Although in a different context, P Sainath, a scribe-turned agronomist, used the imagery of Nero’s Guest to epitomize the popular idea that feels comfortable in blaming someone in order to absolve many of the misdeeds.
This blame game is the most fun part for some who try to escalate issues on a different track altogether.
Ambiguous? Let us take a look on some popular figures to understand the issue with some better clarity.
One of the most tainted persons of the last century, the Holocaust assassin of Germany has been vilified. Of the many, who were brought to the Book for war crimes, it was Hitler who symbolised Barbarianism. And it was displayed on a scale unknown hitherto.
Though, this save hell lot of money on the German part that it was supposed pay in form of war indemnities.
Though loved and revered when alive, Stalin was hated and despised when dead. Numerous stories, of which many seem to be fabricated, have become part of the folklore.
The rampant de-Stalinization drive that was launched by Khuruschev made a devil out of a man. We, the commoners, were happy in condemning Stalin and did not bother to find those who were equal partners in crime.
This gave sanctity to the rise of Nikita Khuruschev as the head of the Red Guards.
Mao miraculously till date manages to be ‘The Chairman’ for many in China. Globally Mao is name that provokes lost lives and forced destitution that were cost in Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution.
It is Mao, however, who is singled out to be blamed for all and not many are curious of others who were his Comrades in same pursuit.
Demonization of Mao, though, saved the West from dreaded loss of ideological face.
‘Iron Lady’ as many remember, Indira Gandhi, is equally infamous for the massive excesses that were committed while the Emergency was proclaimed in India. Evidently the entire opposition was put behind the bar and world’s largest democracy was on the brink of dissolution. Fortunately, better sense prevailed and the Emergency was withdrawn.
Popular discontentment was on its all time high and masses enraged. Baba Nagarjuna, a renowned Hindi poet, wrote “इन्दु जी, इन्दु जी, क्या हुआ आपको? बेटे को तार दिया, बोर दिया बाप को!” (Indira, what happened to you? In your bid to save the kid, you almost killed his father i.e. you almost killed the nation while trying to preserve it).
This chapter of Indian Polity, if recalled, gives orgasms to those who feel compelled to blame her for the alleged aberration of the Indian Democracy.
A bird’s eye on the Emergency can evidently point to the Members of Parliament who were who were then at large are also to be blamed for the excessive repression. None of them buttonholed to get resolution for the continuation of Emergency defeated in either of the Houses of Parliament.
But yet, it was Indira who is still held culprit of the Act. This reaped the anti-Congress front windfall gains in the Cow Belt.
The jobless growth of the Indian economy to terrorist attacks to surgical strikes to demonetisation, we are, yet again, turning the cycle of History. Though the recent mudslinging may take Indian democracy to the Nadir, politicos, eyeing immediate gains in the upcoming assembly elections, are indulging in it happily.
By singling out an individual we won’t find culprits of History but will absolve henchmen.
Wolves need packs to hunt. They say. A lone wolf can do nothing but to perish. It is not the individual, who apparently holds the helms, is the ‘in-charge’ of entire resolution-execution cycle. It, on the contrary, is a team effort. The blade spares none!