Today my thoughts are on two issues. Trump becoming the President of USA and the vastly popular agitation in Indian state of Tamilnadu against the Supreme Court order banning Jallikattu , the bull taming sport.
What is common between the two except they are two keenly discussed current events in my part of the world ?
I think there are many things in common. Let me enumerate.
Both used emotional issues rather than rational thoughts to mobilise people.
Trump campaign wanted to make America great again.
Jallikattu campaign wanted to preserve great Tamil culture.
Trump campaign wants to take power from Washington and give it to people.
Jallikattu movement wanted power for the Tamilians to decide for themselves what they want to do instead of Supreme Court in Delhi dictating to them.
Both campaigns united people with diverse and even opposing interests. Trump campaign united the ultra rich big business whites with the jobless poorly educated rural white folk.
Jallikattu movement united billionaire landlords with farm labourers just in the name of elusive Tamil pride.
Victory for both campaigns show how easy it is to mobilise people in an “us against them” theme than to do it in a more inclusive platform.
Both underline the fact that people can be fooled easily and mobilised for issues not at all related to or even harmful for their own well being.
Both show us that democratic elections and peaceful, women-safe, environment sensitive protests can be used to further dangerous agendas of tribalism triumphing humanism.