Whether to wade in or to be aloof
This trip to Delhi is turning out to be interesting. For that matter this whole past week has been interesting. The has been yet another flutter of panic in our oh so refined conscience about the appalling rise of BJP.
These moments come and go, I have seen. They are quite entertaining for the opportunity to make sarcastic tweets at something ugly. In terms of utility, they are pretty much meaningless, even counterproductive. Impotent outage by opponents is the true mark of victory to a cult of power.
Yeah, so a thug has found recognition. Or rather what is perceived as a new level of thug. So?
People are agitated. BJP has fooled the masses with fake news, polarising rumours and likely EVM rigging.
And this is news because…?
Can anyone honestly say that the BJP has done anything differently? All this was known. There were no indications that winning tactics would be dropped over some sudden discovery of ethics. So what is the new outrage?
Part of it is that we are unsettled by this rise. Mirza Waheed remarked on twitter “@Vidyut Three years is all it’s taken. It’s chilling what how much the far right has achieved.”
While i think it has been much longer than three years, what I said spontaneously then is my belief.
Look at it like this. How quickly could liberals change it back if they chose to have an organized strategy to cut polarization down. https://t.co/WLKAalMUOP
— Vidyut (@Vidyut) March 18, 2017
And yet it is not so simple. If, as Arundhati Roy famously put it, the middle and upper classes have seceded to the stratosphere, it is also true that the intellectuals have seceded to an intellectual stratosphere. Sadly, the financial stratosphere pays the bills, while the intellectual stratosphere can only form clubs of like minded people.
And of course, the vast majority of people has access to neither stratosphere.
The challenge for the intellectual elite today, is to learn to implement the egalitarianism they allegedly believe in.
How is it that they apparently have views that are empowering and progressive and yet primitive propaganda succeeds in pitting citizens against each other in what amounts to a tribal war conducted with votes? It cannot be that the right wing has extraordinary intelligence or communication skills. So where does the thinking fail? Is it really true that people would prefer an existence of paranoia and hostility over one of secure coexistence?
That doesn’t sound right. After all, the basis of civilisation itself is a need for a guarantee of secure co-existence. The Hindu rashtra, with its model of every street thug ruling his own kingdom with impunity is not sustainable even if it grew unopposed and there was consensus on wanting a religious state. Yogi Adityanath is not an accident. He is the product of impunity being a norm.
But it will be a long time before such a model fails. Too long to be of relevance to the well-being of a county. This is recognised by the intellectual elite. But not by the masses.
So what are the missing parts? Where is secular thought falling to include the people it aims to include?
I have several views on this and will be blogging further to present them over coming months.
For now, I leave you readers with this question. Why is it that the fundamental principles of shared citizenship are being discarded so rapidly in favour of moves that disenfranchise a section of the population?
Make no mistake, the rules being broken get broken for the security of all -broken is broken- even though the temptation right now is the targeting of some.