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Pulwama and the Left: Seven decades of cultural and intellectual banditry

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Shantheri Mallaya
Shantheri Mallaya
Shantheri Mallaya is a journalist, editor, passionate follower of politics, a theaterperson, passionate about finding the next cause

Leader: Pulwama is one among the millions of instances of an attack not on 40 soldiers – but on a nation, by a Leftist ideology, of a cultural and intellectual banditry, which does its best to prevent us from standing together as a nation.

The recent Pulwama tragedy was not a mere terror attack. It is not about 45 CPRF Jawans losing their lives or getting injured in a brutal terror siege. It is not fully about Pakistan. It is, in reality, the culmination of a battle that is not being fought merely on the border or on the lines of control, it is about a country hugely and morally divided into the Right and the Left, about a culture that is now being questioned, about an established coterie whose nerves have been jangled. It is about the emergence of the Right in a hitherto Left-centric globe.

Why precisely should we dissect this and probe this “upsetting of the apple cart” phenomenon further? Here are some compelling reasons, and myths that have been systematically built and fed into almost six generations of Indians since India’s year of Independence, it is the dissection of a calculated seizure of collective social, economic, cultural, political and historical narrative by a lobby of intellectual bandits, over the last seven decades.

Art, music, literature, theater, cinema narrative should condemn social structure, institutions, the establishment and the Government; eulogize class conflict

My early favorite filmmakers were inspired and derived by my father’s favorites – Satyajit Ray, Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor, all of whom based their 1950s film themes on the class conflict – Pather Panchali, Do Bheega Zameen, Pyaasa, Shri 420 – let us observe, were all about class conflict. The mean rich man, the unrelenting society that will not make allowances for the unconventional, feudalism – we see a pattern in all of this. While the humanist in any of us would not deny the existence of all these elements, fact remains we have been systematically, under the able aegis of a successive line Left leaning writers, playwrights, artists, journalists and filmmakers, such as UR Ananthamurthy, Girish Karnad, Shyam Benegal, Gulzar, the list is endless – been made to believe that:

  • Social structure is bad, it is a cruel monolith – protest against every societal norm
  • Religion is deplorable – shun faith without any sense of rationale other than that it is deplorable. Blanket statement.
  • Establishments swallow up individual freedom – vandalize every institution
  • The State is oppressive – do not support it, remain cynical and distance yourself
  • The elite are villains by birth. Therefore, earning money and spending it is obnoxious – do not earn, keep protesting, no matter for what, in short, remain a rebel without a cause
  • Nationalism and patriotism are restricting, anarchic terms – do not use these terms or take pride in any of the symbols even remotely suggesting these words. In short, very subtly, you are not loving your country.
  • The Right stands for Fascism, Conservatism, Misogyny, Patriarchy – We don’t need such regressive narratives anywhere close to us, do we?

Over the last six to seven decades, the effect of this complex, dark narrative is multi-fold – it runs from the urban educated household to educational institutions to the rural agricultural landscape to the ravines of dacoits and naxals, right down to the trouble spots of insurgency in India – different sections and communities have absorbed this narrative according to their circumstances –  depending on who they are. This is the biggest victory of the Left – a victory that others should exercise all their minds to shake off, it is a collective consciousness that they have captured, if truth should be told. A lot of people genuinely subscribe to this, while there are many who craftily use the Left ideologies to brainwash the gullible even among the educated.

The media, particularly the print and now electronic has done this repeated assault on our senses – many have succumbed to its yarns, since the Left narrative is the stuff of scripts of cinema, plays and its utopian romanticism of a dark world, sombre – where everything is dark. Sahir Ludhianvi, a known Leftist from the IPWA class, wrote, “Yeh Mahalon Yeh Takhton ki duniya”, we fell like a pack of cards – little realizing that this clique of people have only stated problems, and will never talk of solutions – that is the Left for you. We fell for the parallel cinema movement, which was nothing but an offshoot of the Left. We loved the “angry young man” in AB – we were an angry socialist country which took pride in nothing and hated everything.

Look at two Communist bastions in this country and the sham of the Left will be exposed – if there was ever a bigger sham in the economy ever perpetrated, then I would say it has been in Kerala and West Bengal – natural resources wasted, people exodus to other states, and no future in sight – it is what the lovely  “State – questioning” Left stands for.

Now into this dark, noire Left world, our economy got liberalized, and money did not remain a tainted word anymore, people started earning, India did start shining – we started seeing ourselves differently.  It was all still fine. The new monies and a neo-prosperous economy was still fodder for their Left hedonistic stories. The Left and the Liberals positioned themselves conveniently as a friend of the youth, of women, of freedom of speech, and also of all that “liberal values” could hold. Till the rise of the Right. A rise that has disquieted the Left. Crude, raw counter narratives of the Truth have now begun to emerge. And it is indeed disquieting.

When an astutely planted idea starts to fail after it has run its full course, there is bound to be resentment. The Left is going through the same phase – of that of an old traditional organization that is threatened by the winds of change – it will try every trick in its book to retain its followers and brainwash as many more. A pity, since the populace it chooses to harm are the ones of its own nation. But, then, do they even want an unified nation? Pulwama is one among the millions of  instances of an attack not on 45 soldiers – but on a nation, by a Leftist ideology, of a cultural and intellectual banditry, which has robbed us of our inherent spirit of pride and unity and prevents us from standing together as a nation.

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Shantheri Mallaya
Shantheri Mallaya
Shantheri Mallaya is a journalist, editor, passionate follower of politics, a theaterperson, passionate about finding the next cause
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