Baba Ramdev, Anna Hazare and others seem to be specialising in the art of fabricating truths. This is not my allegation. Harish Khare’s article in today’s Hindu [6 June 2012] says it eloquently.
Khare’s argument is that the Hazare Team has been trying to instil into the minds of the Indians certain truths they have created. Last year they harped on the theme that Dr Manmohan Singh might not be corrupt but he was guilty of protecting the corrupt. Now “the demonisation game has been ratcheted up to declare Manmohan Singh to be corrupt…”
Those readers who are fanatic supporters of the Hazare Team might take Khare’s article as mere hagiography. Those who tend to be more objective will analyse the facts mentioned by him realistically and find many acceptable facts in it.
Of late, I’ve been fascinated by the social constructionist theory which argues that all knowledge, including scientifically obtained knowledge, is a construct of culture, language and social roles and has no claim to final truth. The relativity of knowledge and truth is something that started fascinating me from my early 20s. It is only recently, however, I came across a theory that justifies my thinking.
Any dominant section of people in a society can manufacture knowledge and truths. That’s a simple layman’s version of the social constructionist theory. Harish Khare is arguing in slightly different words that the Hazare team is manufacturing some such knowledge and truths not only about the country’s Prime Minister but others such as Ms Sonia Gandhi. Khare is of the opinion that Mr Singh and Ms Gandhi may be “guilty” of certain omissions and commissions such as “pursuing a politics of decency and of elevating reconciliation to a matter of state policy.”
In plainer words, Mr Singh and Ms Gandhi failed in dealing effectively with the corrupt people around them not because they are corrupt but because they were not “ruthless enough.” They have been too “decent.”
Personally I can’t disagree with Khare, let me be labelled anything.
Khare also raises a very valid point. Why don’t Hazare and his team take on the “corporate sharks” who are the real threat to India’s welfare today? Instead when the team focuses on certain red herrings like the PM’s inefficiency in dealing with corruption, Khare rightly finds in it a Goebbelsian strategy.
Hazare & Co are manufacturing truths which the gullible people of the country (the vast majority of people in any country are gullible) may lap up out of a desire for a political change and consequent betterment of their lives. The people can’t always be blamed for not perceiving the hidden agendas of certain propaganda.