The Price of a Revolution

The recently concluded elections in the US gives credence to
what H. L. Menken (1880-1956) predicted when he wrote:

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents,
more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and
glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s
desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright

There is much truth in the saying that a country deserves the
government it gets. It is a chilling realization that India is
not exempt from that general rule and we somehow deserve the
inept government we have had since the country became independent
in 1947. The collorary to the generalization must be that a
change in the quality of government can only come about as a
consequence to an improvement in the quality of the soul of
the people of India.

Fundamental change — whether in an individual or in a people —
is extremely hard. It is sometimes triggered by some external
event, mostly of a negative nature. Only when an individual is
confronted with the dire consequences of his past mistakes does
sufficient momentum for change accumulates and he makes a break
with his past. Wars and other catastrophes, natural or otherwise,
transform societies, and are called revolutions.

If you want to have a revolution, be prepared to pay the price
of a catastrophe.

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