Reprogramming the republic

When someone wants you to stop doing something, it is never enough to tell you that you should stop doing it. There has to be a reason provided, or an alternative activity suggested to replace the thing you were doing.

So instead of a simple “don’t do that”, there has to be a “don’t do that because…” or a “do this instead of that”.

Thus, when the aim is the subversion of democracy, how does one go about telling people to cease and desist from democratic activity and expectations? Simple - one creates alternative priorities. Priorities that cause us to stop having expectations from democracy and instead start having them from personalities.

At the height of the anti CAA-NRC-NPR protests, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, said during a speech that he was confident that the law would not discriminate against Muslims and that he personally guarantees it.

Yesterday, Rajnath Singh again, during a Press conference, made it about himself by saying he too was a farmer and that people should “trust” the government to do the right thing for the farmers.

The problem with these personal assurances of course is that they are worthless. When the law comes after an individual, her recourse is the system, not an individual. At the end of the day, it is the system that has checks and balances that are supposed to ensure justice when things go wrong. That responsibility does not rest on any one person or personality. Promises and assurances made by an individual, if not on paper and ratified by law, have about as much utility in a court of law as any jumla out there.

But the reason these personal assurances are handed out is not because those making them don’t know their words are wind. The assurances are made so that we would stop having expectations from the law and shift them over to personalities.

We are being programmed to think highly of people in power. We are being programmed to be okay with the subversion of democratic institutions. We are being programmed to think that even if a law is open to problematic interpretations, we are going to be fine because we can always go to maalik and ask for a few favours.

Attempts are being made to subsume our identity as citizens and turn us into subjects. We are being told, “That thing you think is important - the law, the system, the courts - don’t worry about them being turned into lifeless husks. It’s okay if they disappear. I will take care of you.”

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