The old is dead, the new is powerless to be born

The English poet Matthew Arnold in his poem ‘Grande Chartreuse‘ writes a line ‘Wandering between two worlds, one dead, the other powerless to be born’.

This accurately describes the condition of India today. The old is dead, but the new is powerless to be born.

Our state institutions, Parliament, the judiciary, the government, the bureaucracy, etc are all beyond redemption, and so can be called dead.

Our political leaders, of all parties, are small men having no vision, seeking only power and pelf, but no idea how to solve the people’s massive socio-economic problems. The system of parliamentary democracy which we adopted, however rosy it may seem, has largely degenerated into caste and communal vote banks, and so can be called dead.

Our society consists largely of people full of casteism, communalism and superstitions, etc. Its so called educated class are mostly a bunch of people seeking cushy jobs ( most of them too are full of casteism and communalism ) in India and abroad. Its’ intellectuals’, who are supposed to give guidance to the masses, are mostly a set of shallow and superficial folks, not deep thinkers, but full of arrogance and conceit, thinking no end of themselves. To expect them to give guidance to the people is expecting the blind to lead the blind. So our society can also be called dead.

India needs a radical transformation, and creation of new state institutions, modern minded patriotic political leaders having scientific ideas, and a new society free from the evils of poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, lack of proper healthcare and good education for the masses, casteism, communalism, corruption, etc. But the mighty historical people’s struggle for creating this historical transformation is nowhere to be seen on the horizon.

The German philosopher Hegel said ” the real is the rational ”. For example, the feudal system in France ( before the great French Revolution of 1789 )–the king, the French aristocracy, the archaic laws and feudal customs–had become so irrational that they could not be called real, and so had to be replaced by a real modern system.

In that sense we can say that the state institutions, political leadership and social conditions and practices in India have all become unreal, as they are irrational.

But where is the real ? It seems powerless to be born.

This is the tragedy of India today.


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