For want of a nail the battle was lost

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, a single man led to one of the largest wars in human history leaving over 16 million dead in a little more than four years

There are many examples for the butterfly effect and it always got me wondering. Is history a series of unconnected coincidence or does it truly reflect the macroeconomic and social angst and views of man and how does these large revolutions and wars happen? History has taught us that there will always be that one instance or one event which when it happens leads to massive changes in the status quotient.

These queries have been swirling around about my head for a very long time and has livened up many a night’s conversations when drinks had flown a bit too freely.

But these queries came rushing back over the past month, because of certain events that happened in Marina beach in my hometown of Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Over a course of a week hundreds of thousands of students, youngsters, parents and grandparents thronged the shores of the second largest beach in the world protesting against the abolition of Jallikattu, a bull-fighting tradition followed by the Tamils for thousands of years.

It was then a curious thing happened. All through my life I was a student of history and what history had taught me is that events such as this give rise to mob-mentality with focus on a single issue

But here, although the over-arching issue was that of Jallikattu, other issues started popping up. Issues like Education, border politics etc were all brought up and discussed and it was then it hit me. Dominos do fall. What it requires is a lynchpin. A lynchpin issue which can bring everyone together and talk in one voice and when that happens the dominos will start falling.

For there is an ebb in the tide of man which when taken as a flood creates history.