Alexander the Great cut the Gordian Knot after hearing an oracle promise that whoever could undo it would be the next ruler of Asia. That legend is haunting us in this country, albeit working backwards. In their contest for power to rule this country, our politicians are locked in an endless deadlock. They are caught in their tangled politics like spiders stuck in their own webs.
Today, the one question every citizen likes to ask is how this country can ever get out of this quagmire. And some of them are already asking that question in their private conversations, television talk shows, and newspaper columns. Those who are afraid to speak, wrestle with that question in their quiet frustration.
Albert Einstein said that no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. That problem is the real problem holding back politicians. Poison cures poison. A thorn removes a thorn. Politics predicates upon a similar proposition that politicians will act as their own checks and balances.
There is no sign of surcease in hostility between the two political sides in our country because neither side has changed its level of consciousness. A battle is always fought in thoughts before it goes to the battlefield. Once it is there, thinking gets to a fight to finish.
The futility of our politics is that politicians have confused rivalry with enmity. Rivalry is competition amongst equals when someone tries to prove that he is as good as or even better than someone else. Enmity is when someone is opposed to someone else and tries to harm or eliminate his opponent.
The reason why the deadlock cannot be unlocked is that politicians are not approaching politics with an open mind. Their partisan minds behave like courtesans, dancing and singing for the carnal satisfaction of their political ambitions. They all speak in unison using the same tone of voice and the same choice of words. It is no surprise that everybody starting from party cadres to leaders to thinkers is speaking in the same obnoxious language.
Every time someone talks, he or she reeks with prejudice. Socrates favored truth as the highest value, proposing that it could be discovered through reason and logic. Today's truth is captive of obsessed minds, reason, and logic displaced by selfishness and arrogance hissing in the depths of elusive convictions. Our politics is lost in a tour puzzle where walls and paths constantly change during the game.
That brings us to the ultimate conclusion: The Gordian Knot in this country cannot be untied without an Alexandrian solution. Neither side in this quarrel is ready to step back. Neither side is ready to cut the other side some slack. It looks highly improbable that those who have compounded this problem will ever be motivated to find the solution.
The cover story in this issue is on the upcoming national election. It’s scheduled to happen in early 2019, but there are speculations that it might even happen sooner than thought. The political parties are getting organized and reorganized in preparation for the polls. We have chosen to write about it in anticipation because it has the chance of being a turning point in our national politics. A free and fair election will go a long way to establish democratic traditions on a firm ground. It is important that the next parliamentary election is smooth and meaningful.
The beauty of democracy is not only that it churns out governments in an orderly fashion at regular intervals. Its main function is to tell the rulers when the people have spoken. Power and people can be connected only after politicians are separated from their illusions.