Pondering over ‘What if’ potentialities

Ira Pande

I’ve been questioning what I can write on this column when all one hears and reads is but extra information on Covid and the political drama in state after state. No one of their sane thoughts desires to learn any extra on these topics, least of all of the opinion of an individual who’s neither a professional political analyst, nor an epidemiologist.

So, let our creativeness run riot right now. ‘What if?’ is a query that makes for pleasant potentialities to ponder over and I need to introduce you to this idle occupation. It’s like taking part in Antakshari with your self. Imagine if sure occasions had not taken place, or had completely different dramatis personae. What would have occurred if historical past had taken a unique flip?

One needn’t even return all the way in which right down to the Mughals and the British and marvel what this nation would have been like if it had no invaders or colonisers in its previous. That is pointless, so allow us to come nearer to right now. What if Indira Gandhi had not been assassinated? Since everyone knows how reluctant Rajiv Gandhi was to enter politics and the way bitterly Sonia Gandhi opposed his elevation as his mom’s successor, it’s intriguing to think about what may have occurred if he had declined to change into India’s subsequent Prime Minister. He might by no means have been assassinated and lived a lifetime of a contented household man. The Congress occasion would have by no means degenerated into turning into a household agency, shedding its brightest skills as one younger chief after one other left, feeling stifled and unrewarded.

Ironically, after Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated and his reluctant widow was persuaded by the Congress occasion to take cost of its organisation, the precept of dynastic rule was firmly and irrevocably established. This quickly grew to become a pan-Indian phenomenon and in occasion after occasion, leaders had been unwilling to think about passing the baton to anybody outdoors the household. So, a vibrant democracy slowly changed into a feudal oligarchy. Today, it’s tough to discover a single political occasion that has held inner-party elections and allowed expertise to emerge. So, how are we completely different as a republic from the outdated dangerous days of princely rule?

Let us additionally now take a look at the following attention-grabbing different. What if PV Narasimha Rao had not taken the daring financial reforms that he did? Where would India be right now? Even his worst critics will admit that the opening up of the Indian economic system by his Finance Minister, Manmohan Singh, liberated us from the everlasting cycle of poverty and dole. Yet, had we continued within the outdated socialist custom of state-controlled licences, we’d have been no higher than these African nations which can be wealthy in sources, however unable to make use of them profitably. The stranglehold of the controllers and bureaucrats would have choked any try at loosening the pink tape that had change into infamous for its indifference to any try at devolving energy. So, this story ended properly.

Next, what if we had redrawn the map of India and made it necessary that no state would have greater than twice the land dimension of the smallest state within the nation? The behemoths of UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and a few southern states like Tamil Nadu can be carved up into smaller, extra manageable items. The mismatch between the human improvement indexes of, allow us to say, Maharashtra, Gujarat or Karnataka on the one hand and the dismal situation of sure areas elsewhere (Bundelkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha’s tribal areas) might have been fully completely different. A strong funding in well being care, main training and ladies’s rights in these darkish areas would have protected them from the exploitative feudal practices which can be nonetheless rampant. Nor would we see the rise of the bahubali tradition that has now change into an adjunct of our electoral course of in under-developed areas. Those who’re accustomed to these darkish areas will know why violence and terror thrive within the absence of excellent governance.

Let’s now flip past politics: what if Guru Dutt had not dedicated suicide and nonetheless been alive? Today, he can be like Dilip Kumar, an outdated, outdated man whom most followers have forgotten. Perhaps it’s best to die younger. The dewy fantastic thing about a Madhubala has saved her alive in our creativeness as essentially the most stunning lady Indian cinema ever noticed. Compare her with say a Vyjayanthimala (who can nonetheless dance at no matter age she is now), however who can not transfer hearts the way in which Madhubala’s ‘Pyar kiya toh darna kya’ does. Don’t you agree?

The recreation additionally permits us hypothesis of selections which can be politically taboo, resembling reservation. If Mandal had not been championed, maybe our political panorama can be completely different. Merit alone would have determined place and our Parliament would have faces that aren’t there as a result of they symbolize a category or caste, however as a result of they want to serve the very best pursuits of everybody on this nation. The counter-movement of the mandir rath yatra might by no means have had the traction it acquired subsequently, resulting in a digital chasm between the bulk and minority communities.

I hesitate to go any additional though my thoughts is teeming with potentialities of different alternate options. Try some your self to cross the time.

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