Have you ever wondered why people get so violent on trivial matters and support some highly illogical ideology? Have you ever thought why it's easier to gather mob to spread violence than to gather 10 people to plant trees? Have you ever tried to understand why riots on the basis of religion, region or caste get support from 'educated' or so called 'civilized society' ?
The answer my friend is...Politics of fear! As a child, most of us have faced the politics of fear when our parents make us do things they want us to do by spreading fear of ghost, cockroach, punishment, police or some really weird animal which actually doesn't exist...! Unfortunately, the politics of fear isn't restricted to families. This politics is actually used by our political and religious leaders on massive scale. World over, leaders create fear among people to divide people and win elections by polarizing votes, silent all crucial questions raised by common people against the administration (poverty, corruption, unemployment etc) or to gain support in favor of dictatorship or sometimes even to sale their products! (Yes products! Don't we know how few powerful counties sale their weapons to other countries by fearing the word on the name of terrorism?!)
We know how religion, caste, regionalism become so important to people as soon as we witness elections in our country. 'There will be a massive threat of the existence of XYZ religion if ABC party comes to power' 'we need leader of 'our' caste so that he/she can protect our community' 'This election is a battle to protect the pride of our state' 'There is a threat from neighboring country and only one leader can save our country' 'Democracy has not helped this country. We need "powerful" leader'. We do hear such statements very often. Many feel that such statements or ideology do not make much of the damage but such ideology plant fear among common people. Also Such fear questions the existence of common people constantly and when this fear reaches to its saturation point, what all it need is a trigger to fire. Fear plays very important role in spreading all kinds of ideologies in our society. Sometime, fear is the biggest enemy of logic. The root causes of recent incidences in India and elsewhere in the world is fear. Ones insecurity/fear becomes a threat to another.
The question is how to we combat the politics of fear? Fear can be combated only by spreading security and safety. And that will be possible only when we as human come out of various masks of identity. We need to see ourselves and other humans above any religious identities, caste based identity and even national identity. If my religious, caste and nationalist identity don't matter to me then how are you going to make me scared? If I just see myself as human then I will be left with only one fear and that Is death which in any case everybody is going to face one day. We must come out of our 'all social identities' and we must start accepting diversity. The more we accept diversity the more we will feel secure with different people and different culture around us.
Remember what Gandhiji said "our fear is our biggest enemy". Do remember this line before you fall on the trap of politics of fear !
About author: Gaurang is the co-founder and currently the managing trustee of Sauhard. He strongly strongly advocates principles of equality and social inclusion.