The world needs statesmen, not delusional leadership

direct democracy

There was lot of complacency after the end of cold war as several people felt that now we shall enter an era of lasting peace and a world free of nuclear weapons. But this did not happen. The United States and its allies, many of them erstwhile colonial masters, have constantly been putting efforts for a unipolar world. With their designs they have pushed several parts of the world in different continents into armed conflicts.

However this is being challenged by several countries who are taking stand on various issues including disarmament, abolition of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. This is apparent from passage of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on 7th July 2017 despite tremendous pressure by the nuclear weapons possessing countries. Several countries after the initiative by the south Africa have contested Israeli genocide in Gaza despite US backing Israel. The developing countries have also raised their voice for changes in multilateral trade agreements, strategy for economic growth based on justice and equality, peaceful coexistence with the neighbours without third party interventions etc. But there is a constant pressure from the big powers to checkmate all these efforts. As a result we are finding tension in parts of Asia, Africa and also Europe. This is threatening global peace and endangering the use of nuclear weapons. Blatant intervention by the NATO backed by the USA for its expansionist designs led to the war between Russia and Ukraine. This has led to internal and external displacement of over 10 million people and death of large number of civilians and combatants. As a result of Israeli aggression on women and children in Gaza with explicit support of the US and allies, situation in the Middle East is like that of holocaust perpetrated by Nazis.

These situations require statesmen at the helm of affairs who have vision and influence and desire to salvage these. Unfortunately that is lacking. The west, particularly the United States of America, is obsessed with power and to sell arms around the world to make profit at the cost of human lives.

Gone are the days of Marshal Tito, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Jawaharlal Nehru, who had the vision to form a non-aligned movement (NAM) that would work outside any military block. During that period the world produced several luminaries who resisted barbaric colonialism and apartheid. It would be most appropriate to mention the name of Nelson Mandela. Rajiv Gandhi put forth an action plan for nuclear disarmament. It was during that period that democracy in different countries flourished.

Things are different now. Unfortunately several of the present day leaders have delusionary ideas. Zelensky for example is happy with claps to greet him in European parliaments without realising their designs. No wonder US & NATO are directly interfering in the affairs in Ukraine and not letting the war to end.  The death of Navalny in prison has raised questions over the credibility of Putin. The Chinese leader Xi Jinping wants to rule till the end of his life. We can see North Korea’s Kim Jong Un happy with clapping by the parliamentarians. Bolsenaro of Brazil and Trump in the US too fall in that category. Erdogan is out to supress democratic ethos of Turkish society. Several countries which have theocratic regimes are in similar situations.

Such leaders are narcissistic, authoritarian, ruthless, undemocratic, obscurantist and megalomaniac. With their delusionary behaviour they are unstable, unreliable, do not hesitate in telling lies repeatedly and can be a threat to the society. To stick to power they are ready to spread hatred, bigotry, obscurantism and glory of the past without evidence. This are delusional megalomaniac behaviour can be very dangerous. We have seen this in Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot and now in Netanyahu.

It is dismaying that in our country we have moved from the days of Nehru to the present day leadership at the helms of affairs who very well fit in that category. Our Prime Minister is always obsessed with building his image and continuously portraying himself with the help of corporate controlled media.

That he always tries to demonise Nehru, only shows his own worth. He cleverly uses Gandhi’s name even though his bandwagon is always abusive of Gandhi and eulogises his murderers. But he never utters a single word on this.

That he has not faced the media even once in the last ten years raises scepticism about his capability. Therefore he believes only in one way discourse. Several of his henchmen have already labelled him as God sent ‘Avtaar’. He is not ashamed to say himself that he has been sent by god. No wonder the BJP chief Nadda called him god of gods. Such people always feel insecure and are afraid of even their own nears and dears.  

In such conditions, the only hope is people’s power with vision to save the world from marching towards neo-colonial era. Civil society around the world has a great responsibility to come forward to change the mind-set of the polity. True, the truth shall prevail, but we cannot afford the harm being done. 

Dr Arun Mitra is a Practicing ENT Surgeon in Ludhiana, Punjab. He is also the President of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) 

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