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As explained in the last post, Divide & Rule comes primarily from the owners for reasons discussed. Ironically, the employees also follow the same tactics to strengthen their hold over the organization.
The desire to hold on to the place and position goes back to ancient times when the appointments and dismissals happened at the whim of the ruler and in seconds. There was no merit in these decisions; just the thought which could go either way. Our entire history has been of slavery and subjugation. Pakistan became free as a country in 1947, but the people did not get freedom. It has been one ruler to another, and they did nothing except strengthening their own hold on power and tightening the noose around the neck of people. Organizational culture reflects societal culture. Our society is discriminatory, class-based, and exploitation-oriented. Anyone who has power of any kind uses it relentlessly and shamelessly.
Looking around us, we can find Divide & Rule examples in every sphere of life. The deep sectarian divide among religious groups is so strong, it becomes life and death matter. Political divides cut the families apart. Ethnic divide has killed millions of people in the recent history and is still killing. In our lifetime, Kinshasa (now DRC) saw 800,000 people killed in days. In Kenya, one fine morning, two tribes got up and started killing each other. Rohingya plight is still alive, and no one is relenting. Even today, Ethiopia is suffering due to war between Amharic and Tigray people. Ideological divides have raised Boko Haram, Al-Shabab, Abu Sayyaf, IS, Taliban and many other similar outfits. Disregarding who is right or wrong, the people are divided and are suffering. The rulers stick to their rule at the expense of people.
Senior managers in government and private sector strategize to ensure they stick to the power in whichever way possible. Their Divide & Rule strategy is more intricate. They divide their staff (read subjects) in two ways. One, they build silos around their function and do not allow others to enter their domain without their permission. Silos formation is common worldwide, more so in developing countries. Silos have no apparent walls but have strong boundaries nonetheless which no one dares to cross. Silos help the managers to sustain their hold, hide their weaknesses, and blackmail the organization. The explicit purpose of a ‘silo’ is to divide. Two, these managers divide their own staff at the same time. They are very annoyed if their staff works like colleagues and as a team. God forbid, if they try to become friends, they will attract great wrath of the boss.
Divide & Rule mindset is more common than we prefer to think. Human Resources function has grown much over the years, but I have seen even HR Heads making silos and dividing people.
Many more points can be raised on this topic, but the point has been amply made. We may conclude these points:
- Passion for Power is innate in all human beings, probably other creatures also
- Divide & Rule is a strategy to gain and sustain power
- We cannot just assume that with speeches and motivations, the people shall let go of the passion for power and its tool, Divide & Rule
- Divide & Rule has caused more suffering, more pain, more losses, and more wastage than any other ideology
- It is among the greatest services to fight against Divide & Rule
What do we do if this is so ubiquitous and omnipresent? What options do we have? What strategies should we devise? Do we have a hope at all?
Even before we raise above questions, we should look into our own selves. Which tribe do we belong to? What is our ideology? What is our belief? If we believe in Divide & Rule, then we need to change ourselves first. We must change our tribe from oppressor to oppressed.
Despite its omnipresence, Divide & Rule culture must be contested in every possible way. We do understand that we do not live in ideal circumstances and that changing mindset is the toughest task. All the same, it does not mean that it should be accepted as a way of life. It is a constant struggle which must carry on.
Our options are clear. We should strategize and work in an organized manner against Divide & Rule in the organizational context.
The strategies would include advocacy, campaigning, soft reminders, and cordial talks to raise awareness.
Yes, we must carry hope. Just look at the volunteers of Greenpeace, Fridays for Future, Doctors without Borders, Reporters without Borders, and other such resistance movements. We are talking about organizations which are much smaller, less dangerous, and likely to change earlier. The effort must go on.
In the next post, we shall talk about Unite & Succeed, and conclude the topic.
To be Concluded……Disclaimer: Most pictures in these blogs are taken from Google Images and Pexels. Credit is given where known; some do not show copyright ownership. However, if a claim is lodged at any stage, we shall either mention the ownership clearly, or remove the picture with suitable regrets