Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Wait

Is our world essentially made up of good people or bad people? That is a question that has plagued philosophers from a long long time. I think you will agree with me, if I were to say that being good or bad for most people is a temporary state and we are all good or bad at some point or time. Is violence of any form good? Is fighting a war good? A war for a good cause perhaps.

Due to our increased interference with environment it is apparent that we are opening windows to alternate worlds or our forces of projection are becoming so powerful so as to force reality. A couple of years back, a strange young man was suddenly seen somehwere around Bangalore. He was wearing an attire never seen in those parts before, a wrap around of some sort and heavily armored. His crown was made of pure gold and was armed to the teeth. Even from a distance it was easy to tell that this man belonged to some class of nobility, a class that does not possibly exist right now. When he was caught by the police, he was carrying a bagful of antique gold coins and had claimed to be a king. The police claimed he was an antique thief.

The picture of him was too authentic, so I went to meet him. One rarely gets to meet different people these days. The jailer told me that "king" knew that people wanted to meet him and the authorities had made long visiting hours possible. I was led through a few corridors and soon was being led to the main library. The jailer and his men had taken a liking to this "king" and had given him the largest accommodation, library. They had managed to find a bit of antique furniture and through a real antique smuggler and had arranged all of these to resemble a court for the king. One of the other jail inmates was reading something to the self-proclaimed king when I entered the court. The king welcomed me warmly and said it was important to treat travelers like me very well because we were the only history that people would refer to eventually. Written history in the same kingdom will have the bias of the winner and oral histories would be corrupted. It was important that I wrote about him. I told him that it had to be a story worth writing about.

He claimed to be Pulakesin II, the great Chalukya emperor. Taking that on face value was difficult enough, but the guy either had enormous wealth or was a sorcerer considering what he had converted the jail into. Human beings innately want to be led, they need a larger sense of purpose of living their lives. People like me provide the channel. A long time back me and my minister had concluded that the sum total of the number of people who are willing to fight and die was infinite and the sum total number of people who could lead their people into that fight was limited. So, it is easy to entice foot soldiers into dying for whatever cause they are drilled into whereas the generals need opportunities to create the events. He had found that the world now had billions of people, the concept of the world and his people was amusing to him. The current generals are doing a bad job he said, people need to believe that theirs is the only single society that had stood the test of time and there was only darkness around. It was important to propagate this so that the people remain under control. He was reading lot and this sort of control was best served through democracy, give people a semblance of choice and they will always feel contented. He held referendums at the drop of a hat and never lost any.

He would now prepare an army and attack I told him about being organized as nation states and that it would be future to attack another state (Pulakesin was reading maps and history to find out what happened to the clans he hated) and Pulakesin had a hearty laugh. I was not getting the point, going to war was an end in itself. It was in him and it was in every person that had a few followers. If an opportunity of attack persisted, he would attack. Otherwise it was important to let everyone knwow that you are ready, have an army and are ready to attack. The some total of violent people had to be constant, someone would get violent enough soon.

Last I heard Pulakesin was still waiting for the war, though he was member of parliament now.

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