Ruling a banana republic does not require special qualifications
Item: Captain John Wright, 58, is retiring as a senior pilot. He has had a distinguished flying career with 35 years of sitting in the left hand seat in the cockpit, much of it of heavies like the Boeing 747s and Airbus 340s. But it’s time that he hangs up his wings and retires from a job well done. Bluesky Air, the airline that Captain Wright served so competently, has announced that on Capt Wright’s retirement next month, his seat will be occupied by his son Jack. Jack will move from his job as a janitor at Burger King to be the chief pilot at Bluesky Air. He will fly the planes that his father flew.
Lots of interesting things happening around the world and in India. Those assembly elections were interesting — if you go for that sort of thing; I don’t. The expected death of that great South African leader Nelson Mandela. An interesting ruling by the Supreme Court of India, etc. It basically goes against the most important principle of human social behavior — don’t poke your nose into things that don’t concern you. You mind your
expletive business and I will mind my expletive business. Be that as it may, here’s what I tweeted recently. Take a look at them. And leave a comment if there’s something on your mind that I should know about. Here are the tweets that may be interesting.
Social media has a derogatory term for people who enthusiastically support the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). They are called “AAPtards”. Perhaps retards is a little too extreme; maybe these people are merely seriously deluded, gullible, somewhat ignorant, easily misled, et cetera, et cetera. But that’s not the worst of it. Kejriwal is a serious threat to the possibility of India giving the Maino-led UPA a quick burial. Here’s why —
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people’s lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at creating around it an absolute uniformity of type. Unselfishness recognises infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it. It is not selfish to think for oneself. A man who does not think for himself does not think at all. It is grossly selfish to require of one’s neighbour that he should think in the same way, and hold the same opinions. Why should he? If he can think, he will probably think differently. If he cannot think, it is monstrous to require thought of any kind from him.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man and Prison Writings
Nelson Mandela’s death is an appropriate occasion to reflect on the fact that apartheid is no longer a state policy in South Africa. And also to recognize that the accounts of the death of apartheid are quite exaggerated.
What exactly is apartheid? The Merriam-Webster defines it as “a former social system in South Africa in which black people and people from other racial groups did not have the same political and economic rights as white people and were forced to live separately from white people.” It is the systematic and legally enforced segregation of people.
A society that has lost its sense of proportion and a sense of justice is doomed. This should make us weep out of frustration and compassion for the unfortunates who are caught in the whirlpool of injustice. It makes me sick to my stomach to even write about this.
I had posted this piece to Niti Central exactly a month ago. Now it is time to put it here. Still reads ok, I think.
This is the continuation of the previous piece on the government creating and profiting from conflict. This piece was originally published at Niti Central on Dec 3rd. Here it is, for the record. Continue reading
This question has bothered me for a long time: Why are there riots and other forms of social unrest in India? Are Indians intrinsically unsocial or is there a structural reason for this? What is it in its political makeup that there is inter-group conflict? I explored that question in a piece I wrote for Niti Central a few days ago. I am posting it here, for the record.