Worth the definition, because that is one word that runs the risk of ending as the most misrepresented word of modern times. Unfortunately, it does not offer itself to intellectual interpretations of high orders. Its misuse does not face resistance amongst the class of our society that proclaims itself as the torch bearers of thought process that we exhibit at this critical and transformational juncture in our history.
Cynicism. Pessimism. Even Vandalism. The existence in these oft repeated words in the same context insult the sanctity of the distant etymological relative which belongs to the same pedigree but may be regarded safely to be too distant to exhibit any considerable characteristic similar to the others, though at times the expression of each find vent in actions that look similar at the surface. And yet, in the era when we deem self-centeredness the synonym of “focus”, it is the gross lack of discontent that is the cause of not just the all-prevailing decadence that is spreading its tentacles through the minutest of crevices, but is also the cause of encouragement for all parasites that thrive on the indifference of masses.
1. Although now apparently a futile exercise, diligent discourses related to the subject will reveal that discontent is not just the manifestation of social stigmas playing on public opinion, it might well have the elements of the panacea which history waits for. History will teach us that all path-breaking achievements of societies were but the result of unrest against prevailing norms.
2. History also renders itself to the creation of an axiom that patriotism essentially finds its roots in unrest. However, it will also tell us that patriotism for some is “revolt” for others. Herein lies the debatable oxymoron; in our attempt to objectify that which is essentially subjective, we tend to lose the essence and what remains thereby is a mere corpse of the subject we chose to discuss.
3. Pardon the circumlocution I display here. For want of a better explanation, let’s confine ourselves only to the subject at hands.
The degree to which we are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is entirely dependent on whom we compare ourselves with. There is no denying that the masses in the country experience both unrecorded prosperity (going by recent history), and a positive outlook that was virtually non-existent in the post-independent India. Therefore we have come a long way. Also, despite the human tendency of exaggerating events that occur in one’s lifetime and considering them more important than they merit, it may be assumed that we as Indians face times that are both critical and decisive. Norms are being laid, that shall have repercussions in the days to come. A proud cultural heritage is seeing a transformation never witnessed anywhere in the history of humanity. It is thus vital that at this juncture, a clear definition towards the acceptability and the possible treatment of these essentially subjective matters is laid down in a fluid form. Somehow, however, it is only our future that remains to be “bright”. Somehow, that future just eludes us like a mirage, but never isolates us.
Let us face it. The Indian society lives in silos confined by water-tight compartments that differentiate us from the other members of our own society. The advent of the modern communication promises to challenge our fences. We have inherited much, but we have for long taken pride basking in the glory of the mediocrity that we seem to perpetually accept for ourselves. We have a heritage that is unparalleled elsewhere in the world. However, decadence of our own heritage has accumulated not in the form of a hillock but in the form of a mountain. And the only befitting analogy that I may offer here, for want of better creativity (sincere apologies yet again!) is that of discontent being an essential catalyst that may help the decadence turn to the compost that may (MAY!) help progress plummet above the decadence like a shoot, promising to be the harbinger of a better future.
Happily, the decentralization of information processing that is now imminent promises to arm us with potent weapons of intellectuality, as broadcasting one’s view and reaching out becomes easier for most of us. Not-so-happily, in the era when the empires are built with intellect and operate within intellect, it is alarming that we still have brokers and wielders of intellectual thought processes. Most of our society remains to be powerless in originating and pioneering the flourishing of ‘thoughts systems’ (if we may call it that). A rather alarming situation in a diverse society that is coming to terms with itself. Remember, the lack of discontent amongst us may not so much be a result of the progressive outlook as it may be of that stupor that those privileges and lethal few, who control our thoughts, impose upon us.
A brighter future has always beckoned us. And it is difficult to say that it has always eluded us. But we do not come forth as an ambitious lot. Never in history.
Thus, let us begin by amending an elementary flaw that we depict in all arguments that relates our society. A common agreement that all loosely formed groups reach when discussing all contentious societal issues is that nothing changes with their “tension lene se”. Let us begin with acknowledging that to be the blood and spleen of all patriotism, discontent and progress…the humble “tension lene se”.
That is more that everything that I had to say.
If this does not bring out enough disagreements within you, I don’t know if the purpose of the above arguments is defeated (because it brings forth no discontent), or does it accentuate the gross lack of discontent within our people?