Ever heard the term rationalism? That is precisely what seems to be missing, when I hear the words leftist, liberal and nationalist. These are the regressive people with pea sized intellects who have automatically assumed, all of human society is broadly classified into one of these three categories.
Ironically, the leaders of the leftist species of India today belong to the elite. They are accorded VIP status and are treated with a sense of entitlement. The left in India today has only two issues of importance to deal with 1) Secularism & 2) Intolerance and have completely failed as proven by the recently concluded general elections. These are the buzzwords of the lowest order for parties that have stooped so low, that they have completely lost their ideological base. Economic development and equality have lost their charm paving way for sectarian and identity politics based on religion and caste. The left will stoop down to any level in the name of appeasing the minority religious groups when ideally they are the ones who should be speaking against religiosity.
This is nothing short of a disaster in a pluralistic democracy like ours, and sends the wrong signal to these communities. Anybody who criticizes them is either a Sanghi or a Bhakt or a Gau Rakshak or belong to the chaddi gang. To these people, the mass exodus of Kahsmiri Hindus was not an issue neither is the banning of books like “The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie. But, wait! What happened to freedom of expression? Well, this is what one should probably expect as their ideologies are not really relevant post the cold war era and they would go down to any level to stay relevant. The vestige ideology still remains only in a handful of countries and in the state of Kerala. On the one hand, they shout out on the unfortunate murders of intellectuals, while on the other, hailing the induction of Mother Teresa as a saint in the Vatican.
Liberals, an interesting class of species, claim to be liberal but, what they actually are is actually an enigma. They have the crisis of an identity. They side with the leftists on issues like feminism, subduing patriarchy, LGBT issues etc. While, these are lofty ideals, what they are short of is ideas. All that emerges of their events is cacophony and platitudinous rhetoric sans substance laden with euphemisms. I mean they expect the society to change overnight. They care more about a woman’s bra strap and the period blood on a sanitary pad more than issues like poverty and child labor in a country where a quarter of the population cannot afford a meal. They expect people not to judge them and let them be what they are, while not meting out the same treatment to others.
They even support regressive religious attitudes and use them for their convenience. Their heart beats for a Pakistani singer, who does not condemn terrorism emerging out of there, while completely ignoring the scores of talented people that end up nowhere in our own country. They sympathize with Pakistan for being a terror state, questioning India’s judgment in fighting cross border terrorism. To them a woman in a Burkha symbolizes empowerment, as it is her choice to wear it and banning the practice of instant triple talaq is a “blow to the pluralistic nature of Indian secular fabric”. Liberals today are the people who are the least liberal in their attitudes and ideas. They have placed themselves on a pedestal and have a condescending attitude towards people who adhere to traditional beliefs. They are convinced they are correct and all the others are wrong. My dissent is better than your dissent.
‘I am the only right person, how can you be right?’ No wonder, with such gross generalizations and closed mindsets, these people have lead to the emergence of an ideological fringe on the right end of the spectrum, all across the world. It is a global phenomenon, sweeping across continents from India to Austria and from the UK to the USA. The rise of the political right is imminent for the haphazard nature of liberalism and leftist cacophony. After all, who would allow their own countries to take in refugees, without proper checks and frisking. What about the rights and opinions of people killed by a few immigrants who carried out terror activities?
The pertinent question here is “why do leftists and liberals who are the only torch bearers of such human values not go to these places, where people are being persecuted and help them there?” This is a win win situation for all. The refugees can get rehabilitated in their own lands and can avoid persecution in the lands where they seek refuge. The leftists and liberals who are normally averse to Sanskritic literature, however, do invoke two quotes, when it is very convenient for them. “वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्” (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam= All the world is one family) and “अतिथिदेवो भव” (Athithidevo bhava= Guest is verily god). Such is their hypocrisy.
To an opposition of such glorious intellectual capabilities, we have the fringe followers of the ruling dispensation who are equally endowed with a similar intellectual acumen.The fringe nationalists are a class of species who get triggered for things as trivial as an MF Hussain’s painting or for an advertisement of Holi. To them these acts are verily threats to the age old Indian संस्कृति (tradition) & सभ्यता (culture). To them, Hindi is the only national language and India can unite only by conversing in that language. Cows are more sacred than human lives and cow excreta is medicine. Anybody who eats beef or criticizes the central government is anti-national.
While it is true that India still has a strong colonial hangover vis-a-vis its own indigenous traditions and the assault on them, this cannot be changed overnight. Making radical statements on killing the minorities even for petty issues, shows the insecurity of these people who are tarnishing the great values and ideals of this land which is home to the most tolerant ancient tradition and culture. The recklessness is even more palpable when candidates holding cabinet positions make irresponsible statements. This approach only breaches the confidence even of their own base and cadre while completely neutralizing any efforts to regain lost trust among minority groups.
To them criticizing even economic policies like demonetization and GST is a ploy of “anti-nationals” and “pseudo-seculars” who oppose reforms. In a country blessed with a very young demographic dividend with more than 60% of the population under 25, these above three classes species have hijacked the political discourse away from the pressing issues of the day. India lags behind in poverty, standards of living, education, health, agriculture, infrastructure, transportation etc. What is required today in the country is the rise of individuals who do not believe in any of these ideologies but rather an attitude which helps us move in a direction that transforms the life of a common man of this country.
The mainstream media unfortunately cannot be trusted to do this as it has become a pawn in the hands of Delhi’s champagne socialists, the Lutyens’ brigade and the people who r. Any source of information is coated according to the political biases of the media houses and their representatives.
There is an immediate need to shift the political discourse in the country away from religion, towards rational thinking and scientific reasoning. Our television programs should broadcast content that will enlighten people on the latest advancements in science and technology rather than on partisan hogwash. Our movies need to focus on the dearth of intellectualism and the need to revive it in its actual glory. Our youth lacks inspiration and have fallen prey to the glitz and glamour of Bollywood and Cricket stars. A society which has inherited Puranas, which contain conversations and debates, even with gods and demigods, has reduced itself to mere religiosity and dogma.
The ad-nauseam banal rhetoric of the various ideologies needs to be effectively countered and supported wherever necessary. It is a great injustice to ask people to follow any ideology as such. The masses of India know what they need and they do not need any unsolicited advice. To be a world leader of tomorrow, also means the natural and organic transformation of the attitudes of the commoner. The choice is ours, whether to come up with our own understanding of a situation or get swayed by emotions that are closest to our biases. Popular opinions need not be the right ones, at the same time; other contrasting opinions need not necessarily guarantee to be the right opinions either.
In the end I would like to end with a quote from one of India’s parliamentarians Shashi Tharoor from a TED talk “ The great success story of India, a country that so many learned scholars and journalists assumed would disintegrate, in the ’50s and ’60s, is that it managed to maintain consensus on how to survive without consensus.”