Left, Right, Center? Which Political Stance is Best?
Ayushmann Khurrana: Namaskaram Sadhguru ji. This is Ayushmann Khurrana. I am a very politically aware person and India is politically in a very vulnerable space because it is a pluralistic society – we have so many cultures, religions, regions, caste, color, creed. I firmly believe that both extreme right wing and left wing are dangerous. My political standing is probably the center. So, what do you think is the correct stand? Where should we go from here because we are in a tricky situation right now?
Sadhguru: Ayushmann – one who lives long. A living democracy means you never take a stance of any kind. This happened in a very strong way in the United States. It became like two different religions – are you a Democrat or are you a Republican. It became like: “My grandfather was a Republican, my father was a Republican, so I am also Republican!”
This happened… the Democrats were campaigning in one of the Red States – which always vote Republican. One of the Democrats asked someone, “Why don’t you vote for Democrats?” The man replied, “My grandfather was a Republican, my father was a Republican, I am also a Republican.” This Democrat got irritated and said, “Suppose your grandfather was a jackass and your father was a jackass, what would you be?” The other man replied, “Well, I would be a Democrat.”
You’ve seen their symbol? In a living democracy, you should never take a stance. This is something we have forgotten. Our country is also moving in that direction: “Do you belong here or there?” Well, I haven’t made up my mind for the next election. Let me see who performs how; who makes more sense.
Am I right, left, center? The moment you take this stance, you are destroying democracy and taking it back to feudalism: “We belong to this tribe so we will only vote this way!” There’s no democracy left.
A democracy means every time, you evaluate what stance you want to take. And that is not a permanent stance. Right now, in the United States, I think it is only about four to five percent of the people that decide who wins and loses. The rest of the people are fixed.
In India, the percentage is probably in the range of ten to twelve percent – maximum fifteen percent – but I think after the coming election, we will also get to percentages like the United States because it is getting so vitiated. You have to belong here or there. You cannot say you don’t belong anywhere!
The phenomenal achievement of a democratic process is that change of power happens without bloodshed. Believe me, even within a family, if there is substantial wealth, change of power will not happen without spilling blood. But in large nations today, we change power from one group to another without spilling a drop of blood.
But as you become a tribal mindset, you are taking it back to a place where there will be tribal warfare every time we want to change power. Right now, it is becoming such that even on social media there are digital mobs endlessly battering each other. This is tribal warfare.
If you go on like this – abuse, abuse, abuse – it is not far away before somebody comes out with a sword or a gun and starts slaughtering people. You can already instigate a lynching or violence against a community through active WhatsApp usage.
I am thinking – I know this is going to make me extremely unpopular – but party membership should be cancelled because this is becoming a tribe. It is time we mature as a democracy. So Ayushmann, you should not take any stance. At the end of four-and-a-half years, take four to six months to evaluate what has happened. Is it worthwhile to give them one more chance or can someone else do better? Every citizen must take this call in the last three to six months.
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