Understanding Revolutions

NOTE: This was an article I wrote for a special edition of The Education Times. However due to some reasons the edition was cancelled and they released the article online.Here’s the original link(http://www.educationtimes.com/article/69/2013020720130207161154173b0a5db49/Understanding-revolutions.html)

The heavily hyped ‘apocalypse’ has turned out to be a dud and, ironically, the joke might be on us. Judging by the extremely disturbing rebellion worldwide, we might nearly be on the brink of a real armageddon. “There is no substitute for a militant freedom”—a chilling quote from Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States of America serves as a gentle yet firm reminder, of the fallacies of violent and detrimental revolutions.

Understanding Revolutions by Siddharth Gupta

History stands witness, to the vicious savages of radical changes. May it be execution of kings in Europe sparked by unwitting comments over the availability of bread or exiles of leaders in Asia for trying to westernise a seemingly orthodox nation, revolutions have always threatened the delicate nature of civilisation. There are numerous examples from the world over describing this very phenomenon. The breakup of former Yugoslavia cost the world more than 1.5 lakh innocent lives. The still ongoing Arab spring revolution has a death toll of 80,000 and counting. These numbers are dwarfed by the casualties of the communist revolution of China in 1949 where the toll, even by conservative estimates, has crossed four crore.

Saurav Dutta, an eminent law professor, independent researcher and academician, explains, “We ‘liberals’ always tend to assume that all revolutions (political and cultural) would follow a certain pattern. And we get incensed and make doomsday predictions. This is often exploited as a reason for foreign, imperialist intervention, which pushes the population back into servitude, just with a different name. We should let a nascent democracy and population grow organically, without practising a belligerent form of cultural relativism.”

In a world marred by politics, greed, power, scrupulous ambition and anarchy, the path to change is slowly turning into a stairway to hell. Ashok Prasad, a well known legal expert and pshycatrist, namesake of the Prasad’s syndrome, is troubled and disturbed by the biased nature of some revolutions. “Every individual has multiple identities, and a movement that stresses absolute primacy of one identity over another, include communalism, is definitely a retrograde step. Admittedly not every society has accepted this position but we must not forget that the stress is primarily on shared values and that is the only way we can make progress. Emphasis on difference in values and an excessive stress on those values being central and fundamental only leads to corresponding neglect of social positions.”

The threat although isn’t immediate but a wrongly motive rebellion simply sparks off a catastrophic chain of events leading to the downfall of a state, religion, community or nation. But when these rebellions take a selfish turn, as they inevitably always do, the results can be calamitous.

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