Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hate as a Unifying Force

Hate has always been a powerful unifying force. It is also a productive force, in the sense it produces hysterical mobs, indiscriminate violence and mindless destruction.It produces irrational killings machines. It produces hysterical mobs which kill and ravage mindlessly among Hindus, Muslims, Sihalas, Tamils and well, Maharashtrians. It doesn't mean every Hindu or Muslim or Tamil or Marathi is a fanatic, but it means that most of sensible people in these communities can do very little apart from protesting, to stop these killing machines on rampage. You cannot obviously reason with these fanatics. It also mean that there is a wide-spread implicit and unexpressed support to these killer mobs from the people who are not directly involved in these crimes. As a sensible and rational member of these community, the only choice you have is to avoid being part of covert supporters.

The reason for my recent despair is obviously the lynching of a North Indian person on a Mumbai suburban train.It follows the violent agitation by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena under inspiration of Raj Thackeray and to say that there is no real link between the two things is to pretend and to prevaricate.The lynching may not have been the act of MNS workers, but the hate campaign against the North Indians launched by the party is definitely a motivating influence.

You saw it in Gujarat of 2002, you saw it in the anti-Sikh genocide of 1984, you saw it in the bloody Tamil- Sihala conflict since the eighties.

What we need to do is to probe deeper into why we love to hate. One school, like psychoanalysis would say that it is instinctual to hate and kill and there is very little we can do about it. The other would be the Leftist approach which would put all the blame of desire to kill on the social inequality. The first one comes closer to `nature' school of personality psychology and the other comes closer to `nurture' school.

I would say that hatred is because of BOTH the things: aggressive instinct and the social context. As if the problem is not simple enough.

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