“United we stand, divided we fall.”
The catchphrase became widely popular during the Second World War thanks to the propaganda poster used by the United States of America. It was apparently taken from “The Liberty Song” of a founding father of the United States John Dickinson. He composed the song as “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall” in 1768. The catchword is actually attributed to ancient Greek storyteller Aesop for his a couple of famous fables — “The Bundle of Sticks” and “The Four Oxen and the Lion” – referred to the concept of the unity.
But, throughout the history we cosmopolitans were never united. We never found a common cause to live together. We never had a unitary belief to stay united. In history, we fought each other, hated one another and hatched conspiracies against one another. We used to live in a divided world and we are still living into deepening divisions. We have countless grounds to part our ways. We are divided in our beliefs, our ideologies and on so many things.
Division is a thing that raises a transparent glass wall between the two groups dividing them into ‘US’ and ‘THEY’. Through the glass partition they can see each other – the miseries, the brutalities, the wildness and the joys on the other side – but they neither can hear nor feel. The division also sets a self-censor within our conscience. So, we often fail to find a common cause to be united and break the invisible glass curtain.
This individual division has another job to do for the politicians. When the people resign, the political kick starts. Division, the prehistoric reality, has developed an ancient principle in politics — DIVIDE ET IMPERA that stands for ‘divide and rule’. Italian satirist and political writer Traiano Boccalini coined the term in the 16th century. The aged-old trick is still a top choice of the politicians who want division in society.
From Alexander the Great omnivorous policy to Hitler’s Nazism to Benito Mussolini’s classical fascism to the present day heroes of post-truth was inglorious captain of the tricks.
Julius Caesar also resorted to the dirty tactic while transforming the Roman republic into the Roman Empire and expanded his realm across the Europe. Alexander the Great took to the evil trick to conquer the end of the world.
In Africa, Germany and Belgium used a similar strategy to dominate Hutu and Tutsi groups there. ‘The Sykes–Picot Agreement’, a secret treaty between the United Kingdom and France in 1916, is one of the glaring examples of a successful ‘divide and rule’ game. The Sunni and Shia division in the Middle East is the example of the same strategy pushed by the superpowers.
The despicable tactic was quite popular among the nationals of the greater Indian subcontinent as well. The then British rulers quite successfully applied the tool to divide the culturally diversified Indian indigenes. The history of this subcontinent is actually the history of division. The deadliest element is still a dominant force in the politics of our region was based on reality.
The British rule came to an end more than seven decades ago, but we are still reeling on it with deepening scars.
There is more. Then the two-nation theory came. We carried the bloody legacy and fell divided once again in 1947. The mantra ensued from religious rheostat divided us as ‘Hindus’ and ‘Muslims’. One group was led by the then Hindu Mahasabha Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, famously known as Swatantryaveer, while the later by Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Today, the division between progressive and non-progressive, the division between nationalists and liberals and the division between chauvinists and internationalists, division between the left and the right and between far-right and far-left are the ways we are living today.
Irrespective of geographical and cultural differences, two things were common while we bite back at others. The hate and distrust. The hatred that leads to mistrust among us rekindles the inflaming alteration.
Who carries the coal? The leaders of post-truth. Neither Hitler nor Benito Mussolini is here. The leaders of the post-truth are the ghosts. But, the legacy is being carried out. They are dividing us in the name of glorifying our religion, saving national interest and preserving cultural heritage. Those are great lies. All ends in the division and leads to secure their political goals. Once we are divided, everything falls apart.
Where is the solution? The solution is in you, in every one of us. Together we failed, so together we can solve it. “So many men, so many minds.” “If so… certainly so many hearts, so many kinds of love.”