The Aiyar-Asaram school of thought – Ravi Shanker Kapoor

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On the face of it, there is not much common between senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar and Guru Asaram Bapu. But you have to dig a bit deep to find the commonalities.

Let’s begin with the trivial ones. Both were born in 1941 in what is now Pakistan―Aiyar in Lahore and Asaram at Nawabshah. Aiyar’s father was a chartered accountant and mother later became a teacher. Asaram, however, didn’t need any parents but for a very technical reason that he had to arrive on the planet Earth. Being God incarnate, he chose them. As his website says, “The God (sic) is inscrutable… When God decides to come down to make the world rise out of ignorance, He, in his compassion, assumes an embodied form; and blessed are those whom He selects as His parents. Shri Thaumal Sirumalani and his consort Mehgiba were indeed so blessed.” In short, Asaram “blessed” his own parents.

Both the politician and the godman are capable of making shocking statements. But what really makes them doctrinally kindred is their belief in the corrigibility of man. They believe that corrigibility is infinite; howsoever depraved and cruel a human being may be, he or she can be reformed by reason and persuasion.

Consider Aiyar’s attitude towards Pakistan. The government and people―at any rate, a large section of people―of Pakistan may be determined to wipe India off the map. It’s a lie that terrorism in our western neighbor is the handiwork of a ‘handful’ of mad mullahs; it’s a lie mouthed by Left-libbers like Aiyar. For, if they don’t peddle such mendacity, they would not be able to run the multi-million dollar peace industry.

So, Aiyar asserts that the dialogue with Pakistan should be “uninterrupted and uninterruptible.” The Pakistanis aid and arm jihadists, send terrorists to slaughter our citizens, torture our soldiers, bomb our cities, attack our Parliament, and even refuse to acknowledge any wrongdoing. But we should continue the dialogue regardless of their unconscionableness. Someday, somehow, they will develop a conscience; we shall wait for that day.

Like the communist theoreticians who never tell the faithful when would the ideal classless society dawn, Aiyar refuses to tell us when would the Pakistanis mend their ways. When asked by television anchor about the suitability of the ‘peace process’ in view of the incident in which the head of a killed Indian soldier was chopped off by Paki thugs, the Nehruvian leader said that it was to avoid the recurrence of such incidents that the process should continue.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast―at least in Aiyar’s heart. The hope is about corrigibility of every human heart―even of those who pierced the eyes and ears of Capt Saurabh Kalia, beheaded the jawan and took the head as a trophy, and butchered the innocent people in the 26/11 attacks. Someday, somehow, they will develop human sensitivities.

There is a stanza in the famous song Dil Ke Armaan aansuon mein baha gaye from movie Nikaah (1982), Shayad Unka Aakhri Ho Yeh Sitam/Har Sitam Yeh Sochkar Hum Seh Gaye. So, we shall hope that every atrocity the Pakistani brutes perpetrate is the last one. Someday, somehow…

Asaram, too, has infinite faith in the innate goodness of human heart. Commenting on the Delhi gang-rape victim, he said, “The girl should have taken God’s name and could have held the hand of one of the men and said, ‘I consider you my brother’ and to the other two, she should have said, ‘Brothers, I am helpless. You are my brothers, my religious brothers.’ Then the misconduct wouldn’t have happened.”

How innovative! The idea is same: don’t give up the dialogue. Continue the ‘peace process’! Just say, ‘I consider you my brother.’ And evil will evaporate!

It is not difficult to see where such idiocy is rooted in―Mahatma Gandhi’s thoughts. Gandhi had many strong points, but profundity and reasoned contemplation were not among them. Most of his thoughts were a mishmash of the ideas of philosophers and authors. Nor is he considered a great thinker; you just have to go through his seminal work, The Hind Swaraj, to realize how limited he was in matters cerebral.

But Gandhi at least had the strength of character. Unfortunately, the likes of Aiyar and Asaram, instead of drawing lessons from his fortitude and moral fiber, derive their ideas from Gandhi’s ludicrous and moribund theories. Worse, such political and religious leaders often succeed in imposing their rotten ideas on the nation and society, thus nurturing a culture of appeasement. Always please evil, be it a bloodthirsty jihadist on the border or a sex-crazed ruffian in a city bus. Because someday, somehow…

Appeasers only bring misery and hardships bring to mankind, for their preposterous ideas weaken people’s resolve to fight evil. What makes the matters worse is the disingenuousness of the Aiyars and the Asarams by which they clothe their opinions in meretricious phraseology. They take recourse to terms like ‘peaceful coexistence’ and ‘harmony.’ But, as Winston Churchill said, “There is no greater mistake than to suppose that platitudes, smooth words, and timid policies offer a path to safety.”

The path to torture chamber is paved with platitudes, smooth words, and timid policies. The journey seems to be uninterrupted and uninterruptible.

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