One of the major offshoots in USA from the recent shooting incident involving a Muslim Major in an American base is the raging debate on political correctness. If we analyse the incident and the issue involved we will be surprised about the lack of such a debate in India where such terrorist incidents are of far greater dimensions and that too when it has been happening for so many decades now. Except for the last few months, it was becoming far more easy to predict serial bomb blasts in India that kills hundreds of innocent people than making weather predictions. At one point of time many of us even believed that Today’s Terrorist Toll (TTT) will become an integral part of all news bulletins like Exchange Rates and Gold Prices. But Indians have become far more disposed to pain and sufferings than our American brothers thanks to our inclusiveness and the special brand of secularism (aptly termed pseudo-secularism) that we have developed in modern India.
In a democracy, being politically correct is far more important for politicians to attract votes in elections. Each and every politician is important in a democracy and capturing power to rule is the foremost goal of political parties. Each political party has a declared objective, but it is hardly of any use when it comes to electoral battles. Hypocrisy is the hallmark of parties and politicians in any democracy and political correctness is the height of hypocrisy. For example, no Indian politician will dare say candidly that religious conversion is nothing but silent terrorism. He or she knows for sure that electoral victory is lost forever if it is said so. The highly powerful organized religious outfits will ensure that such a honest politician never sees the state assembly or central parliament. Thus political correctness is such a treacherous and harmful attribute that runs in all democracies. To reflect its negative quality more markedly it should have been termed as political ‘corruptness’ rather than political correctness.
Most of the politicians and autocratic rulers are ultimately concerned only about their own seats. Getting more support than their equally adharmic competitors, capturing and clinging on to power by any means have become the sole intention of those who come to rule. Irrespective of the size and scale, this is the actual situation in any country where elections are held. They always tend to side with their support available enbloc just like the organized religious minorities in India and America irrespective of whatever misdeeds they indulge in. Be it miniscule groups planting bombs and killing innocents under the name of Jihad or religious poachers attempting subversion by demographic conversions, the rulers always tend to side with them because of the solid support base they can command. Politicians in a democracy always forget the fact that enbloc votes are assured from such groups only because of the lack of democracy within them. But only those who can appear politically correct can be assured of victory in today’s elections, especially in democracies having universal adult franchise.
Anything truly correct must pass the acid test of being fair, just and sustainable. This is exactly what is covered under the term of dharma in Sanatana Dharma. Being dharmic is to be associated only with fair, just and sustainable deeds and words. If we can accept such a correct definition for correctness, the correct stand in politics must always be one in support of dharma. Repeating untruth in order not to offend the few who are always offending us and not taking stands that can nurture the positive elements in a society are definitely not part of dharma or correctness. Politicians who go on to become rulers in a democracy must be siding with dharmic forces if their ultimate intention is betterment of society, nation and the whole world. Unfortunately that is not always the case. The real tragedy in all democracies is that political correctness has become an unavoidable pre-requisite for attaining leadership.
Unquestioned political correctness is the single most reason for the fast degeneration of democracy into a not-so-preferred option for governance. If the essence of democracy is rule according to majority will it must support and nurture the dharmic aspirations of the majority. This should always be the case, irrespective of whether it is to the like or dislike of those in minority. Present day phenomena of majority will always yielding to the more organized unjust demands of those in minority may be political correctness but morally adharmic. Electoral systems in most functioning democracies are failing to come up with ideas to defeat the organized might of those in minority wanting to impose their unreasonable demands. Instead of ensuring a rule according to majority will, democracies have become majority rule according to minority will. Practicing dharma in politics is the only way to bring back the losing legitimacy for democratic governments.
Beauty of dharma lies in its applicability in each and every aspect of our life. If something is dharmic it means it is the best option. In politics too it is the best option to rekindle the spirit of democracy that is inbuilt in every human being. Being dharmic in political activities means the words and deeds are for the betterment of society. Those which are required are sustained and those which are blocking our dharmic progress are to be destroyed. This principle of dharma is equally applicable in the case of concepts and individuals. Kauravas and their organized unjust activities were equally adharmic for the betterment of human society at that time and both were eliminated without any other consideration. It is time for considering the same option in the case of democracy and politics as it is practiced today.
India and USA are considered as the biggest and strongest democracies in the world. No wonder that the tragedy of political correctness has taken its biggest toll in these two countries. If it is difficult in USA to get Congress approval for send more troops to crush Jihadi terrorism, it is far more difficult in India to get any law passed in Indian parliament for a complete ban on religious conversion by coercion or a uniform civil code. Both the issues are destroying the very basis of these secular nations, but the will of the majority is unable to do anything because of the pressure on elected representatives to appear politically correct to those holding minority opinion. A totally wrong notion is preventing the duly elected and authorized setup from doing what it is supposed to do. The only way for genuine democracy to flourish is by arranging a deep burial for the abhorrent concept of political correctness.