Friday, August 26, 2016
Serendipity -- building a case for why freebies are important for a democracy
To be able to cultivate in our country innovation, research and winnings in the Olympic games we will have to focus ourselves on understanding the importance of ‘free carrots’ to a free-spirited, free-will democracy.
Understanding the contributions of ‘Free-carrots’ to a democratic society is important so that we may stop ourselves from cussing its proponents with the arguments such as “wasting the precious resources of society” or the anecdote of socialist marking of examination sheet done by a professor in a class. We need to understand the fallacy in the argument which says that the freebies to the people are wastage of social resources, and an unjustified distribution of the profits earned by hard working people to lazy people.
Have you ever wondered as to who spends for those lion and snake stories that we so regularly watch on science channels as the Discovery Channel and the NatGeo. Who pays and why does he pay to go to Africa to research on those animals and those impoverished people. How did the humans chance upon the study of wasteful subjects as history and the fossils in the archeology? Have you ever wondered as to what form of cost went into sending a “knowingly” waste voyager as Ferdinand Magellan or Christopher Columbus to the ‘edge of the earth’ where he would fall off the surface, then never to return- neither their own life nor the cost of putting their voyage? And do we appreciate the currency of the cost recovery after investing in such wasted sectors?
America which is known as an abode of inventions, and where all these above activities so regularly happen has typically described the salient feature of their ‘inventing and exploring habit’ by a word, ‘SERENDIPITY’.
Serendipity means when a person has *accidentally* found something when there was no intention to search that thing. Do we know that the word ‘Serendipity’ has an interesting relation with India? It comes from the Sanskrit word “charan” which means legs of a person. In the olden times, the western explorers often landed on the island south of India, then know by the name “charan dweep”. Owning to linguistic accent issues, they called it “serene dweep” and used the idea to describe the event of accidental discoveries.
In modern times, the sociologists have used the idea in the word “Serenedeep” to understand and explain the causation how America and the west world had become an abode of inventions, discoveries and explorations. They call the cultural idea as “Serendipity”.
Today, we the Indians need to understand the cultural idea and its close relation with Economic system which is practiced in a country, because the economic systems are themselves the result of the political ideas prevailing within a country. Serendipity occurs in the form of a “habit” or in other words a “cultural occurrence”. This cultural habit has been seen in those countries where the frees spirit people have not been tamed down by reasons such as autocratic political administrative systems, or alternately the impoverished economic policies, such as the socialism and the communism. Of course, capitalism is as bad an economic system. The West has kept the balance between the extremes of free-will democracy and the chained-spirit of Communism, or the heavily regulated society through a system of control different from ours here in India. The west has largely practiced the free-spirit political administrative system called as the Democracy, and they have managed to preserve the social evenness by way of adopting *mechanism of control* in the Judicial system, instead of the Economic policy system, which our “socialist democracy” of India has done. By changing the site of putting the controlling device, that is, by putting controls in the Economic System, (Socialist economics such as the Five Years plans, yojna-systems) it is the people who are put in control instead of the Governments. I think that characteristics of the true democracy is that it is the governments which need to be controlled, not the people. Comparably, we see that judicial outcomes in the west has resulted in such as high voltage penalties awarded by the judicial systems as in the Exxon Valdez oil disaster, or the famous ‘Erin Brockovich”. This choice of site for putting the control mechanism has been better idea because, first, it eliminates the disgruntlement of unjustified distribution of profits and, second, it has forced the splurge of money into the directions which opens the path for serendipity to happen. The second purpose can be contrasted with the other choice of site wherein it has resulted in wasted splurges such as the constructions of large expensive personal living mansions, extravagant wedding processions, the politically-motivated historical monuments, or political funding so to keep the location of control mechanism intact and then acquire more riches.
Administrative systems which have concentrated on controlling the people have become nothing but another feudalistic, narcissistic substitutions of the past. The rule of law has remained absent in these systems as the way it was in the dark era of the past.
Political and economic theories researched by greats like Amartya Sen seems to another repetition of the same idea, which I have stumbled on from my own observations and life experiences.
Therefore, the moot idea is that the we need to bring about economic emancipation to our people before we may start demanding of our systems to become progressive or developed. That is the method of triggering the Serendipity habit in our culture. We cannot allow ourselves to get entangled in the chicken-first-or-egg-first query by raising questions as to how useful are the freebies for the people. We all observe in common as to what are symptoms of the wrong happening with our system. The likes of Chetan Bhagat, or even Salman Khan and Shilpa Shetty seem to make commentary of what is wrong with India, —the symptoms. We differ in our approach of the cure, because our diagnosis from the observed symptoms are different from each other. Freebies in a democratic society are important in certain sectors, as contrasted with how some other religious states do it arbitrarily for other reasons. Maybe the idea of freebies confuses up with free-religious charities in some theocratic states. Hence we feel averse with freebies, which is wrong.
To sum it up, -- there is fallacy in the argument which says that the freebies to the people are wastage of social resources, and an unjustified distribution of the profits earned by hard working people to lazy people.