our savior by the way of vote of course.

These ‘enemies’ used to be foreign powers, USSR for USA. Pakistan/China For India, but if the enemy is hundreds of miles away and the secret gets out that these ‘enemies’ are just trying to survive as us, the fear fades. So the new propaganda is ‘The enemy is within us’, it has infiltrated our society and we don’t even know when they will attack. Well at this point I don’t need to mention that these ‘claims’ are also not backed by any data but let me share a data with you. The global terrorism index points out that 2014 was the worst year as per terrorism deaths go, the number was 32,765, whereas the number of children in India alone who die because of diarrhea are 1.2 lakh every year, health ministry said. But these facts spoil a good story so forget them. So for us ‘real’ issues shouldn’t matter, what should matter is that we need a ‘strong’ leader to save us from all the ‘terrorists’ among us.

Now everyone is free to come to their own conclusions but I do support the narrative that ‘the enemy is within us’, but it is not the immigrant, it is not the infidel, it is not the Muslims. The enemies are the ones who divert our attention from problems like hunger, shelter, health, education etc. by pitting us against one another, by scaring us. Be scared, be very scared but not from one another but from these ‘Political Masters’ of ours.

Mr. Rajvinder Singh Johal
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Management 

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