The State of the Master Science in South Asia

The State of the Master Science in South Asia
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Furthermore, The great Greek philosopher, Aristotle , wrote his treatise Politics in order to develop an organized field of political science as a separate branch of study. He called it the master science, that field of knowledge on which all the other branches of life and the branches of study are dependent upon. Politics and political science indeed are important for the overall development, progress and prosperity of nations. Not only in the Greek city state but in the modern nation states, the importance of politics is great and immense.
Well organized political organizations at all the levels of human association are sure guarantees that the rest of the fields are also developed and better performing. Contrarily, where politics is not working well none of the other branches of life can be efficient. While surveying different states and countries of the world, it can be deciphered that those countries have progressed and taken the lead at the global level where the politics is well organized, and well balanced. At the same time, if the causes of the underdevelopment and backwardness of the others are searched, the main ill would be found in the political system of those countries and the states. Hence, the importance of political science had been recognized in the ancient Greek itself and its importance in the contemporary world has increased.
Fast forward to the modern times, the state of politics in many parts of the world is but disappointing. The people holding the reins of politics and political institutions have created such a bad name, and distaste towards politics that the sarcasm of Ernest Benn is apt to describe the condition. According to him, “politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it where it exists or not, diagnosing it wrongly, and applying the wrong remedy”. Seeing this condition the sane and sincere people of these parts try to maintain as much distance from politics as they can.
They describe politics as the dirty game, where there is no scope for rational people. They try to keep their children away from politics, and political issues. The judges and bureaucrats are prevented to get associated with politics in anyway, even if their association is in the best interests of these nations and states. In case anyone amidst the judges and bureaucrats tries to sincerely discusses, and deal with, the important issues of national interest, they are not allowed to do so and all kinds of hurdles are erected in their ways. Any attempt to apply adequate remedies to the maladies of these states is sabotaged and subverted. In sum, politics in these parts is an affair restricted to a selected few and all others either scorn it or are not allowed to venture in it.
The countries of the subcontinent are an apt example of this treatment of politics and political institutions. In these countries , the same people have ruled for the ages and are still ruling; only the parties have changed but the people have remained the same. Especially after the independence of these countries it was expected that the power will move from the power elites to the masses. But, after the passage of more than seventy years, nothing of that sort has happened. If some people have succeeded to emerge on the political scene of these countries but they have ended up in creating a new power elite leaving the majority of the masses where they were in the earlier times.
As was said by Plato, “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors”. Exactly the same thing is happening in the subcontinent, in this region inferior people rule and the superior and sincere ones stay away from politics and they advocate others also take no interest in governance or politics. These countries are ruled by those who are least capable for ruling. In this sense it is not only the incapability of the rulers, or their misrule, which is responsible for the pathetic plight of the masses, the bigger reason is the apathy of the capable ones towards politics.
Politics which has the main task of reducing the conflicts of all types is used to keep the conflicts running. The chief task of politics, in this region nowadays is how to manage the conflicts in the best interests of the power elite. In tandem the conflicts prevalent in the subcontinent are used to accomplish this end. And it is this way of working by the political class that most of the conflicts and issues that the people of this region faced decades and centuries ago are still there, unattended and unaddressed. Only the number of the people who are adversely affected by these conflicts and issues has increased.
From Kashmir to Naxalism in India, terrorism to corruption in Pakistan, interparty rivalry and poverty in Bangladesh, all the issues are kept deliberately alive, and in a definite form, so as to given political dividends to the rulers of these countries. There appears an undercover and implied understanding between the rulers of these countries about how to manipulate the public opinions in their countries by using the conflicts and issues and about how to let people of their kind in the other countries to get the similar benefits.
The political class of the subcontinent is not only ruining the prospects of the master science in the subcontinent in the above manner but they are also damaging it by playing havoc with the democratic institutions of their countries. The plight of these institutions is such that before gaining the semblance of maturities there already are imminent signs of their decay which is a great cause of worry. The worry is about the hard earned freedom, it may be lost if the things are allowed to move as they are moving in the wrong directions.
The parliaments are not functioning as per the fundamentals of the democracy, they are instead turned into boxing rings where the contenting parties are always eager to show their muscle mass, and muscle power. The legislative activities of these temples of democracy have been thrown into the background and on the foreground are brought, the blows, punches, abuses and the use of obscene language. Such unruly scenes are observed in these institutions that one hardly believes them anything like legislative organs of the governments.
About the executive and other branches of the government, the less said is better. In absence of the true and capable rulers, they are used for the purposes which are in contravention with this form of government. They are made to work for the benefit of the parties that are ruling these states. The decisions of these organs of the government are more like the manifestoes of the ruling parties and less of policies and schemes for implementation so as to benefit the popular sovereign.
Outside the government those institutions which are important in a democracy to keep checks on the governments have been turned into the subsidiaries or adjuncts of different parties. They move as they are made to move by the authorities holding the reins of these political parties. The best example of this can be found in India in her corporate media. These media institutions are acting as the party offices of different political parties rather studios of the media houses.
In short the checks and balances in the governance of the countries in the subcontinent have been jeopardized. Seeing this condition the people of this region are feeling disappointed and even cheated. For them, politics is not the master science but rather the art of scoundrels. Those who can run these countries efficiently never come forth to take charge for the fear of plots and conspiracies that could be hatched against them by the incumbent rulers.
Letting things to stay this way could prove too costly for the region. The people of the region should realize that it is not by staying away but by taking interest and taking charge of the politics and the political institutions that the predicament can be eased out. People have to take responsibility else it might be too late for the patience of the poverty ridden, hungry, homeless and those caught in conflicts cannot last forever.

The author can be reached at: fayaz.greatstep@gmail.com