Observe any discussion on social media. What is the first thing you notice? Did you ever manage to find an agreement emerging from all the hateful comments?
The fact is, our society, at least the educated class, people with access to internet and smartphones and enough time to waste, is today unbelievably polarised.
The Indians are long dead, we are today a nation of adarsh bhakts and adarsh liberals.
We see a perverted form of nationalism being forced down people’s throats at one end, while at the other an equally macabre trend of being ‘intellectual’ by abusing the country is emerging. The key point here is both sides want to provoke each other so as to elicit a reaction. The so called ‘liberals’ of this country ( a blight on the tag ) would like to make you believe they are the victim. The world loves victims. Playing victim is the surest way of gaining public sympathy, both domestically and internationally. And yet nowhere in the world have I seen the blatant hypocrisy and double standards of the Indian liberal establishment.
And yet, thanks to their Oxford and Cambridge degrees, and their accented English, they virtually control the discourse the international community takes on India. Their domination of the country’s universities and colleges, hitherto unchallenged, is now under threat.
Today’s Indian does not need someone else to do his thinking for him. He is well capable of thinking for himself.
As a political force, the Left in India is weak, but their stranglehold on people’s minds in unparalleled. Hundreds of millions of Indians have grown up reading books written by Leftist authors, glorifying revolution and socialism and Stalin and Mao; while hating globalisation and free trade and the United States.
What is the reason for the Left’s total domination of the intellectual discourse of this country? The emphasis on education, on good English, and the ability to sound as if they could create the perfect socialist utopia are possible reasons. Also, leftist movements have played a not insignificant role in fighting against social evils and for the rights of the marginalised. This is an area where some credit is definitely due.
As for the Right- uncouth, clumsy, pompous; these are just few of the words that come to mind. For years the Right has been a marginal force in Indian politics. Relegated to the sidelines by a Congress dominated polity and Left dominated intelligentsia, the Right was probably waiting for the right moment when Indians would have had enough of the basic necessities so that they could start thinking about things like religion.
What is the reason for the Right’s political successes in India?
The fact is there are genuine grievances among the people. Grievances which cannot be brushed away even with high doses of political correctness in Oxford English. The cynical exploitation of these insecurities, real or imagined, is what has propelled the Right forward the world over. India is no different. People like it when someone is in charge. They don’t like weak governments. Hindu mythology is replete with warnings on the dangers of anarchy. However more often than not, the Right gets bogged down and obsessed with trivial issues instead of implementing the larger picture. At this point I would like to remind that there is no right or wrong in politics; there are only narratives, and those narratives prevail whose proponents are the strongest.
The Right in India lacks tact. It is clumsy, it defames itself and is ignorant of the way international perceptions work. Notice the brilliant way the Leftist media and journalists controlled the JNU issue. Contrast it with the bone-headed clumsiness of the Right. Lawyer goons, bounty announcements and death threats, yeah sounds like the perfect way to get people to your side.
In the end, what would you rather have? A country with people like Kanhaiya or a country with people like Vikram Chauhan?
I’m reminded of an interesting analogy. It is a borrowed concept so it is possible you might have heard of this before. A country needs to stay in balance to move forward while protecting the rights of her citizens. Both ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ forces have to interact in a delicate balance of power. ‘Feminine’ societies emphasise individual freedoms, a culture of discussion and debate and the pursuit of things like arts and philosophy. On the other hand, ‘Masculine’ societies emphasise discipline, unity and strength. Both these systems have their own merits and demerits and no one system should be allowed to dominate. Instead they should coexist with a delicate balance of power and the influence of each should wax and wane in accordance with the needs of the times.
Hence we should not take extreme positions on any issue. It is extremely important to understand that there are two sides to every issue. Let’s not widen the unfortunate gulf that has emerged between us. This country belongs to all of us. All of us have an equal responsibility to its welfare and an equal claim to its benevolence. Can we not agree to build a consensus to take the country forward? Why is India still bogged down with all this mandir-masjid, beef, and JNU bullshit? Within ten years we can become a ten trillion dollar economy (PPP). The nineties generation is the one which is going to take India beyond the five trillion dollar level within the next ten years. For the first time, the dream of having decent living standards for all Indians is within sight. Let’s not allow ourselves to falter once more. This country has suffered enough under Nehruvian socialism. This is the time when the animal spirits of India are finally about to unleash. Don’t restrict them with trivial issues.