We also have lessons for passionate Indians in the uproar caused by the frenzied crowd at the Capitol Building in America. Do not let your emotions dominate you or your reasoning ability. Interestingly, it is also mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita. This would be the strangest event in the history of the modern world, where Trump supporters and angry rioters entered the US Capitol Building.
It all happened in broad daylight, in a powerful country like America. This fact makes this event unique. The scary thing is that it shows that it can be there, it can happen anywhere, even in India. Today the world is a fragile place. People can become very emotional and reject logic, believe in such principles, which have no real proof.
The whole event would have been fun, if it had not had some dark aspects. Five people were killed, about 120 people were arrested. It is being condemned worldwide. Social media companies suspended President Trump’s account. It is right that America was embarrassed. But its real loss will be to the crowd. He wasted his life in this frenzy.
Here we have a lesson for everyone, including Indians. Do not get so carried away in emotions that forget arguments completely and ruin your life. If you use even a little bit of discretion, you will understand that it is a foolish idea to enter into the supreme office of the world’s most powerful country violently.
Similarly, the use of logic will also show that there is no evidence that there has been any fraud in the US elections nor can it be done on a large scale in a country. However, we are not in an era where conscience is promoted. We are in an emotional phase, where there are people who shirk our emotions round the clock.
If seen, people’s feelings have always been instigated. Even in the earlier era of internet marketers used to create advertisements to get emotional response from the customer. Film watchers especially in India like Bhavakuta. That’s why we like a hero who beats 10 people at once, even if it is not logically possible.
Politicians also look for reasons to make people emotional. How many Indians vote on the logical reasons for economy or good governance and how many for emotional reasons such as identity (caste, religion, region etc.)? Emotions have been simmering for a long time. However, today it has increased manifold due to internet connectivity.
Social media influencers, Whats app forwards, YouTubers and news channels constantly stir our emotions. If not today, tomorrow you will be in control of something that will touch you on an emotional level. Imagine an unemployed and frustrated Hindu youth somewhere. He watches a video of how Muslims are taking all the opportunities. There are millions of views on this video.
It is possible that the youth may trust this principle. Equally likely is the belief of a Muslim youth on the principle that the Indian government is planning to expel the Muslims. Meanwhile the video maker will become famous and earn money from the video. It is a self-sustaining eco-system that earns money, which works to provoke emotions and negate logic.
Eventually, this emotion-driven eco-system will turn into developments such as the capital riots in America. Don’t get me wrong Emotions are very important in life. They make us human. However, judging only on emotions increases the likelihood of failure or ruin.
In the Bhagavad Gita many times have been said to control emotions and to strike the right balance between logic and emotion. Naturally, Geeta did not imagine the dozens of marketers, political parties and influencers who provoke sentiments every day. But this makes these lessons more urgent.
We should be proud of emotions but beware of forces that try to manipulate them. A funny video or speech could not influence us to take a fatal step. For nation building and patriotism, emotions are not only needed, but also the ability to reason.
Our texts spoke of this balance centuries ago. Now is the time for us to understand this learning, especially in this era of emotion manipulation.
(These are the author’s own views)