• The Heptade

Politics shapes civilisations

When primitive human beings would have learned the art of communicating and building collaborations for personal and community level requirements. It would have just been followed with the onset of politics and power struggle right from their families to great empires.

It is widely believed that the decline of Indus valley civilization and contemporary settlements were either a direct bearing of political conflicts or problems arisen and aggravated due to political tensions between competing communities.

Aristotle said that “politics is the progeny of socially interacting forces”. It is the political circumstances which give rise to the environment in which people dwell, the shape of their futures, and their lives are governed.

Since ancient times, great thinkers and doers like Acharya Chanakya, Aristotle, and Confucius have shown the path to public discourse to bring about change and betterment of the political situations around them. The expansionist politics of Badshah Aurangzeb or the adoption of Buddhist principles by King Ashoka altered the journey of the empires they hailed from.

Buddha’s entire journey and delegation to various kingdoms of the subcontinent were aimed at bringing about reduced political tensions and diluted regional and ethnic differences between various regions. As he succeeded in his crusade, the political milieu of the subcontinent changed. People’s lives, their value systems, beliefs, and practices transformed with the establishment of the new cult: Buddhism.

As we move down the lane, we find that Adi Shankaracharya’s expeditious travel from the south to the north was also a meticulous attempt to bind the culture and thus the politics of the country in one strand. This was an attempt indeed to help people usher into a new era of value systems as earlier ones had rusted and had begun to trouble more than serve the masses.

Politics as we understand the term in the modern world confines to the process of spreading ideas of governance, the mettle of contesting elections, and forming and running governments. However, micro-level politics influences people’s lives in subtle ways and as we read history with patience and diligence this aspect appears more vivid to us. Careful analysis of the past makes us more competent to interpret our contemporary times and make it better.

About the Author

Shashank is a student of strategic marketing and communications at MICA-Ahmedabad. Being a poet at heart, he likes to wear the thinker’s hat on issues of cultural and political importance. He has worked as a business analyst in one of the big four consultancy firms before starting school at MICA.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.

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