‘They Too’ Record
Dominant and domineering groups don’t want to let off their hold on to the power imposing their agenda on others. This was the basic theme of the two World Wars and the various denominations of wars thereafter. Colonisation was a shameful exploitation of the militarily weak or squabbling rulers manipulated or made to submit in exchange of privileges for them and their wealth. World Wars were also about clash of empires, claiming millions of lives. Singing only what others srcipt and brag about as the last word on definition of living and thinking is the attitide of major powers in the post-WW II decades. Exploitation of and domination over one group by another; and a powerful side playing one side against another among weak rulers in other states are causes of serious consequences. For indtance, Britain until the 1940s ruled over a quarter of the world’s population.
Citing the lofty philosophies of Socretes, Milton, Rousseau and J.S. Mill gets to becoming academic discussions by governments that practise a measuring rod for themselves sharply different from the one wielded against the populations of other countries. Economic contrasts tend to excite passions against the minscule minority of the extremely rich while the prevailing circumstance renders numerous others to barely make a living.
Tribalism vs identity
Xenophobia and nativism have grown in an increasing number of nations. Nationalist groups in Germany, Hungary and Poland, among others, add credence to such conclusion. Indonesia’s Chinese minority, constituting about 3 per cent of the population, controls 70 per cent of the nation’s private economy - something that attracts negativism from others.
Of late, the multi-culturalism so loftily hailed till recently in Western mainstream political landscape finds massively weakened. It only reiterates that, when the tables are turned and the crunch comes, champions of sloganeering chicken out of their earlier commitment to principles. Big powers mean nationalism to the core. If other nations give any hint of asserting their legitimate interests even if the position carries potentials for some discomfort to the materially/militarily powerful capitals, they are intimidated, threatened or assaulted with a barrage of criticisms through various forums funded and guided by the sponsoring state.
Recent trends in some Western countries have jolted many self-serving elitists to consternation, fearing the prospects of a shift in political outlook and governance style not conforming to their perception of how a polity should function. Anti-Europeans in Britain have proved to be a major point of heated discussion in Europe. Anti-Islam Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, the Alternative for Germany and other parties in Europe, described by the dominant elite as “far-right”, are gaining steady ground in public support. Marine Le Pen might not have won the French elections in November 2016 but the leader’s party is a presence that cannot be discounted.
Fears of losing their dominance have begun betraying the racist streak or exploitative nature and approach of the traditonally rich and militarily powerful nations. In the Netherlands, a political party frets over the trend indicating that Europe’s status “as a predominantly white-skinned, Christian Roman-law based kind of society” is likely within the next few decades.
People’s Party, Denmark’s second-largest grouping in Parliament, taunts immigrants to celebrate Christmas and establish their credentials as true Danes. Echoing growing feelings of anti-Muslim nationalism, the town of Randers exhorted cafeterias to serve pork in public schools.
Regarding the decline in the birth rate in the US, various quarters express anxiety about the prospects of restoring “our civilisation with somebody else’s babies”. In Europe, there are growing voices of fear about “non-white Europeans”. Blacks in the US account for 13 per cent of the population but they represent no less than half of the slain.
There are groups active in Germany, which dread that “barely literate Muslims” could one day emerge as the dominant force in the country. Some hotels in Italy have offered special rates aimed at the uplift of the country’s fertility rate. Italy accounts for one of the lowest—and European Union’s lowest—birth rates. Under the package named Fertility Room campaign, couples who conceive in the group of hotels are eligible for a free holiday.
Although they are not keen on discussing aloud and with appropriate series of follow-ups, the traditionally dominant forces in Europe finger at countries like Hungary and Poland for installing “xenophobic ultranationalists” in the seat of power. Inequality is thought to be the root cause of “ethnic nationalism”. In many societies, ethnic nationalism tends to define identity on the basis of perceived genetic, linguistic or religious factors and not on democratic principles.
Any nation questioning their moves or coming out openly critical of big power politics of flouting the accepted principles of sovereign, independent nation’s rights are sought to be projected in negative light by creating instability that could bring down the “recalcitrant” government.
Yet, the big powers discourage others from emulating them in this regard, as they resort to scorn, threats and outright intimidation. They use non-governmental organisations as the first potent line of promoting their agendas. Institutional recognition, awards and a variety of other means are stored in their arsenal for covertly and overtly preying on those they find straying away from their guidance and agendas.
EU-sponsored agendas, once agreed upon, are expected to be accepted and adopted with lightening speed by the rest of the world, particularly developing countries. Or else, aid money will drop, human rights issues and poverty will be highlighted through exercises in exaggerations, and proxies among NGOs and civil society leaders will be activated to bring the non-complying government to its knees. Even as the industrially rich in the West clamour for their values they prescribe as “the best” for the entire world, occasional voices demanding apologies for the wrongs done previously by these very quarters can be heard.
Filtration for facts
During his visit to Amritsar in India in December, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, called on the British government for a formal apology for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre that claimed the lives of 400 unarmed civilians. The British army personnel who actually ordered the brutal killing received praises from British MPs. Colonial rule remains a blot on Britain and other Europeans. And demands for according history the place it deserves in accuracy and fair interpretation will be louder in the times ahead. For the cowardly expediency of the contemporary concerns, truth may not come out immediately but the passage of time ensures filtration for facts and objective interpretations of events, institutions and individuals. In other words, many of the seemingly mighty of present times are likely to be portrayed by history as perpetrators of conspiracies and ruins of the underdog and innocent.