Lets not deny this: Not only India, the human civilization is in a way fighting a two front battle economically, socially, politically and militarily with both communists and fundamentalism (especially Islamic fundamentalism). Thinking more about it, though the communist and Jihadi ideologies are poles apart, I do see a lot of similarities between them which makes both the groups behave in a similar manner. Let me analyze them one by one.
- Both believe in eating the golden goose rather than golden eggs: Let me take 2 examples – Kashmir and Russia. The Kashmiri pandits were overnight driven away from the valley and their properties looted/captured. Lets analyze if the aggressors benefited out of this. Kashmiri pandits were the most literate among Kashmiris. By driving them out Kashmir lost the best doctors, engineers, officers and teachers. Will the society prosper in the long term if it drives away its intellectual class? Secondly, the Pandits had created their properties due to their sheer hard work, the people who snatched it had the sole intention of looting. After the looted wealth is spent, they came back to their poverty and by now, the Kashmiri Pandits are gone and they have no one else to produce wealth. Now consider, USSR. After the communist takeover, they nationalized all industries and drove the owners to exile. This resulted in short term prosperity. But what happened in long term? With the wealth producing strata gone and the people left behind did not have the capability of wealth generation, USSR started getting poorer and finally collapsed. Same applies to Sindhis who were driven from Pakistan to India. Hence both kill the golden goose (wealth producing section of the society) for easy money and ultimately lose the golden eggs (the wealth/taxes they generate).
- Both are dogmatic and less receptive to new ideas: Communists’ believe that Das Capital or sayings of Marx/Lenin are eternal messages which hold true for eternity. Same is the case for Jihadis who believe Holy Quran or Hadith are eternal. In a world which is dynamically changing nothing can be eternal. Both ideologies don’t want to make changes needed for adapting to the new situation in a new time period. Any saying by anyone (whether Muhammad, pbuh or Marx) are influenced by the situations around them which become irrelevant when things change. But, both don’t accept this reality and get stuck with the time when the dogmas were created.
- Both restrict freedom and rule by fear: Both don’t accept any criticism. And hence it is no coincidence that there are blasphemy laws in Pakistan and we see what happened with Jack Ma in China. In a way, both of them terrorize people not to speak a word against them. On contrary, lets take Sanatana Dharma(or even United States). Buddha vociferously criticized the Vedas but we made him the 9th avatar of Narayana. We have Charbak philosophy, many don’t agree with. But Sanatanis did not kill either of them. I don’t mean to say that there are no fundamentalist elements in Sanatana Dharma, but it is important they had been kept in check and they never got(or should get) the power to rule.
- Both don’t believe in blue ocean strategy: In the world of corporate management there are two strategies i.e. “Red Ocean” and “Blue Ocean” strategy. The first revolves around fighting with your competitors for snatching a pie from an existing cake, and since there are multiple people fighting for the same cake, it become red. There is another better strategy which is called “Blue Ocean” strategy which means you create a new cake or create a new market. In other words move to the new blue ocean. Both ideologies try to snatch a pie from what is existing, but don’t believe in creating a new source of income. For e.g., Arab world is not preparing for a post oil era but fighting among themselves for a bigger pie in oil market.
- Both don’t believe in innovation/change: If you see, the above reasons don’t provide a conducive atmosphere for innovation or change. And hence, such societies have innovated less. Yes, there were innovations by USSR or Arabic world at the beginning, but once they became more and more dogmatic innovations eventually stopped.
“A society which doesn’t innovate doesn’t last long”. In the brief history of time, few hundred years is a whisker. Due to the reasons I have listed above, I foresee both ideologies to vanish over a period of time.
Not only that much, any society, religion or country which will adopt a dogmatic, non flexible ideology will vanish.
Hence it is important that Hindus maintain their 2 biggest strengths:
- Ability to change and reinvent itself when needed: Hindu society has reinvented multiple times over millenniums. Like a great civilization, we have enjoyed victories and endured tragedies. Whenever there was a need of change, a reformer came up, whether it was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu or Savitri Bai Phule or any one else.
- Remain open to ideas: India has endured foreign rule for centuries. We have learnt good and bad things for them. Over the period of time, we have retained the good things and shed the bad ones. For e.g. we have accepted the Capitalist/Free business model(which we learnt from British) but have shed the veiling of women/purdah (which we learnt from Mughals).
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