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IS THE ERA OF LIBERALISM OVER?


Liberalism can be defined simply as open-mindedness allowing uninhibited growth of free thinking, resulting in greater degree of tolerance of others views on a wide range of subjects, including religion, race, social and culinary preferences etc. Liberalism has grown exponentially after Second World War thanks to partial democratic set up or full-fledged democracy chosen by majority of countries.
Certain events in the recent past compel us to think and contemplate about changing scenario in which there are fewer approvals of our next door’s views. Proponents of tolerance are often bulldozed by brazenness of people practicing intolerance. Lack of coordinated defense and measured offence against intolerance often concedes ground and rest the initiative.
Definition of nationalism certainly has undergone lot of changes. It has shrunken to the level that if you are not aligned to my party’s way of thinking you automatically becomes unpatriotic. Such pronouncements by leaders offer ample encouragement to the party cadre to rigorously implement the doctrine on the hapless individuals taking law in their hand often leaving the police to remain a quiet bystander.
In general liberal views are construed as appeasement of minorities, deliberately chosen for electoral gains, threatening followers of liberalism. On the other hand right wing and extreme right wing views get wider acceptability amongst a large majority anointing them as heroes. Ever since the ISIS gained notoriety by indiscriminately killing and engaging in all kinds of brutalities on Muslims and non-Muslims, public opinion is turning against them and more and more Hindus and Christians are getting disenchanted and a few actually develop extremist tendencies.
Bhartiya Janata party and more specifically Narendra Modi ushered in an era of right wing government in India. This was soon followed by separation of Britain from European Union, commonly known as “Brexit”. The British public decided to take destiny in their hand without any diktats from other European countries. Whether it is a wise move or severely catastrophic only time will tell. But possibly the worst happened in the United States where Donald Trump was elected president. He is known for protectionist views often talk about America first. Scholars and commentators describe him as nationalist and anti-constitutional authoritarian.
Where would this lead? Are we heading for a situation prevailing before Second World War, highly unlikely but a possibility? Rigid nationalism is likely to impact world economy, growth in isolation is always difficult leading to deleterious effect in the overall performance of the economy of individual nations. Smaller nations particularly will suffer the most.
Globalization led to uninterrupted growth for many years in nearly every country in the world. But in the light of this newly touted doctrine of country first, undoubtedly a very popular move within, will provide catchy headlines but not necessarily translate in to increased jobs for the educated unemployed.
Proponents will have to introspect very hard whether selling ideas without much improvement on the ground is sufficient to keep the voters interested and in a democracy voter’s welfare and satisfaction is paramount in electing a government.



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Surendra Mohan Shukla

Media/Journalist/Author

Madhya Pradesh ,  INDIA

Surendra Mohan Shukla M.B.B.S. Jabalpur University December 1962 Master of Surgery (M.S.) in ophthalmology, Jabalpur University April 1966. Joined as Lecturer at MGM medical college Indore in June 1968, Proceeded to Lusaka, Zambia in southern Africa. Joined the Ministry of health as consultant and honorary senior lecturer in the school of medicine, University of Zambia. Elected, fellow of Society of eye surgeons, Maryland USA 1983. Visiting professor and examiner in the university of Zimbabwe and Malawi school of ophthalmic clinical officer. Involved as trustee and later as chairman of an NGO called Human Service Trust in Lusaka Zambia-to bring immigrant Indians together-on India return, correspondent Hindustan Times, Bhopal

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