Sunday, May 15, 2011

Negatively and Positively Privileged Groups - ii

When I was writing about feudals' vice like grip on Pakistani political life, I mentioned that tide maybe slowly turning based on an article  in the New York Times. There was something in that article that caught my eye.
In elite circles, Mr. Dasti is reviled as a thug, a small-time hustler with a fake college degree who represents the worst of Pakistan today.
I have come across this phenomenon many times when it comes to leaders coming out of disadvantaged groups. The other day I was reading the GEO magazine, and in there, an article about JF Kennedy, expressed similar feelings against him. He probably wasn't the best of man to represent the marginalized Catholic group. He won because of,
- the money his father accumulated through dubious means
- the support from females brought up with patriarchal/feudalistic ideals (thus they humiliated themselves)

I should first mention about the elite ideals as described in the GEO article
- Money making by straight means
- Anti-racism
- No sexual deviations (eg. paedophilia) and no sexual objectification of women
That is likely a spin. But that is the measure through which leaders from the disadvantaged groups are observed in many cases. Something similar was said about Evo Morales.

In Indian context, the second part would be Anti-casteism and anti-communalism.

Here we find, the lower caste leaders like Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mayavati and Narendra Modi have been picked out for such criticism. It's debatable whether our elite classes (or American elite classes) ever practiced those ideals (or more precisely whether they practice it today). However, it's undeniable fact that in majority cases, the initial leaders from disadvantaged communities fail in these counts. I suppose in a transitional society it's tough for the 'good' leaders from the disadvantaged groups to make it to the top (or they need to live more than 80 years).

Another article in the same issue of the GEO magazine gives an alternate view. According to it, more than the person we should celebrate that the ideal against the class division that became mainstream. It's this ideal that cannot be reversed. The spirit of liberalism has only become stronger in the American society. Even at the individual level, this has allowed a person like Barack Obama, coming from a similar or more disadvantaged identity but better personal integrity compared to JF Kennedy, to become the president of the USA.

I suppose that means the next generation leaders from the disadvantaged castes in India will be more real.

No comments: