Friday, May 24, 2024


It is said: it takes all sorts to make the world. Indeed it does. But it is never said that we must or need to let “all sorts” to sit on our heads and direct and dictate our destinies. That said, let us look at a few “sorts” that have gained so much attention primarily due to “modern” psychology, media, power, wealth and technology. “Sort 1” always and inevitably blames others for everything ~ they are never at fault. In fact, they are perfect and do no wrong. However wrong and/or guilty they are, they always have an excuse and a justification. This “sort” blooms during election campaigns. These are dangerous “sorts” because they can, and do, turn black into white and chalk into cheese. The problem is that there are more gullible people than this “sort”, who actually believe that black can be turned to white and chalk to cheese. “Sort 2” are those who can conveniently erase their past and reinvent themselves into paragons of democratic, sometimes secular and all the time constitutional virtues. They have the knack to say the right thing at the right time in the right occasion ~ forgetting they give the impression of being “rehearsed persons”, as in rendering dialogues in the play or movie. “Sort 3” are those who direly need a hero, an idol, a leader, who will absolve them of past transgressions. So “Sort 3” bends over backwards to show repentance and atonement for their not-so-emulative past. Then the “Sort 4”, who cannot bear to be on the losing side and doesn’t think twice about selling and re-selling their souls to devils and demons that have the penchant to re-mould, re-shape and utilize over-sold souls. “Sort 5” demeans, dehumanizes and debase people they don’t like and see as a threat to their personal, professional, public and political existence. This “sort” actually appropriates the right to do so unapologetically ~ in fact, they actually believe that they have the divine right to disparage people they don’t like and fear by any means. They believe that anything and everything is fair in war; peace is anathema to this “sort”. All these “sorts” are extremely enamoured of power and its concomitants such as wealth and fame. So, obviously these “sorts” are attention-seekers and spouting the most shocking is one of their tactics to stay “relevant”. Time was when such “sorts” were put in their places, as it were, with what was understood to be the necessary discipline and chastisement. These days, “modern” psychology advocates that we treat them with kid gloves and pander to their whims and fancies so as to ‘reform’ them but these “sorts” are incorrigible simply because (1) they don’t want to be reformed, (2) they thrive in the attention their character, their nature, their behavior and their conduct attracts. So then “modern” psychology would say that “poor things, it is not their fault because of (1) their home environment during their growing stage, (2) their childhood experiences”. In the process, “modern” psychology ignores and/or down-plays the consequences of over-indulged and badly brought up people and turns on its head centuries of early childhood discipline and character-building. These consequences have an extremely telling and indelible impact on the present and future trajectories of any nation. Past Emperors, Kings, Viceroys, Prime Ministers and numerous other political and public leaders have all left their imprints on today’s India. Therefore, there can be no nation-building without character-building ~ inversely, there can be no nation-destroying without character-destroying. While today, on the eve of the 18th Lok Sabha elections, we are confounded with a barrage of “reasons” why voters should vote this or that political party/candidate, perhaps our focus should be more on character than “charisma”. It is not the past or who did and said what or claims to have done this or that or promises to do this or that within this many years (its politicians’ nature to promise, anyway) but the character of political parties/candidates that will direct and determine the future of this nation. It would also be a great loss for this nation is we allow it to be led by “sorts’ that haven’t yet let go of childhood anguish and teenage angst. Those who cannot let go of the past cannot lead to the future. The primacy of character cannot be over-emphasized.