In the last few years, inclusiveness and exclusiveness have been identified with the left-wing and right-wing respectively. In the context of India, a generic argument is made that the pro-Hindu forces are solely responsible for politics of polarization and exclusivity. Closer examination yields darker, uncomfortable truths.
The lens used to examine this is usually religion. But if one uses another lens, one can see equally divisive, exclusive mechanisms. This article will attempt to take these up.
In many states, linguistic chauvinism comes under a left-liberal umbrella. Take for example Tamil Nadu, where an upcoming leader Thirumurugan Gandhi denounces the BJP and its “fascist” notion of Hindu majoritarianism, and in the same breath abuses Brahmins who constitute less than 3% of the population. He all but asks for them to be kicked out of the state as their bonafide credentials of being Tamil enough doesn’t pass his test. He merely takes an existing narrative propagated by E.V Ramasamy Naicker forward.
Looking dispassionately, this is no different from how Hitler viewed the Jews, a minuscule minority. Blaming a community with the most progressive record in inter-caste marriages for casteism is expedient. The powerful upper castes will not mind while a minority can be the scapegoat for all of Tamil society’s evils. This is the definition of Fascist politics. This kind of smear campaign that leads to sacred threads of priests being cut. Any society has evils, and a true leader will create systemic incentives to affect a behavior change, not a vilification campaign. This politically myopic reason is also the reason why “rationalism” is so weak in Tamil Nadu compared to Ganesha temples at every street corner.
Secondly up, why are the majority of Hindus scaremongered to believe that anything to the right of center is a prescription for pogroms? It’s not that pogroms have been the preserve of the right wing. For every Hilter (who by the way identified himself as ‘socialist’ too), there is a Pol Pot, a Mao, Guevera who have been equally, if not more brutal. Liberalism is not equivalent to left. If anything leftist movements have been known to be merciless.
Thirdly, both the left and the right are but means for a few people to impose their will on the rest and enjoy privileges. While crony capitalists ensure their reign through influencing policies and subsidies on the right. The left has its share of “grassroots” leaders who will not have a blade of grass on them. Crony socialists will enjoy the same level of privileges that crony capitalists do.
bottom-line: Exclusion politics is reprehensible, be it religious or caste. There is plenty of blame to go around. Let us stop throwing righteous indignation at others and look within ourselves to be inclusive. That will pave way for an egalitarian society.