Pragmatic | No Bhakti in politics

Another Ambedkar warning. On Hero-worship.

In his seminal speech in the Constituent Assembly on 15 November 1949, Dr. Ambedkar warned of three dangers to India’s future as a democratic republic. The first was the danger of Grammar of Anarchy which has been invoked often in recent months due to Mr. Hazare’s movement. As Gujarat Chief Minister Mr Narendra Modi sits on his three-day Sadbhavana fast, it is time to remind some of his supporters of the second warning given by Dr. Ambedkar.

The second thing we must do is to observe the caution which John Stuart Mill has given to all who are interested in the maintenance of democracy, namely, not “to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or to trust him with power which enable him to subvert their institutions”. There is nothing wrong in being grateful to great men who have rendered life-long services to the country. But there are limits to gratefulness. …This caution is far more necessary in the case of India than in the case of any other country. For in India, Bhakti or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship, plays a part in its politics unequalled in magnitude by the part it plays in the politics of any other country in the world. Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship.[Link]

Pay heed to these words: Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship.

Related posts: “For the people” not sufficient, Don’t blame the Constitution


DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.