The inability to take a decision is not inherent in the individual or the authority, but is largely, induced by external forces of muscle, money and mob. Sadly, the political muscle is too powerful, the jingle of money too pleasant and the might of the mob too scary. Of course, there are brave individuals who swim against the tide of the mighty mess, but, far too many with weak moral moorings, flow with it, and, the carpetbaggers continue to cash in, writes Prof. H C Pande
The film,’The Kashmir Files’, only depicts what happened, where it happened, and, when it happened but does not bring out the vital issue as to why such horrendous incidents could happen in a functioning democracy with an elected government and selected administrative and allied services .Many violent incidents of many shapes and sizes, in many places, over many years, have taken place and would continue to take place unless this WHY, is pin-pointed and the cause or causes are addressed in totality, or, in a substantial measure.
Files and files of cases, some opened, some half-opened and some closed, lie littered across the length and breadth of the country all concerned with mob violence. In just a few cases, the individuals have been identified and punished, some organizations warned and some blacklisted. But in the majority of cases the files remain open long enough for the people to forget the whole matter, and, then, the matter does not matter.
Interestingly, this WHY is universally known but no one wants to spell it out. It is the inability and reluctance to take a decision and execute it ,as well as,the misconception of the mechanics of the domain of files, the filedom.
To take the last one first, a file is only an aid to memory, nothing more, nothing less. Decisions have to be taken, noted on the file, and then implemented. That’s it ! Just noting on the file, and, closing it, means nothing. The Executive has to take action, the file does not do it for him. Files are only means to an end,recording, what has to be done and why and how of it. The end is the executive action and not the last note in the file. A file can be kicked off with a note, but,the dribbling, or short and long passing, has to end with a header into the goal, and, then only the game ends. Alas! Strong heads are few and far between. And, as a result, after the kick-off the ball is kicked around all over the field till even the spectators are dead. The file-game, as of now, rarely ends with the spectators clapping.
Coming on to the second point, the inability to take a decision is not inherent in the individual or the authority, but is largely, induced by external forces of muscle, money and mob. Sadly, the political muscle is too powerful, the jingle of money too pleasant and the might of the mob too scary. Of course, there are brave individuals who swim against the tide of the mighty mess, but, far too many with weak moral moorings, flow with it, and, the carpetbaggers continue to cash in.
And finally, the reluctance to take a decision is caused by, the desire to please all and displease none. Giving in to sentiments is in the DNA. The great Arjun was inclined to give up the fight against injustice as the Kauravas were close relatives of the Pandavas and included their mentors. This happened millennia ago, but as the gene sequencing mutation takes time, the overly kind sentiments will attenuate slowly.
Tolerating mob violence of any size or shape, always results in the undoing of democracy and ushering in of mob rule. It is imperative therefore that filedom fruitfully functions. Files cannot remain filed and have to be in full flow, money & mob have to be muscled out and sentiments have to be shed.
(Prof. H C Pande is Vice Chancellor Emeritus , BITS, Mesra)