EDITORIAL

Revolution and reformation

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In the wake of raging debate over stone-pelting and its relevance vis-à-vis resistance sentiment, so many young people who are instigated to throw stones, must put their act together. Those who are committed to ‘fight for justice’ – which they claim they are doing by pelting stones, must start believing in life and have faith in tomorrow; for then only can they lock their eyes on a goal and devise and abide by a strategy to reach that goal. They need to understand that living, as we are, in an age of impermanence, nothing is permanent here – not political situations neither the political figures nor anything else. If at all anything is permanent, it is the change itself, for everything is ever-changing and will remain so forever. Those who want to change their situations should know that talking about change means talking about revolution. It’s important to understand that talking about revolution is not talking about revelation – revolution is not revelation. You can miss the target by shooting too high as well as too low!

There are no rules for revolution any more than there are rules for love or happiness, but there certainly are rules for those who want to change their life-situations. There are certain central concepts of action in human politics that operate regardless of the scene or time. To know these is basic to a pragmatic attack on the existing system. These rules make the difference between being a realist and being a rhetorical one who uses the tried old words and slogans ‘Hum Kya Chahte…’ and has so stereotyped himself that others react by saying, “Oh, he’s one of those …,” and they promptly turn off! For a real activist, a real revolutionary, a true political leader, doing ‘his thing’ is to do the social thing, for and with the people. And once people-centricity becomes the focal point, no one will fall victim to the chaos and confusion on roads and streets.

It is necessary to begin where the world is if one is going to change it to what one thinks it should be. That means working within the system. And once people decide and learn to work within the system, they will no longer have to rely on hooliganism on streets or pelting stones on everything that comes their way, which in any case, as has been proved beyond doubt, hurts their own people more than their real or perceived adversary. An important rider here is that working within the system doesn’t necessarily mean accepting the status quo or being co-opted by the existing system. There are, of course, merits of working inside the system. Dostoevski said that “taking a new step is what people fear most”. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of people.

People here are no doubt feeling frustrated, defeated, lost, and futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future. This affirmation has to become into a reformation essential to any change. No revolution is possible without reformation. In fact thinking of revolution without reformation is politically absurd. And reformation process has to begin with reformation of the ‘self’, for which looking inwards is the major prerequisite. Once people start looking inwards and conversing with the ‘self’, it goes without saying that they will be able to read through the designs of those who are provoking them for street-fights in which the ultimate victims are they themselves – the ordinary and poor people, the dis-privileged and disenfranchised lot, the political and social have-nots.

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