While going away from India, the British granted Independence to 565 princely states of India, Well India and Pakistan got formed later and that’s a different story. My question here is why did people let this happen ? why wasn’t there a mass rebellion across the country till 1857, almost till 100 years of British rule , till we had the first war of independence? Remember, while there were sporadic revolts here and there in the country, there was no mass rebellion in any of the princely states across the foreign oppressor, the British.
Divide and rule, lack of communication platform, the enemy had advanced technology and many other things can be mentioned as reasons, but I would say the disconnect of the royals with the masses was a reason. The kings probably lost touch with the commons, so when the commons felt that rulers were doing little for them, they simply did not bother who was ruling them. How does it matter when it’s tyranny either ways. The second thing, some of the kings were so obsessed with the personal matters and were busy amassing wealth and playing palace politics that they left everything including morals to thin air. Eventually new leadership emerged and people reconnected with them as they saw the new leaders educating and standing up for them. Just imagine, the impressive victories the kings would have posted on the British if at least 60% of the masses fought for them.
The gap between the political/ruling class and the common man gave the opportunity for an imperial power to rule this country. One generation of bad rulers just helped a foreign invader cement his position in this country. Same is the situation today, people of India are having little faith in the leadership, when we speak of corruption among the political class, a common man is hardly bothered. They are losing hope in phrases like Nation building and stuff like that. Today’s political class in India is being forced to play caste, religion, minority God knows so many cards to get the votes. A simple look at the party’s manifesto’s tells us how the leaders stooping to new lows in terms of sops and populist measures to win the trust of the voters.
Today’s politicians are just not able tell their masses that our economy is heading for a crisis, they are not in a position to take the tough decisions the country needs. The credibility of the parties is in an all time low and the disconnect is the biggest now.The voters are also getting more and more selfish, more reservations more sops for a community are on the rise. People too have realized that the ruler is weak and is at the mercy of the vote, hence they are trying to dictate their own terms to the ruling class. The descent into irrationality has begun, is continuing and will continue till we have a someone who captures the imagination of the public solely by his/her credentials and not by announcing sops or buying people’s votes with money/caste/communal chord.
The disconnect between leaders and the people beneath is never good anywhere. If people start getting used to a feeling that their lives would go unaltered irrespective of whoever is in power, that’s a doomsday prediction for the country. No one can rule a country without people’s support, but if a leader needs to stoop down to win the hearts of people that’s all the more dangerous for the country. Hope our political class reads these warnings . Hoping that this worrying trend will get replaced with a new generation of leaders very soon in this country.
Happy Independence Day