Merriam-Webster defines anarchy as “a situation of confusion and wild behavior in which the people in a country, group, organization, etc., are not controlled by rules or laws”
The past week has been very tumultuous for the people living in the capital state of Delhi in India. A democratically elected government was on the streets for a myriad of reasons regarding administration, which they couldn’t perform satisfactorily. According to the newly formed Aam Aadmi Party of India, the democratic institutions of the state of Delhi, weren’t answerable to the elected representatives due to archaic laws and hence they couldn’t administer as per their mandate. The government took to the streets in protest and when asked by the media, they retorted to calling themselves as ‘anarchists’. Since then debates flared across the social and mainstream media of India about anarchism. It is a powerful contrast to democracy and its principles of stability, hope and growth.
What exactly is anarchism and who exactly is an anarchist? From time immemorial, among the ranks of populace, self-guided, purposeful and motivated people have risen to challenge the societal status quo. Their presence points to a social outlier and their message challenges conventions and order of the day. Jesus was an anarchist. His activities and his message during his three and a half year old public ministry, disrupted the world of his day with an effect that was gargantuan in nature. Throughout history, one can see of many such anarchists spread across many societies. Prophet Mohammed was an anarchist as he challenged medieval Arabia and united it into one of the powerful and richest civilizations that the world has ever seen. Karl Marx through his writings was an anarchist as it defined the Soviet and Chinese societies of 20th century and list goes on and on.
Is anarchism then leadership ? I believe so. True leaders are never worried about upsetting the applecart or status quo. What makes them successful is that they challenge the system from within and disrupt its order and status quo accordingly. It is so true in the case of Jesus, when he said that he dint come to the world to break the Law but to fulfil it. Prophet Mohammed brilliantly converted a trader tribe struck in medieval customs and traditions not by breaking or destroying the latter but building his idea of Islam on them. This is exactly the reason why the Kaaba remains entrenched as the holiest shrines of Muslims to this day and Abraham (Ibrahim) is still a spiritual father to Muslims worldwide. Karl Marx hated Christianity or for that matter any religion. He called it ‘an opium’. Yet the Communist principles of today are so reminiscent of some of the teachings of Jesus. Closer analysis would lead one to conclude that communism is indeed a political fulfilment of apostolic order of Christian times.
Anarchists are true leaders. They show the society that the status quo isn’t working for them. They clearly point out that the system needs an overhaul and change is inevitable. But they don’t run away from their message and they remain laser focussed on their objectives. India of late has seen the arrival of two anarchists who are determined to alter the status quo. One is opposition party’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi who being an outsider to the Lutyens brand of Delhi’s political club is determined to drive home his message of good governance and inclusive development. The other is the former administrative official Arvind Kejriwal who is driving a strong anti corruption plank with an eye on a radical left model of governance. Both are anarchists in my opinion and it will be interesting to watch in the coming months as to whose message will be embraced by the Indian electorate.
Image Courtesy: http://crushedtees.com/ebay/1600×1600/anarchy_large.jpg