TINA is a hoax; there is always an alternative

The question you have to ask yourself is, when do you start to use your own brain power. When do you realise that you’re being fooled and outsmarted over and over again

TINA is a hoax; there is always an alternative
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Ranjona Banerji

What’s the alternative to a genocidal maniac?

Suppose post-war Germany, after the Allied occupation ended in 1949, said to itself, “How do we replace Adolf Hitler? He was such a charismatic speaker and had a huge personality. He wanted to make Germany great. There is No Alternative. We need another Hitler.”

Would you have bought that argument?

That you have to be lumped with genocidal maniacs forever because they are better than anyone else?

Who would have thought that a former vice-president who shadowed an extremely charismatic president and developed almost no charisma of his own, could successfully defeat one of the USA’s most dangerous presidents, one who had attempted to subvert every democratic system?

There is always an alternative.

As long as you wake up from the hypnotic brainwashing you have allowed yourself to be subjected to.

Who would have thought that after the Second World War, the British would have rejected their favourite war-winning Winston Churchill for his unprepossessing Labour deputy prime minister? Had not the Great Wit himself referred to his deputy as “a sheep in sheep’s clothing”?

There is always an alternative. As long as you allow yourself to think.


Look closely at the people who sell you the “there is no alternative” theory. What they’re actually saying to you is that they prefer genocidal maniacs who have finetuned hate, violence and malice and managed to use those as effective shields to cover their total lack of competence in basic issues of governance.

They have also managed to convince you, if not themselves, that fulfilling basic government responsibilities is some sort of personal achievement on the part of their favourite tyrant. For example: Did you know that no one has ever filled a pothole in India until our beloved Tyrant was elected.

They also use their brainwashing abilities to pull down everyone else. So, X is naïve, Y is another tyrant, Z is too South Indian for North India.

Closely allied to imploring helplessness of “who is the alternative” from our hate-filled bigot friends pretending to be reasonable is the other equally obnoxious theory-- that every option you put up has flaws.

Because their favourite tyrant has no flaws?

No. Because you are stupid enough to fall into this perfectly constructed trap. I feel we’ve been here before. But it’s made no difference to our many bigoted friends. They keep chipping away at your confidence with every alternative name you may have.

You know that they are sold out. And sometimes, when you ask them for an alternative and you hear their silence. And that malicious little brain ticks away, trying to recall how their WhatsApp Tox Talk had instructed them to counter some evil person like you, just that morning.

You know these people. They went to the same school as you, the same history class, but they have never heard of Hampi before. Or the Meenakshi Temple. Or Badrinath. Or Konark.

They worked in the same office as you 30 years ago. But they have never until seven years ago, seen a road, an office building, an autorickshaw, a bridge, a flyover, a telephone.

They’ve lived next door to you in the same apartment block for decades but they never learnt how to use the lift until seven years ago. They’ve been holidaying abroad for years but it was only seven years ago that they used an airport and an aeroplane. They’ve cooked for years but never seen a pressure cooker before.

If all this has failed, they will now find obscure things their tyrant has done to justify his other tyrannies in their eyes. For example: of course, killing Muslims is bad but how about subsection 3 of section 2(z) in the bankruptcy laws.

You: But the bankruptcy law has been a failure in practice.

They: X is naïve, Y is another tyrant, blah blah.


The question you have to ask yourself is, when do you start to use your own brain power. When do you realise that you’re being fooled and outsmarted over and over again. When you do you starting thinking for yourself instead of being bamboozled by devious manipulators.

History will tell you that there are always alternatives. History will also tell you that human nature is repetitive.

Which repetition you want depends on how much bigotry and hatred you think is acceptable.

Once you answer that question, then you can answer the question we started with.

(Ranjona Banerji is a senior journalist. Views are personal)

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