Pride and Arrogance blinds a person to see the light of truth.
Recently, I had an interaction with one of my friends that began with a Facebook post. Without delving into the specifics of the post or the ensuing thread, I found myself troubled by the seemingly indifferent laughter and insensitivity displayed in the comments section.
This unrest prompted me to give my friend a call, driven by a sincere desire to understand the underlying reasons why some individuals tend to overlook and normalise fascism while supporting oppressive regimes.
In the past, I’ve encountered similar situations, and I’m well-acquainted with the root causes behind such perspectives. However, back then, the issues weren’t as clear-cut as they are in the current age.
I vividly remember a conversation with a colleague who asked me, “Why are you always against Modi?” My response was straightforward: “He is a liar.” When pressed for evidence, I simply said, “Time will prove it.”
Many of my friends perceive Modi as a leader who projects an image of “Pride” for India, a quality they believe the country deserves. They often pose the question, “If not Modi, then who?” This sentiment reflects a belief in Modi’s leadership capabilities and a sense that he is the best option for steering the nation.
The issue of pride is indeed deeply ingrained in various cultures. Individuals often seek and wish to be associated with a uniqueness that provides them with a sense of superiority, a kind of “individual pride.” This tendency is prevalent in various social gatherings, whether it’s a wedding, birthday celebration, or a community event, where the projection of pride is palpable.
This inclination toward pride doesn’t stop at the individual level; it extends to encompass “family pride,” “community pride,” and even “national pride.” It’s a complex phenomenon that influences the way people perceive themselves and their identities in different social contexts.
Can we put Pride on the scale of right and wrong?
To me “feeling proudy” is a grave “sin”. This is not only a sin in the spiritual realm, but in the materialistic world, pride becomes a blindfold and make people incapable of discovering truth. In many spiritual and philosophical traditions, excessive pride is considered a detrimental quality. It’s often associated with arrogance, which can hinder personal and spiritual growth.
The idea that pride acts as a blindfold, preventing individuals from discovering the truth, is a powerful metaphor. It suggests that when people are consumed by pride, they may become closed off to different perspectives, resistant to learning, and less open to self-reflection. It’s a valuable insight into the potential pitfalls of excessive pride both in the spiritual and material realms.
If this is the case, then what is “to feel proud of”?
“Should we not feel proud of our country?”
The genuine and virtuous manner to commemorate one’s significance, if deemed necessary, entails acknowledging personal achievements and expressing gratitude for the diverse resources that facilitated those accomplishments.
In the pragmatic realm, particularly from an atheistic standpoint, expressing gratitude involves humility towards the individuals, tools, and available time that contributed to one’s success. Conversely, from a theistic perspective within the spiritual domain, this sentiment extends to being grateful to a higher power, acknowledging divine guidance.
In a state of genuine gratitude, others will inherently recognize the magnitude of one’s achievements, extending commendation not only for the value of individual accomplishments but also for the collaborative efforts of the people or team instigating transformative changes.
This, in essence, embodies the concept of “commanding respect,” a contrast to the notion of demanding respect. It prompts an earnest inquiry into the genuine achievements and credentials of figures like Modi, Yogi, and Shah, apart from their affiliation with the Hindutva movement, highlighting the acquisition of power through the manipulation of false political narratives—True Lies perceptible in broad daylight.
In a predominantly atheist or subconsciously atheist society, where individuals may identify as polytheists or panatheists, the absence of an “objective moral standard” prevails. Morality is perceived as an “ever-evolving process,” subject to wide-ranging subjectivity. This narrative aligns with the widely accepted theory of evolution, attributing the origin of the human species to the core principles of “survival of the fittest” and “mutation” as imperative drivers of life’s progression.
This oversimplification, rooted in the idea that the ruthless flow of nature aligns with a random, blind physical force of matter and energy, mirrors the perceived justification for the injustices prevalent in society. The acknowledgment of nature’s cruelty, akin to a random force, becomes the underlying principle behind the human-driven political processes – a belief epitomized by the notion that “might is right” serving as a moral standard.
This assertion, however, leaves a void in the form of a lack of anchoring virtual moral principles. The question of why one should refrain from actions like killing, stealing, or lying is met with the justification that, if one possesses strength, nature grants the opportunity to overpower the weak, thus maintaining the natural law of the “survival of the fittest.” In such a paradigm, the concept of self-sacrifice is viewed as nothing more than a jest.
Ordinary individuals often do not delve into the philosophical underpinnings of their belief systems, typically adhering to popular narratives. Their choices align with what caters to their sense of pride, fear, and greed. In the case of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), their desires are straightforward.
They seek a positive image to represent India on the global stage. NRIs, by and large, show minimal interest in experiencing the intricacies of Indian systems and processes; instead, they prefer a favorable portrayal of their homeland. This portrayal serves to instill in them a sense of pride and satisfaction.
