Populist Political Force: A Major Hindrance to Progress

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Dr. Md. Afsar Ali

‘Survival of the fittest’ – a famous phrase originated from Darwinian evolutionary theory recently stirred the whole world. Fitness means quality in terms of intellectual superiority and excellence in performance in any positive domain of human endeavour. As per the phrase, mere fitness will not work; rather the intellectual and performing fittest person would only survive. There is no guarantee for the others, the mediocre to even survive.

For every social creature, leadership is a must. Naturally the best among the folk /society leads the rest. This is known as natural selection – the law of nature. As nature is the source and symbol of truth, uniqueness, permanence, originality, purity, sanctity, success and durability, all goodness which everybody and every society aspires for; so, nature’s laws including this one of leadership by the best is the unique and unavoidable one. So, the best quality rules – is the inherent and unavoidable way of our existence, forget progress. Any other mechanism or experimentation here certainly will tantamount violating nature’s sacrosanct law and thus will have to bear the wrath of nature – which certainly will be unbearable to us, being a mere just creature of nature!

The best quality is the driving force of civilization, progress, excellence and even of our existence. Human civilization progressed from its raw-meat-eating inception to today’s micro-oven cooking stage just by dint of its quality – in cognitive and psychomotor domains. No creature, except the human being, out of lakhs of God’s creation could establish its civilization. This very exceptional achievement became possible only due to the intellectual superiority of the human being. That proves beyond doubt the indispensability of quality in survival and progress. Anything good is scarce. Nature honours goodness by producing it in small quantity. Platinum mine is rarer than the gold mine, which again is rarer than the iron mine. That means, good quality people will never be large in number in any society at any point of time. They are always in minority, better to say in micro-minority.

The best quality should lead us. It is tantamount to say that the minority or the micro-minority should lead us. This statement goes directly in 180 degree contradiction with the modern world’s much acclaimed political theory of majoritarian democracy. Although, democracy means representation and democratic rule means rule based on the opinion of all the sections of the population. This representative mode of ruling is functioning in a large number of countries worldwide. But, in some countries including India this true democracy is not operational. Here, majoritarian democracy is in operation meaning rule based on the opinion of the majority population governs the system. Majority masses in any system do not possess good quality in any field of human endeavour. Political leadership is an important field of human excellence. So, only the best quality of person is suitable for this challenging task. But in majoritarian democracy quality is compromised badly to please the majority, i.e., the mediocre. The common, average persons are being placed in the position of torchbearer of civilization but alas none can discharge beyond his /her capacity. If, A wants to give Rs 10 to B, then the prime condition is that A must possess Rs 10, at the least. The poor quality leaders rule leading poor quality governance, which leads us nowhere.

We are living in a globalized world of stiff competition where every country, every society and even every individual is round-the-clock in tough competition with each other. The arsenals for this type of competition are quality of intellect as well as quality of performance. Those who will nurture these arsenals better will win the battle of existence, progress and honour. We instead are nurturing and pleasing not the quality, but the mediocrity, the majority. Pleasing majority ensures majority votes in favour of the political party, which ensures political power to rule. Political power is the mother of all powers which we need for our better life. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar rightly said, “Political power is the master key”. Quite expectedly, in order to take control of this master key, everybody throws their hats on the ring. Yes, apparently there is no problem for the good quality people to be the competitor for political power. But their main disadvantage is they being good quality do not belong to the majority. So, soon they loss the ground when comes the matter of majority’s support. Consider an example of a class-monitor election in a school. Suppose, out of 50 students in the class 24 are of good quality and deserve to be the leader, and 26 students harbor negative qualities harmful to the class and school and obviously none of them deserves to be the leader. If the teacher applies majoritarian democratic norms for electing the class monitor, none can stop election of one out of these 26 wicked students as the monitor, i.e., the leader of all 50 in the class because, he/she belongs to majority population in the class. Brush-off quality, majoritarian democracy never accounts quality. Quality is brushed-off from functioning in our present populist political system.

Imagine the fate of that class with the wicked person elected as the leader! Yes, the wicked one will be elected as he /she is the natural leader of his /her own pack, i.e. of the majority wicked ones. Majority rules, not the quality. Number rules, not the goodness or capability. The best quality is forced to be the back-bencher! Whereas, best quality’s natural position was that of a torchbearer, frontrunner or leader.

Thus, a clash is inherent between those who nurture quality and those who nurture the opposite and in this clash, contrary to natural rule, the negative, evil types of later category forces win, thanks to the patronage by our populist political forces with the evil intention, as it is majority with the number. That means negativity is getting stronger, ruler, dictator. Whereas, positivity, quality, capability etc. all goodness getting replaced, neglected, unnourished, and even suffocated to death – if their ‘political requirement’ is so.

It is human tendency to belong to average or mediocre. Every one, in general, likes easy pleasure; avoids responsibility and hard work. Mediocre people are in majority who lead and rule. But, being mediocre they can’t be exceptionally good to be the leader. So, this majoritarian populist political system fails to provide capable leader. The mediocre quality takes control on the opinions of the mediocre quality majority people.

In the conspicuous black out of goodness in this way, the future seems bleak. Neglecting and destroying the only arsenal of struggle for existence, the intellect and cultivating mediocrity in this global world of stiff competition would lead us nowhere, it seems.

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