After his astounding electoral victory, NaMo’s mojo is being analysed minutely. One obvious insight says, “To win voters’ hearts, ahem, KISS ’em!” So, “keeping it simple, stupid” enabled the Gujarat chief minister to get his spiel across mindboggling boundaries of caste, creed and region.
To be fair, nobody can claim patent rights over this timeless principle. In our times, Albert Einstein, an iconic individual if ever there was one, articulated the same principle more artlessly with a killer app kind of caveat, “Everything should be made as simple as possible; but not simpler!”
In other words, verbosity can be limitlessly painful. But inversely, simplicity has its limitations: trying to simplify something beyond such limits mangles the message and may turn it into a caricature. A case in point is the attempt the rival camp allegedly made by trying to answer almost every question with a simple, read single, answer, namely, women’s empowerment! Is it any wonder the social media got flooded with jokes about women’s empowerment? Wasn’t it a serious issue, one that did not need a simplistic or simple-minded approach?
To say that, however, is not to root for complexity. On the contrary: witness how the great communicators of the past compressed their messages to defy ravages of Time and attempts at obfuscation: “Brahma satyam; jagat mithya,” says Shankara; “Yogah karmasu koushalam,” says Vyasa, just as the Buddha, the One who walked His Talk (Tathagata), conquered the world peacefully with his bold eight-fold path. Hail Shining Simplicity!