In Algebra there is an obvious solution to all equations viz. all variables being of zero value. Though it is the obvious and universal solution to all algebraic equations, it is never accepted as the answer. We always look for the non-obvious solution.
Fortunately or unfortunately a similar tendency does not exist in the case of History. Most of the students of History look only for the obvious conclusion. We cannot think of a better example of this than the case of Hitler and his infamous Nazism. It is almost certain that Hitler will always remain in history, stamped as an unscrupulous dictator who killed millions of people on the basis of his wrong beliefs and ideology. Even his most sympathetic biographers will not dare to look closer at the reasons for an ordinary Hitler turning into an extra-ordinary villain in his last few years. Historians and biographers will always tend to conclude with the obvious reason of Hitler being a born villain.
There are leaders who have caused the death of more people than Hitler. What makes Hitler utterly hopeless is because he turned against one of the most powerful communities in the world. The displaced Jewish community had settled in many parts of the world and Germany happened to be one of their abodes. What they did and how they behaved in Germany was totally different from how they lived in India.
The case of Jews and Parsis in India is an all time favourite model for religious minorities anywhere in the world. We are still proud about India being one of the very few places where none of them were ever persecuted.
But it was not the case in Germany before the advent of Hitler. The richer and more powerful among the minority community were aggressively into the risky business of financing.
It is easy money and accumulation of wealth through easier means always leads to resentment. The situation is all the more risky if such resentment is building up within a majority community against a minority of migrants. How migration, encroachment and illegitimate accumulation of wealth can invite hatred towards communities is something our historians have always over looked. In the absence of such historical warnings, many such communities are busy digging their own graves in several parts of the world.
Migrant communities and ideologies are always treated with suspicion. Even in this twenty first century, there are nations where certain people and isms are not allowed to enter. But it has never been the case in India. From time immemorial, the native ideologies had advocated a policy of open mind and intellectual thirst for imbibing all that is good from anywhere in the world. One of the most significant Indian contributions to the world is the concept of a ‘secular’ religion, an apparently unachievable concept now. In modern context it is like having source code along with the software. Everyone is at a liberty to worship anything just like he or she can modify the software to suit his or her requirements. Freedom had a much deeper meaning in ancient India than anywhere else in the world. But several communities and individuals advocating alien ideologies, concepts and practices are changing all that in contemporary India.
In a society full of diversity as in India, the minimum expected of each group is to keep their demands and aspirations within legitimate limits. No group member can blame others for coming under physical and psychological attack, if their group consisting of merely 25% of the population in a province comes to occupy 75% of all top positions, wealth, land and facilities. The disproportionate demand for limited resources by discrete groups in a diverse society will never be tolerated whatever be the underlying logic and reasons. The social entropy that gets aggravated by unjustifiable demands of people in minority in any crowd is the spark for many bloody riots. A similar scenario is bound to emerge in any society or nation where greed for wealth and thirst for power drives an organised minority into a frenzy of seemingly unchallenged success against other unorganised minorities and the majority.
One of the clearest indications of a group of greedy people is their tendency to encroach into another’s or no-man’s land. This tendency is widely seen in many parts of India where demography is critically divided into powerful groups or when the ruling governments have an inherent weakness for taking tough actions. One look at the list of encroachers in any area is enough to conclude about the nature of such greedy encroachers. Many a time it is an organised attempt by an organised few belonging to an organised section. Their forefathers had tasted victory in this path and their godfathers are prompting them to conquer the land and the nation. ‘Organise and revolt’ was a noble slogan that empowered the underdogs everywhere around the world. But ‘organise and encroach’ is an ill-conceived strategy that will only fetch barren land but no nation.
Encroachments are not always limited to land alone. Desire for anything that is outside the realm of legitimacy is greed and attempting to get them by any means is encroachment. In India we can see this happening in many fields such as education, business, health services etc., etc. There is an organised attempt by organised communities to establish monopoly status in some of these key areas with an agenda to dominate others. The garb of social service for such shady attempts is an age old technique introduced by the missionaries in Africa and Asia. It was no doubt successful for a long time but not any more. The net effect of such dubious social service is the spread of same disease among other communities as well. Service with strings attached is no more paying for the monopolisers of charity. They are beginning to realise that sowing hatred will only result in harvest of more hatred.
It may be surprising but it is a simple truth that hate is easier invited than love. This logic grows directly out of another truth that it is easier to destroy than create. Creating love for you and your community in others’ mind requires that extra effort, whereas hate is easily invited by just one negative gesture. Sometimes years of confidence and love are destroyed by just one wrong step. Limiting one’s own aspirations to what is proportionately due and imparting the same lessons to the next generation are the best methods for any minor group to earn the love and respect of majority. That is exactly what we have seen in the lives of Parsis and Jews in India. And perhaps that was one of the main reasons why we never produced a Hitler in India, but a Mahatma Gandhi.