I have always supported laissez faire as an economic theory as well as a political and social tool in life. But in a strange way I miss the slightly over the top Governmental policies of the seventies, nonaligned era in which the Central govt. made a special effort to reach out to the African nations and condemn the then racist regime of South Africa. Of course it was all well-orchestrated and exaggerated but at the very least it sensitized the powers to be and the bureaucracy at that point in time that India would not tolerate racism and would stand shoulder to shoulder with their African brothers and sisters.
Sadly today that same kind of will and resolve has considerably whittled down, especially in those who rule us. The AAP intervention in Khirki village is a case in point. Would it ever be conceivable in the seventies that a minister would lead a mob and hurl real and imagined charges and molest African women?
The truth is and we all know that that we are a deeply racial society though we tend to be in denial of this fact. The only saving grace is that at least officially we have always said the right things, taken up the right causes internationally and put our weight, money, resources and even troops behind the right international causes such as abolition of racism. But now a governmental intervention in the opposite direction threatens to undo all the good work of the past. The AAP has shown that to gather more votes and cheap publicity it can play around and disregard policies that have always given India the moral edge in international affairs.
In a sense as we move forward in the new century and grapple with new style politics and a new paradigm we are becoming more brutish, less refined and completely insular and selfish in a new age of technological advancement. The irony of these contradictions is the stuff of TV debates but it is all too real and it is affecting people in real time and now.