The interesting thing about change is deciding its phasing and direction. While running an institution, a conglomerate, or a nation, a good deal of planning has to be executed in preparing for a change.
The considerations are obvious. No direction of change will be universally acclaimed. This is so because whatever the direction of change, some vested interests would have been negatively affected, and some vested interests will stand to gain. Be that as it may, it’s obvious that for the full impact of change to take place, even if one disagrees, those who disagree will have to allow change to happen.
If a determined group of people take it on their heads, to prevent the change from happening, there can be much trouble and, indeed, chaos. Usually, in such cases, even what is reasonable itself becomes open to debate.
Hence, a certain level of maturity, reasonableness, and tolerance is the bottom line of all group activity. A society gets indexed in this manner. The English society has several centuries of evolution and nearly two centuries of global rule, has shown this resilience in managing their internal differences.
Consider the coronation of King Charles III. His personal life was riddled with a lot of controversies, and some consider it even against the kind of conservative dignity that the British Royalty was meant to observe. When such a man is declared King and supposed to undergo a ceremonial coronation, obviously emotions will be raised. It is a compliment to the maturity of English society that the whole episode was handled with dignity and grace.
Those people of British populace who were in groups large enough to be recognised (i.e., more than a given number) made their point with quite dignity. They did not attempt to disrupt the coronation. Some of them held placards reading “Not My King.” A few of them did get rowdy and were appropriately handled. Their numbers were small and handled with dignity. They were quarantined and contained. Their protest was registered, and the ceremonies of coronation, went unimpeded. The roles and relationships of the English society while registering their differences agreed to co-exist. Those who did not believe in the royals could say what they wanted, but not in a disruptive manner. The method of protest and their containment seem typical in a large part.
In another context, it could have become ugly and put the community in a bad light. India, as a society much larger than the English, has handled its affairs mostly, with dignity. It is obvious that our numbers are running into the hundreds of crores. Size becomes important. The media also plays a role. The tremors can be felt, but it is important that they are not excessively disruptive or indiscreet.
Similarly, India seems to have handled its foreign affairs with a fair degree of dignity and imagination. Whether it was Party ‘X’ in power or Party Y, the foreign policies were largely similar. This was largely because India believes that in dealing with external powers, the people involved may change, but the goals remain the same.
Typically, India, being a powerful country, is still not among the five, top industrial countries. Nevertheless, it has managed to stay, almost consistently, equidistant from the global power centres. This has served the interests of the nation well and has prevented ugly jerks and ugly jolts when power changes hands.
Unfortunately, the handling of some of the domestic issues by some of the people of India has not shown the same aplomb. Language issues are characteristically vexatious. However, one must add that, by and large, in the last few months, the processes have shown a fair degree of maturity both in their manifestation and attempts at resolution. The timings of the various efforts have, often, been the same as a point needs a counter point. Even the location could have been related to getting some political mileage. The so called language controversy, is a case in point.It is for this reason that one gives thought to these concerns for maturity and sagacity. It is an index of collective thinking.
Typically, the timing of the ‘India-Bharat’ name issue seems to have been made more for political gains than anything else. It is clearly not a substantive issue, as would be the case with handling communal confrontations. As a people, one need to think about this issue,as much as of any other,with maturity and sagacity. Fishing in choppy waters is not always sensible, and the risks may be so high that the gains become dubious.
India that is Bharat, with its sanctity, depth and experience, needs to find solutions to its problems in a manner worthy of its heritage, reach and depth.