So today, I am going to go for an allegory rather than a rant.
And because we live in such, ahem, interesting times, I will base this allegory in a place far far away, with people who bear no resemblance to the people of India in 2014 AD.
In the beginning there was one. Because everything always begins with one. This is not really an attempt at Metaphysics, but an allegory does require me to begin with a pseudo-spiritual tone.
So there was one country. We will call it the Motherland. The people of this country were not really aware they were one country, but politics and geography changed, and over ages they continued to borrow from one another. The interesting thing was that their primary religion (the called it the gnost) was not really a ‘religion’. It did not have that desire to market itself, nor did it really have the exclusivity of a modern country club. Their Gods were interesting, just like people. Some of them were egoistical, some got angry, one took the shape of a sage to seduce his wife, and one was a really good person who married a hundred rape survivors, just to prove that rape could not diminish the worth of a woman. ( Well marrying a hundred women is problematic too, but that is for another day).
Their religious works were really poems which could give Shakespeare a run for his money!
As is the wont of a large country, many foreign gnosts (I will not say religion) also came into it, and they got along just fine. Architectural tips were exchanged, scripts, art, words, emotions, mannerisms. Everyone found a place, and the narrative got very very nuanced.
Now it is time to introduce the bad guys in my allegory. Colonel Hateful and the Duke Anti-nuance. There were two fast friends who first met at the ‘Simple Linear Narrative Welfare Club’, a fine organization that required that nuance be removed from all narratives. In fact it is in deference to their wishes that I have chosen this format of story-telling.
They decided to get together and write a history of their Motherland. Now the problem was that it was just too damn nuanced They did not know where they were supposed to fit in the village republics, with the golden age and then the new rulers from outside. There was also the worrying lack of villains in the story.
We all know that stories don’t sell without villains! Look at me, I just invented two characters to explain a significant historical churning, just because we all love villains!
Now what the villains of my story did was that they took the history of a country and turned it into a potboiler/ cheaply written novel. They convinced people that there were bad guys (who necessarily belonged to another group), and there were good guys. They threw in a sense of outrage, they gave simple solutions. (Expel, censure, kill, threaten. bully, stop, repeat…)
But I am tired of the allegorical theme now. I will describe a crime to you, and then I am off to lunch.
Last night one Miss Empathy (religion: none of your damn business) was walking down History Boulevard. Colonel Hateful Ambushed her, slapped her. She fell down.He then took out a revolver (with a smart sounding name no doubt), and shot her. Reloaded. And shot her again. In all 15 shots were fired.
Colonel Hateful went scott free though. The Courts thought it was a clear-cut case of self-defense.