They unapologetically engage in deception and propaganda, often justifying their actions with the argument that “lying to a gullible population” or doing so for a supposed greater cause is not morally objectionable (relying on the principles of “sam, dam, dand, bhed”). This approach, however, involves a dismantling of the core tenets of basic humanism, where honesty and integrity are foundational values.
During discussions, they tend to distance themselves apologetically from the controversies surrounding past riots, corruption, and human rights issues associated with the type of MLAs and MPs they support. Occasionally, they employ the tactic of “whataboutery,” a term I first heard from a good YouTuber Dhruv Rathee. Their reluctance to acknowledge the divisive philosophy of Sangh/RSS is evident, as they often whitewash the entire discussion by labeling them as a mere “cultural organization.”
Deep down, they harbor a penchant for vengeance. For instance, when confronted with the killing of 3000 innocent people in the Gujarat riots, they swiftly divert attention to the Godhra incident. Psychologically, their mindset operates in a way that shows no hint of repulsion when it comes to state-sponsored riots.
Instead, they eagerly position the questioner as a victim of favoritism, insinuating that the inquiry is solely focused on Muslim casualties. What they fail to acknowledge is that the Godhra incident was a failure of state intelligence, while the Gujarat riots were a vengeful exercise orchestrated by the state machinery.
This pattern is replicated in discussions about the Babri mosque and Mumbai riots, as well as the plight of Kashmiri Pandits and subsequent genocides. In their perspective, these acts of aggression are deemed necessary to control Muslims/minorities in India, framed as a form of retaliation, backlash, or collateral damage.
Regarding Gujarat, both incidents, in terms of the victims involved, appear to be of the same magnitude to me. The government might try to excuse the Godhra incident, citing its spontaneity or inadequate handling, but when it comes to the subsequent riots, there is no justification. Those who remain silent on these riots are, in essence, silent supporters of such atrocities.
As the disease of pride throbs in their hearts, so does the disease of vengeance. These two ailments complement each other and go hand in hand.
In this state, what will work? Will you be able to suggest something? Will you land on any common ground?
Expressing dissenting opinions or critiques about political figures or parties can prove challenging, bordering on the seemingly insurmountable. One of my friends contended that I exclusively highlight the negatives about India, while another asserted that I propagate animosity in my posts.
Moreover, a handful of individuals suggested that I consistently fail to express appreciation for India. A common thread woven through all these comments is the apparent or concealed favoritism toward Modi, BJP, Sangh, or RSS exhibited by these individuals.
In fact when I criticise Modi/Yogi they think that I hate India, and when i criticise BJP/Sangh/RSS they think I am anti-national.
My Consistent Experience in Online Social Media
The repercussions of such deeply ingrained misconceptions, often fuelled by distorted political narratives circulated on platforms like WhatsApp, pose an arduous challenge to confront. It becomes disheartening to witness a colleague, with whom one shares amicable relations, supporting a figure associated with mass killings or conspiracies.
Criticizing such a stance may result in being branded as anti-national, creating obstacles in maintaining a healthy social relationship. Resolving this issue is far from straightforward, and the widening divide, driven by these perceived perceptions, may eventually escalate into a national emergency in the days to come, even though such an outcome is personally undesired.
Politicians build narratives. Narratives drive perceptions. Perceptions are made tangible political manifestos. Political manifestos are as vulnerable as the narratives in first place.– My observation
Pride and Vengeance make people Arrogant.
We are currently witnessing a proliferation of resources and an increase in technological interconnectedness, leading to unparalleled accessibility to information. However, this accessibility has also made knowledge susceptible to the spread of rumors and misinformation.
Controlling the flow of accurate information through the information pipeline has become a considerable challenge. In the past, individuals would traditionally turn to libraries, schools, and colleges to access reliable information and acquire knowledge. Complex issues were thoroughly researched, and the general public did not engage in making half-cooked comments on matters of significance.
Presently, the ease with which information can be disseminated has led to a colossal pollution of the information cosmos. This pollution is akin to the contamination experienced by the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, affecting the sanctity of sacred scriptures and the spiritual realm within our hearts and minds.
Unfortunately, many are unaware of this subtle degradation. Information has become short-lived, and the “theory of survival of the fittest” manifests in this context as well. A clear example of this phenomenon can be observed in the troll industry of various political parties, with the BJP IT Cell, headed by Amit Malwiya, being a notable case.
They also frequently cite the issue of population, implying that India’s population is the root cause of various challenges. However, this is a flawed logic. I intend to write a separate post on this subject, as it requires an in-depth exploration with substantial information. Particularly within NRI circles, this perception is widespread.
Hence, Modi fills the void that Indians, afflicted with the sins of pride and arrogance, seek. Due to the absence of an absolute right or wrong in their perspective, establishing a common reference frame for conversation becomes challenging. Engaging with them can be both frustrating and exhausting, as they weave through historical periods from the Mughal era to contemporary times, making it difficult to impart accurate historical knowledge and instill a sense of constitutional values.